Each week, we ask small businesses key questions.
We speak to Doug Lindsay, director and principal consultant at energy-focused Eq8 Consulting.
How and why did you start in business?
Following redundancy, work colleague Carol Gordon and I decided to use our combined 50-plus years’ experience with operators and service companies in oil and gas to set up our own hydrocarbon accounting consultancy business. We are now joint directors of Eq8 Consulting. In these challenging times for the industry, we’re confident we can help our customers maximise profits in the niche consulting area we specialise in.
How did you get to where you are today?
By being pushed, prodded, encouraged and supported by some amazing, strong women. Thanks Chris, Carol, Ann and Lynn for always believing we could do it.
Who helped you?
My wife, Christina, has always been there to reassure and help me to be positive through some challenging times. Meanwhile, my business partner, Carol, has put 100% into developing a strong client base and creating a high-quality reputation for providing solutions to clients that EQ8 can build on. We’ve also had tremendous support through the Federation of Small Businesses and Business Gateway; their specialist support teams have really helped us develop our business, as well as strengthen our digital marketing and sales skills in ways we couldn’t have dreamed of.
What has been your biggest mistake?
Not being more bullish and outgoing about selling our skills, expertise, and services in early stages of the company development. We should have been less reserved and a lot more forthright – we really can help our clients in a demanding energy market.
What is your greatest achievement?
Building up our business in such a short period. From two of us home working, we now have a city centre office and a small team of knowledgeable, specialist contractors.
If you were in power in government, what would you change?
Recent experience has taught me that new small businesses need all the support they can get to flourish and develop. Changes to the tax regime and boosting the financial support available would stimulate the creation of even more small businesses, which in turn would boost the economy and create employment.
What do you still hope to achieve?
Being a relatively new business, we need to continue to build our reputation and client base, while continuing to meet client needs. There are other related business areas we plan to expand into, such as metering and measurement consultancy. We’ve done work recently in Europe and would hope to expand overseas.
What do you do to relax?
I enjoy riding my motorbike and exploring the Scottish countryside and occasionally try to learn new songs on my guitar. I also enjoy keeping fit and try a range of different types of exercise classes to keep me motivated. What are you currently reading, listening to or glued to on the TV? I don’t watch that much TV. I seem to be re-living my youth at the moment, rereading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books and downloading classic 1970s and 80s rock music.
What do you waste your money on?
Changing my car and bike too often – the depreciation is something I try not to think about.
How would your friends describe you?
Dependable, organised and sometimes stressed, with a Glaswegian sense of humour, but needs to smile a bit more.
What would your enemies say about you?
I’m hoping I don’t have any. I try to treat people as I would like to be treated myself.
What do you drive and dream of driving?
My current car is a BMW M235i but an Aston Martin Vanquish would be top of my dream list.
Reproduced from the original article, published 16 Oct 2017 in the Press & Journal