Name: McMillan Scott.
Old age: 48.
What is your company’s name?
Where are they based?
In Edinburgh and Glasgow.
What facilities does it offer?
Fit-out and refurbishment of commercial, industrial and retail buildings, cladding and roofing works, facility management and waste management are the services provided by the group’s businesses. Our Inside Specialist Services company focuses on offering a healthier and safer indoor atmosphere and has developed two distinct brands that can provide ongoing preventive security against viruses (including coronavirus), bacteria and mold – Space to Breathe and Kill, Avoid, Cover.
To whom is it sold?
Working with building surveyors and building consultants is our primary sector. This gives us access around the country to a wide variety of business sectors.
What is the turnover of theirs?
About twenty million pounds.
How many workers does the organization have?
Around 90. roughly
When was this company founded?
Why did you take the plunge?
Basically, an opportunity that I could not refuse presented itself. My business partner at the time was willing to fund the business from the outset. This helped us to develop the company rapidly without the burden of borrowing or restrictive cash flow; we had a turnover of more than £ 5 million with no external debt within three years.
I always wanted to run my own company, and it was unlikely that there would be repeated circumstances like that, so I took the plunge! And note, in 2004, we actually had a fairly vibrant market.
Together, we developed a great company that actually allowed me to make a business acquisition in 2016 and let him retire!
Until you made the switch, what were you doing?
I was a contract manager for one of my rivals. It was a great organization to work with, but as they say, nothing ventured, nothing earned.
What was the biggest breakthrough you made?
We’ve had many instances where new relationships have opened more than anticipated doors for us and have proven vital to the group’s growth.
What was the toughest moment you had?
Other than the mess our economy has been in since 2008, not too many individual disappointments have occurred! It was hard, but there were more positives than negatives. You can turn most circumstances around with the right mentality, combined with the right individuals.
What do you enjoy most about managing your company?
To collaborate with the people in my organization and with my clients. Throughout this journey, I have made some lifelong friends, and that is the greatest reward.
What are you enjoying the least?
Unnecessary bureaucracy. Being asked the same questions over and over again by the same entities that claim their systems were created to avoid just that. And then there’s the procurement…..
What are your ambitions for the company?
There’s so much potential in the group, and I’d like to be around long enough to see it evolve into what I think it can be. At some point, I will have taken it as far as it can go under my leadership, and when it does, I will be happy to hand over the reins.
What single thing would help the most?
Our governments need to get their act together and stop pushing the self-destruct button. Since 2008 we have had the collapse of the banking system, two referendums, the implosion of the oil and gas sector and the never ending saga of our messy divorce from the EU. Our economy is now under immense stress from the pressures of Covid-19 and all the while we have the possibility of Indyref 2. Against this backdrop it is surprising that more companies have not gone under. Is it beyond consideration that we might all take a breath and allow a period of stability? Do we have to fight on so many fronts, wasting hundreds of billions of pounds?
What could the Westminster and/or Scottish governments do that would help?
I don’t want to get into the independence debate, but how refreshing would it be if they put party politics aside and actually worked together for the good of the people who put them in place in the first place? Focus on getting us back on track, boosting the economy, creating jobs and lifting people out of poverty.
What was the most valuable lesson you learned?
Listen. Listen to what