DAVID ARNOT OF MATHESON HUNTER
What was your first job after leaving school/further education?
Before accepting a position as a Project Engineer with ABB Engineering Services in the northeast of England, after university I worked a session at Sunshine Village Ski Resort in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
When did you start your business & what prompted you to do it?
My business is the family business, which I don’t remember not being involved with. It was 2014 when I took over and set up Matheson Hunter.
What did you find most challenging at the beginning?
Before committing to full time self-employment, making the time to assume responsibility for the family business and all that involves while meeting the demands of a professional career as a Project Engineer was a challenge.
Who did you ask for advice & why did you choose them?
At the start and I still do ask for advice from anyone that was and is prepared to listen to me and answer my questions. Such advice has been and is often from the trades and professional service providers. For private residential tenancy technical and legislation advice I receive advice from the Scottish Association of Landlord who I am a member of.
How did you fund your business?
Being in the fortunate position of stepping into the family business a portfolio of assets was already established. The intention is to use this portfolio to fund development.
What would you do differently now looking back?
Looking back, rather than just “getting on with it” I would have more actively sought out a network of individuals and organisations, like WeDO, to collaborate with.
What or who has helped you to grow your business the most?
Following consolidation of assets, growth is the next phase of business development.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
One of the biggest challenges has been the shift of mindset from the comfort of paid employment to overall self-employed responsibility. This came with ignorance of what is required to satisfy my existing and new customers and to care for existing assets and of understanding common practice and sector legislation. The challenges such ignorance presents will continue as business develops and the real challenge is and will be being comfortable with that.
What are the future plans for your business?
The current and near future plans are to consolidate assets to allow them to work together to incrementally grow the business in either the same sector or others.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to set up their own business?
Without being arrogant, know and have confidence in your product in your chosen market and your ability to deliver it.
Tell us something about you that isn’t commonly known.
Thinking too much, it takes me a long time to write very little!
And finally, why did you join WeDO?
I joined WeDO to be inspired and hopefully provide a little inspiration.
If you’re interested in finding out more about WeDO Scotland membership, click HERE.