“Once you see you’ve got six months’ mortgage in the bank after everything is paid, that’s a comfort,” says Ken Callen, managing director of Hi Audio Visual (HiAV), an audio-visual installation and integration company that he set up in 2004 on the back of a redundancy.

That comfort came from the various clients that followed him, which included the likes of Scottish Power. Today, the Glasgow-based company has a turnover of about £1 million a year and works with a range of corporate clients in the UK, particularly in the finance sector, as well as education clients and public-sector clients including Police Scotland, the NHS and the MOD.

Essentially, HiAV provides its clients with meeting room spaces, but this is a broad-brush description that covers many different types of facilities. The company provides everything from boardrooms with video conferencing and interactive touch screens, through training rooms and call centres using video over IP to state-of-the-art sports stadia.

“We’ve been involved in the refurbishment of some stadia,” says Mr Callen. “We did some work for Glasgow Warriors and we’re involved in the refurbishment at Murrayfield with the SRU.”

The company also has a passive income from online sales of AV equipment. This part of the business specialises in smart interactive products, and 90% of sales are in England.

HiAV also undertakes projects that perhaps fire the imagination more than interactive boardrooms, such as a £1 million AV installation at the Scottish Submarine Centre in Helensburgh. Using 28 high-definition (HD) laser projectors, HiAV created a fully projected virtual reality room.

“It’s the first time this has been done in the world,” says Mr Callen. “I’ve never been afraid to stretch the bounds of technology.”

He met a like mind in Bruce Keating, founder and trustee of the Scottish Submarine Trust, and worked on the project for two years. All the projections are edge-blinded, creating one continuous projection, and the installation was highly commended in the national Museums & Heritage awards.

As a result, HiAV has now received enquiries from as far afield as Australia. That notwithstanding, the bulk of its core business is in the central belt of Scotland and the north of England, though it does sell abroad.

“International clients mainly come to us through recommendations or our web presence or exposure from awards,” says Mr Callen.

The company operates with four members of staff, soon to rise to five. While 10% of its business comes from education clients and it has big public-sector clients, its profitability is driven by corporate sales.

“The expectations on quality and delivery of equipment are very different,” says Mr Callen.

Currently, the company is targetting legal firms with an innovative marketing exercise that involves sending out card-sized HD screens. This is part of keeping the pipeline “active and relatively full”. Having traded through the recession, however, Mr Callen is also aware of the need “to keep things neat” and of the constraints that this brings.

“We’re very conscious of maintaining a high level of customer service,” he says.

So far, the company has grown organically and that his how Mr Callen intends to take it forward. The five-year goal is to boost turnover to £5 million a year, which will involve taking on more staff – probably four to six engineers and three to four sales staff. This is partly about ensuring that the core customer base in Scotland – where Mr Callen says the AV community is friendly and supportive of each other – doesn’t need to shop outside Scotland.

“The business will reach an optimum size,” he says. “The key is to have good people.”