Name: Eric Strickland.

Age: 47.

What is your business called?

Taymouth Marina.

Where is it based?

Kenmore, Perthshire.

What services does it offer?

Taymouth Marina is a lochside holiday and wellness resort on the shores of Loch Tay in Kenmore, Perthshire, providing luxury accommodation, watersports and a natural spa. We welcome day visitors using our watersports and spa as well as guests staying in our holiday apartments.

To whom does it sell?

We have two groups of customers. The first includes holiday and day-visitors. The second is made up of buy-to-let customers, who purchase one of our town houses to rent out to our guests. We manage the marketing, booking and letting process. Many owners use their properties themselves on a regular basis.

What is its turnover?

When we first started up we were turning over very little. We now have a growing seven-figure turnover.

How many employees?

We currently have 20 members of staff. These include a range of full time, part time and seasonal workers, and they’re tasked with a whole load of activities – from serving food and drinks in our terrace bar to guest services, to running our water sports activities, and of course, the day-to-day management of our accommodation facilities. We look for team members that are adaptable and ready to wear many hats – just like we are!

When was it formed?

My wife Naomi and I purchased Taymouth Marina in 2011. Originally, Taymouth Marina was a derelict watersports centre called Croftnacaber. We totally transformed it to make it what it is today – a thriving tourist destination.

Why did you take the plunge?

It was an opportunity that was too good to be missed. Although raising the initial funds to re-develop the site meant re-mortgaging the family home, we knew that the location and our combined skills meant that we could make a success out of it together.

While Taymouth Marina sits on the site of a business that had previously closed, we were confident that we could make it a success.

We pictured the marina as a place where visitors could come to totally switch off from the outside world. The location – situated on the shores of Loch Tay, with direct views of the nearby Munros – cannot be beaten for its beauty, however we wanted to provide contemporary luxury so guests felt truly spoilt.

To achieve our vision, we combined my experience as an architect and Naomi’s flair for interior design to develop stylish accommodation, a natural spa and a drinks terrace, all with a focus on comfort and wellbeing.

Having travelled extensively in places such as the US and Scandinavia, Naomi and I were able to use our experience to inform the marina’s design, picking out key elements of places we had previously stayed.

What were you doing before you took the plunge?

I started McKenzie Strickland Associates, an award-winning architect practice, in 1998. It has grown over the last 21 years with offices in Perth and Aberfeldy. Operating Taymouth Marina has actually informed how MSA approaches commercial projects, as we now have an even deeper understanding of the client’s perspective and can think a bit more laterally about design solutions.

Looking back, the decision to start my own architecture firm was a pretty bold one – I was just two years out of university, having studied at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. However, I was motivated by the desire to work for myself and was pretty confident in my own abilities as an architect, having gained a broad range of experience in different practices across Scotland and the US. I had also won design awards from RIBA and British Gas.

Naomi is a designer but previously worked as an outdoor activities instructor.

How did you raise the start-up funding?

We are totally self-funded.

What was your biggest break?

None of this would have happened if we hadn’t received planning permission. Luckily, Perth and Kinross Council understood our vision and they supported us. We’re now on track to contribute over £3m to the local Kenmore economy, and have created over 20 jobs so we’re forever grateful to Perth and Kinross Council for that initial support – we wouldn’t be here today without them.

What was your worst moment?

There’s no one cataclysmic moment that springs to mind, but during the initial stages, there was a lot of juggling – something that goes hand in hand with being an SME owner. It started working out, slowly but surely, but if it hadn’t, it would have spelled financial disaster.

What do you most enjoy about running the business?

Running your own business, you’re never short of things to talk about, particularly as a couple.

I both most and least enjoy being my own boss. I sometimes wish I could leave at 5pm – but only very occasionally.

What are your ambitions for the firm?

We would love for Taymouth Marina to be a national destination – somewhere that attracts people from all over the UK and beyond. We’d also like for it to be known as the best holiday resort in Scotland.

What are your top priorities?

My faith, family and being a good boss.

What could the Westminster and/or Scottish governments do that would help?

The Additional Dwelling Supplement introduced in 2016 has had an impact. The extra four per cent on the purchase price that people are required to pay over and above the standard tax is an issue for many – it’s a tax on people investing in rural economies when that should be encouraged.