Each week, we ask small businesses key questions. Here we speak to Craig Mitchell, founder of Inverbervie-based 6DQ, which helps other firms with decision-making
How and why did you start in business?
For a lot of years I worked for a company which adopted a lot of best practices in decision-making. But there seemed to be many other companies across different sectors that could benefit from applying similar tools and processes to take them to a new level.
After identifying a need in the marketplace, I set up 6DQ to coach, train and upskill organisations and companies in decision-making, something I feel passionate about and strongly believe will provide a competitive advantage to any firm.
People do not specifically receive training in school or universities on decision-making. It is usually acquired as they progress through their careers.
Organisations can benefit from individual training and coaching, helping them to move to a structured decision-making process. We give clients the confidence to recommend and make decisions with clarity.
How did you get to where you are today?
My first degree was in economics and while working in a commercial role for a major oil company I completed a masters in computer software technology. I combined my qualifications to become a petroleum economist, where my love of programming transferred to creating Excel models for cash flow forecasting.
Who helped you?
Throughout my career I have had various mentors and role models who have provided guidance. My wife, Elaine, has been an invaluable help in setting up 6DQ, balancing the books and being a great sounding board. I’ve also had business and marketing support from Limetree Consultancy, the Federation of Small Businesses and Business Gateway.
What has been your biggest mistake?
I’ve made many mistakes in life, but I believe they are good on a personal and business context, and in some cases the only way to learn and grow.
What is your greatest achievement?
On a personal note becoming a dad has been the greatest achievement. It makes you appreciate your own parents more. My biggest achievement professionally has been setting up 6DQ. Along with my wife and a friend, I have taken part in a number of walking challenges. The most recent being the completion of all 96 miles of the West Highland Way in three days.
If you were in power in government, what would you change?
I would move to a structured decision-making process that follows good practice. Key focus areas to change would be using the current pandemic to reset how we work, and, more importantly, redefine the true meaning of success, happiness and wellbeing.
What do you still hope to achieve?
I’d like to keep growing 6DQ and diversify into supporting a broad mix of different sectors. On the walking front, the ultimate challenge is Everest base camp.
What do you do to relax?
Balancing family life with starting your own company can leave little time for relaxation, but our new addition last year – our cockapoo, Millie – has allowed me to spend more time walking. My ultimate relaxation is hillwalking.
What are you currently reading, listening to or glued to on the TV?
I’m reading the Power of Framing (Gail T Fairhurst), which relates to one of the processes leaders can adopt in improving decision-making. I’m also watching the Fall, on Netflix.
What do you waste your money on?
I asked my 13-year-old daughter, Katie, that question and without missing a beat she answered “me”, which on reflection is not too far from the truth.
How would your friends describe you?
They have described me as calm and laid back, with not too much that will faze me, but I’d like them to think I am someone who will be there for them no matter what.
What would your enemies say about you?
While I don’t agree with everyone’s viewpoint …understanding other people’s perspective is critical. Hopefully, this approach will prevent creating enemies.
What do you drive and dream of driving?
I drive a BMW X5 to tow our caravan, allowing us to explore and make memories with the kids. Once they are too old or too cool to come away with us, we will swap the caravan for a motorhome.