Every Monday, we ask small businesses key questions. Here we speak to Kevin Dundas, who owns and runs Framing Point in Rosemount, Aberdeen.
How and why did you start in business?
My parents started the original Framing Point when they opened their shop on Market Street in Aberdeen. I worked with them for many years but, sadly, they both passed away. I wanted to continue the business but also needed a fresh start. That’s when I opened my own Framing Point business in a new location on Rosemount Viaduct. I now have a shop I can make my own.
How did you get to where you are today?
When I first started out I was very fortunate to have the foundations of my mum and dad’s shop to get me going. It’s a lot of hard work and I’ve spent many long hours in the new shop, but it’s definitely paying off. Even though it’s a new business I still have many of the same repeat customers my parents had. I think they enjoy seeing a familiar face when they drop in.
Who helped you?
I had a lot of help from family and friends to get the new shop up and running. They helped to move equipment and stock and give the place a lick of paint. Since then, to be honest, the day-to-day running of the business has been me on my own, putting the hours in. However, I now have a fantastic member of staff in Phoebe Banks, who works freelance and has been a great help lately.
Of course, as a member of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) I know it’s always there to help. Earlier this year, the FSB arranged for my local MSP, Kevin Stewart, to visit Framing Point. I was able to speak to him face-to-face without taking time away from work.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever had?
My mum always said “these jobs won’t get done on their own” and she was right. If I’m not being productive, I think of her saying that and it gets me going again. Also, if you feel like you’ve hit a brick wall, just take a break. When you come back it never feels as bad.
What is your biggest mistake?
To my accountant’s delight, I’m terrible at keeping my paperwork up to date. I’m challenging myself to do it more regularly and not leave everything to the last minute.
What is your greatest achievement?
It’s the shop. Getting it set up and to where it is now is my greatest achievement.
How are you managing rapidly rising costs and how could the government help?
It’s been tough, but all I can do is keep working hard and keep going. I’ve seen major increases in material costs and I have to balance how I accommodate these. As a small business, I can’t put my prices up and up. I’m not sure what more the government could realistically do, but certainly something to keep costs down would be helpful.
What do you still hope to achieve?
I’d like to grow my business and maybe move to a larger shop, but still in the same area. Ideally, if I could hire more staff, then I could have a bit more time off with my family.
What do you do to relax?
I take my dog, Ollie, for a walk. It might not sound relaxing but I put my headphones in, listen to music and switch off from everything.
What are you currently reading, listening to or glued to on TV?
I don’t read, in fact I hate reading, but I love listening to the radio and it’s always on in the shop while I’m working. I’m also a football fan so that’s what’s usually on my TV.
What do you waste your money on?
I work six days a week, so I like to relax and enjoy myself on Sundays. I really enjoy this family time with my partner, Arlene, daughter Aaliyah and other relatives. You can’t call it a waste of money really, but we go out and do things as a family and have a bit of fun. Lots of my money definitely gets spent on Aaliyah.
What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
Arlene starts work really early, so my day begins with me tidying up the house and getting Aaliyah ready for school. I do the school run and give the dog a walk, all before heading over to the shop.
What do you drive and dream of driving?
I have a white Peugeot Partner van for work and a Mercedes A-class as our family car. My dream car would be a Ford Mustang GT or maybe a Jeep Wrangler.