Looking to make it in business or just up for inspiration to help kick-start that job hunt? We chatted with some of Scotland’s budding entrepreneurs from a wide variety of backgrounds to offer you some valuable advice and insight into forging a path to business success.
1) Don’t Be Afraid To Put Yourself Out There
“Essentially it's all about who you know. Get out there and meet people at trade shows, events and parties. The more like-minded people you know (and bigger network you have) the more successful you will be. Secondly, there is no better way to learn than on the job. So dive in and ask questions.”
Pete Sunderland, Director and Co-founder at Instrmnt
Instrmnt takes influence from the industrial design of the mid 20th century, producing high-quality, minimalist watches. Curious to know more? Browse products here or drop them a line on Facebook and Twitter.
2) Speak To Other Self-Employed People
“It's only since being self employed myself that I've discovered there's a wealth of business owners who are willing to share their experiences and expertise. Now, if I have a query over something business related the first place I would go is to someone who might not be in the same line of business but who understands, such as other women entrepreneurs in WE Mean Business group on Facebook.”
Suzi Nicol, Founder at Sunshine No.1
Promoting local artists and designers, Sunshine No.1 is an independent art and gift shop offering unique hand crafted products and showcasing gorgeous artwork. Looking for the perfect gift? Have a peek here or check out latest updates on Facebook and Twitter.
3) Grow Your Brand and Reputation
“Start small and build a solid reputation, get to know your markets inside out, and do not be afraid to fail. If something doesn't work, move on and adapt. If you want to be successful you have to own it, you have to live, breathe, and love what you do and let that passion shine through to people.”
Hamish Odinson, Founder at Half Goat Leatherwork
Half Goat Leatherwork creates bespoke leather products, from bags and wallets to outdoor equipment, as well as running workshops on ancient crafts across Scotland and Scandinavia. Have a peruse of their products here or give them a like on Facebook.
4) Be Yourself & Believe In Yourself
“If you believe what you are doing is worthwhile, keep pursuing what you are doing! I faced a lot of adversity, people telling me they would never use beard oil (now they are regular customers), but I kept doing my thing and I am now making a living from it. Don't try to copy anyone, just be you - be natural. You will see Braw Beard is different to any other beard care brand out there, that's because it's based on my lifestyle, no-one else can replicate that successfully. I cannot replicate anyone else's lifestyle successfully, so I won't even try.”
John Jackson, Founder and Director at Braw Beard Oils
Founded in 2012, Braw Beard Oils spotted a gap in the market for a beard care brand in Scotland, so began to concoct high quality essential oils based products for dudes across the nation and then eventually across the globe. Interested in finding out more? Check out their offerings here or see what they’re upto on Facebook and Twitter.
5) Encourage Constructive Criticism
“I went from asking people what they thought of my prototypes to 'how can I improve it' - a simple change, but it encourages feedback on how you can improve the product/service you are offering. This is personal, if you don't know the weak spots, your risk of failure increases, having friends and family tell you what they think you want to hear helps no one - let people know you are open to criticism as it's in your best interest that they help you improve.”
Sam Trett, Proprietor/Geek at LoCa Beverages Ltd
LoCa Beverages pours superb gin with specific botanical science, offering deliciously infused spirits with bold character and few calories. Up for a swig of this gin-vincible elixir? Read more here or find out about current offers on Facebook and Twitter.
6) Never Neglect The Importance Of Networking
“The more people you share your vision with them and get excited about the idea, the more introductions and traction you'll gain off the back of it. Also if you truly believe in your concept and the market validation is suggesting you're onto something, then pack in your job immediately and focus on that idea full-time - good luck!”
Craig Buchan, Founder and CEO at Qpal
Founded in 2016, Qpal seeks to revolutionise the events industry with innovative payment solutions to enable smarter transactions for cashless events and increased brand engagement. Check out their offerings here and discover their recent goings-on on Facebook and Twitter.
7) Be Open To Collaboration
“Always have a collaborative attitude - work with others. Never say no to any opportunity until after you have carefully considered it.”
Debra Riddell, Founder at Breadshare
Breadshare is an award-winning community supported bakery and social enterprise that places emphasis on healthy, organic and fresh food. Keen for a bite? Find out about their products and how to get involved here or join the bakery chat on Facebook and Twitter.
Inspired by these stories? Give us your thoughts or business tips on Facebook and Twitter. Currently on the hunt for fresh opportunities? Check out our current vacancies.