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Business Gateway has a whole host of support available to guide you through your entrepreneurial journey

Andrew Mackay, left, and Debbie Moir.
Andrew Mackay, left, and Debbie Moir.

Elevator, a social enterprise which supports start-ups across Scotland through its delivery of Business Gateway and a range of other programmes to inspire entrepreneurs, spoke to two of its Business Gateway Growth Advisers for their top tips for growing your business.

Business Gateway growth adviser Debbie Moir has a wealth of experience in the hospitality and tourism industry, while impressively starting three of her own businesses in the past 10 years. Her client portfolio varies from tourism-based businesses, to new product developments and new technologies, with most having ambitious plans to enter international markets within the initial two-year trading period.

A noteworthy success story originated from a couple named Joyce and Garry Welsh, who bought an Edwardian house (Lys-Na-Greyne) on Royal Deeside to transform into a luxury bed and breakfast. Joyce and Garry brought with them a very clear vision for what they wanted to achieve based on their international experience, though they had little know-how of running their own business.

“I introduced the couple to my professional contacts and together we were able to assist with the design and decor to appropriately fit the luxury theme. We suggested using local produce to remain authentic and helped Joyce and Garry to devise a digital strategy to reach overseas markets, such as Germany.

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“Many people think that starting a business can be the most daunting step, when in fact it is growing it year-on-year. My best piece of advice is to think about the worst thing that can happen, move on from it and strap yourself in to your business growth rollercoaster.”

Business Gateway growth adviser Andrew Mackay focuses on business improvement or recovery in sectors from food and drink to nuclear industries, which results in a very diverse client portfolio.

He assists potential high-growth businesses, and has a target of securing growth pipeline interventions, which give the biggest scope in terms of Scottish Enterprise grant-assisted products and services, helping the organisation in question progress at a faster rate.

“With 30 years of advisory industry experience, I find helping a business to progress in a manner fitting their needs to be very rewarding. Sometimes, this can involve grants towards products, whilst at other times, advice is seen as the ‘best medicine’ by the client.

“Business Gateway services are highly sought after, so it is important for clients to be fully engaged with their adviser. Our role is to help them along this journey and I’d like to think that businesses find our guidance and network connections to be of great value to them. For an adviser it is hugely rewarding to see an ambitious business reach new levels.

“Together we really can turn a dream into a successful reality.”

If you’re looking for business support, contact a member of the Business Gateway team at or 01224 946 539.

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