Each week, we ask small businesses key questions. Here we speak to Alastair Macleod, who runs Oldmeldrum firm Outline Event Services, together with Fraser Young.
How and why did you start in business?
Fraser and I worked together at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre before starting Outline Event Services in 2016.
We learned a lot during our time there, gaining valuable skills and experience.
It was while we were in the US, sat on a balcony with rums in hand, that we discussed starting our own company. The idea stuck and we just knew we had to give it a go. It wasn’t until a few years later that we decided to take the plunge.
How did you get to where you are today?
We started with a spare room as an office, a small investment from Fraser’s dad and one potential client.
From there we gradually built up our client base through word-of-mouth and moved into a workshop in Oldmeldrum.
Who helped you?
Business Gateway and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). We have attended several workshops and received one-on-one guidance. FSB has a wealth of information and advice which has proven helpful and got us through a couple of issues.
My old boss and father, Alex Macleod, has also been a great help by putting us in touch with clients and passing on knowledge from his time as a business owner.
What has been your biggest mistake?
Starting up at the time of the oil and gas downturn made securing business more difficult, but we stuck at it and made it work.
What is your greatest achievement?
Moving into our workshop and hiring our first employee, taking our team to three.
If you were in power in government, what would you change?
I would increase spending in education, although I may be biased as my wife, Holly, is a teacher.
What do you still hope to achieve?
To move to larger premises, allowing us to expand our capabilities and services; maybe get into the print side of things too, bringing everything in-house.
What do you do to relax?
Gaming or watching a movie. I’ve always been drawn to old, pixelated point-and-click adventure games and horrendous B movies.
What are you currently reading, listening to or glued to on the TV?
I’ve recently started to re-watch Supernatural from the start.
What do you waste your money on?
Any football game that takes my fancy.
How would your friends describe you?
I’d say they would describe me as funny, a bit random and someone who enjoys a night out.
What would your enemies say about you?
It would probably include a few profanities.
What do you drive and dream of driving?
I’m currently driving a Ford Fiesta, which is a great wee car. Fraser drives a Seat Leon and dreams of having a Tesla.