As managing partner at Thomas Bradley and Co, Scott Ewart has overseen not only significant investment in property over the past two years – with a portfolio of around £2million predominantly in the buy-to-let sector – but also in companies encompassing legal, financial, insurance and IT services.

It’s proof positive of a person who believes success comes from facing difficulties head on, even if that’s a pandemic that’s brought calamity and concern to so many businesses.

“We must always acknowledge serious challenges,” he says, “but I never allow negativity to come into my team’s mindset. We look at the difficulties but also examine the opportunities.

“This is why we’re engaging with new clients on a weekly basis and I see this continuing into next year and beyond, especially for Thomas Bradley Financial Services (TBFS).”

It’s not been a straightforward journey for the organisation, whose head office is in Glasgow City Centre. Scott points out the markets at the start of COVID-19 were uncertain, almost volatile to some financial advisors and clients: this essentially stopped investment and halted the UK housing market. 

“We went from 60 mortgages a month to zero. But now we’re about to get going again. It’s fair to say TBFS was worse hit but we’re now looking at new offices in Edinburgh – and we had a great start to the year, so financially all is well. We have a positive future but seeing people face-to-face will be critical.”

Scott points out he learned early in his career always to have cash reserves to contend with unforeseen circumstances, adding: “It’s confusing to see some of the large PLCs being bailed out again because they haven’t retained enough capital to sustain a three-month halt in trading.”

Scott’s foresight evolved from firsthand experience of the vagaries of business at a very early age.

“Personally, I’ve been in business since I was a teenager and only ever had a couple of ‘normal jobs’ between the age of 15 to 17. Over the years I’ve had an incredible journey of failures and successes, which have proved instrumental in informing and shaping the past five years worth of growth within our group of companies.” 

With three children ranging from 18 months to eight years old, he points out: “My family will always come first, of course, but I have a deep passion for business. I find entrepreneurs are incredible people who literally can change the world.”

This appreciation of the transformative power of entrepreneurship led him two years ago to launch a podcast aimed at small and medium sized business owners and entrepreneurs.

“The aim has been to interview, tune into and learn from the experiences of other business owners of all sizes, including the CEOs of £100 million global brands.”

Mentorship is an important part of his own personal and professional ethos and, as part of his weekly business talks, he often forensically examines the mechanics and psychology of what makes organisations work well.

“I see business as a team sport and, as such, I value certain skills as integral to the successful running of any company. Even an average business with these talents can be turned into a true success story.

“One of those core skills is leadership. A leader is able to manage a group of people running around doing things so that they work together methodically and systematically so their business is constantly producing the right results. 

“Then you have sales and marketing. Without a successful brand and an ability to sell it to clients it’s going to be challenging to do anything, regardless of how great your product or service is.

“Most recently I’ve been sharing my own thoughts about coping with COVID-19 –how it will affect my organisation going forward and, more importantly, how I’m adapting to those changes.”

Another important reason for the podcasts is to network with people already successfully running their businesses and are happy to share knowledge and experiences with other entrepreneurs. 

Scott says: “Not only am I conducting an interview with the goal of extracting information that allows listeners to implement change in their business but I’m also learning myself. Some of the best business relationships have evolved from podcasts. 

“Being around, listening to and sharing ideas with like-minded people and those further along in their journey is critical to any success. This is not only my job but my passion. I’ve been able to appear on stage and share my experiences because of the podcast and business vlogs.

“Learning from others. Establishing a brand. Growing your company. Helping others.

This is the way I summarise to people when they ask why I bother with the podcast.”
Beyond podcasting and vlogs, Scott believes embracing the digital world is vitally important for business.

“The bare naked truth is having your company offline is not only challenging: it will see you left behind. Fast-forward five years and exclusive online activity will include recruiters, suppliers and partners all checking out credentials and compatibility digitally. 

“It’s already happening now, especially with social media profiles. If you have a bad presence, that’s the end before it starts. No online presence means competing against people who for years have put time and effort into building their online brand is difficult. 

“The podcast and Vlogs on YouTube are because I believe this will be the norm. Digital totality is not here right now but it will be soon and I want to get ahead. I’m all about getting ahead of the competition.”