Name: Tom Morton.

Age: 56.

What is your business called?

The Safe Shores Group. This incorporates Safe Shores Monitoring, a company that delivers emergency response systems for lone workers, and Communicare247, which specialises in supporting elderly and vulnerable people with digital technology that allows them to live more independently.

Where is it based?

We have a sales and administration base in central Glasgow, and we operate a 24 hour, 365 days, national operations centre from Dunoon, Argyll. We also have representatives in England and Ireland to support customers.

To whom does it sell?

Safe Shores Monitoring sells mainly to employers who need to protect remote working staff or mobile personnel.

Communicare247 delivers services such as fall and location monitoring to anyone who wishes to retain independence at home, rather than enter a nursing home. Our customers range from private individuals and families, through to large corporate and public sector employers across many industry sectors including retail, health & social care, housing, construction, public agencies, charities and criminal justice.

What is its turnover?

The group turnover is currently in the seven-figure range per year.

How many employees?

Currently we employ 15 full time equivalent staff and outsource some non-core business services to another six external SME contractors.

When was it formed?

The company was originally formed in 1998 and has evolved since then. We operate services across the UK and are now looking at expanding into Europe.

Why did you take the plunge?

My Martin Luther moment. I could see where technology, specifically mobile technology, could be used to improve safety for community nursing staff and individuals relying on telecare to continue living at home as well as those who care for them.

What were you doing before you took the plunge?

My background is in electronics and communications. I was an Artificer in the Royal Navy and saw active service in the Falklands War. I then spent time in the space sector working on a project for the European Space Agency before joining the mobile industry working for a large BT/Cellnet mobile dealer.

How did you raise the start-up funding?

The company began entirely self-funded. With my wife’s permission, I used our savings to get started. Later, in 2001 I was granted a £125,000 small business loan from my bank. Subsequently, with support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HiE), we contributed to a further serious funding package totalling £1.5 million.

What was your biggest break?

The funding package achieved with HiE, which enabled us to build the National Operations Centre in Dunoon. This building and its infrastructure gave us the scale and scope to be taken seriously as a major player in our sector. This facility means that we are able to compete head on with the likes of G4S, Reliance, and other large security firms. It is designed to the highest specification in terms of robustness and security which enables our emergency response service to bypass the emergency 999 system, thus avoiding delay in situations where every second counts.

What was your worst moment?

The credit crunch of 2009 and the following years of austerity measures. Having just committed to the build, the global credit crisis hit. All of our plans had to be revised in view of the significant impact this had on our customer base who now faced the longest economic depression and austerity measures ever experienced in my lifetime.

What do you most enjoy about running the business?

I feel privileged that I get to work with a great team and with a superb mix of dedicated customers. We are very fortunate to have retained long-standing customers, some of whom, have stayed with us for over 15 years.

What do you least enjoy?

I least enjoy losing a customer! It’s like saying goodbye to an old-friend and it hurts. But sometimes things happen.

What are your ambitions for the firm?

The companies and systems are well poised to deliver solutions which can help to meet some of the challenges created by remote working and an ageing population.

What could the Westminster government do that would most help?

Get the economy back on track before it stalls. They need to work cohesively, and in the national interest.

What was the most valuable lesson that you learned?

Life is precious, so don’t waste it on trivial matters.

How do you relax?

I like to spend time with my friends and not talk about work. I really enjoy singing in my local choir. I love walking in the hills, especially in Glencoe. As a veteran, I like to help others where I can. It was also a pleasure to be shortlisted in the inaugural Scottish-ex Forces in Business Awards which took place earlier this month. I feel it is valuable to share experiences and celebrate achievements. I recently travelled to the Falklands with other former service men and their partners for the first time since the war. It was a truly rewarding experience which we enjoyed together and gave us some valuable time for reflection and insight – as well as good time.