Name: Scott McMillan.

Age: 48.

What is your business called?

The Insite Group.

Where is it based?

Glasgow and Edinburgh.

What services does it offer?

The services provided by group companies include the fit-out and refurbishment of commercial, industrial and retail properties, cladding and roofing works, facilities management and waste management. Our Insite Specialist Services business focuses on providing cleaner, safer indoor environments and has developed two distinct brands – Room to Breathe and Kill, Prevent, Protect – which can provide continuous preventative protection against viruses (including coronaviruses), bacteria and moulds.

To whom does it sell?

Our primary market is working with building surveying practices and construction consultants. This allows us access to an extensive range of market sectors throughout the country.

What is its turnover?

In excess of £20 million.

How many employees does it have?

Around 90.

When was it formed?


Why did you take the plunge?

Basically, an opportunity presented itself that I could not refuse. My business partner at the time was able to finance the company from the start. This allowed us to be able to quickly grow the business without the pressures of borrowing or a restrictive cashflow; within three years we had a turnover of £5m plus with no external debt.

I had always wanted to run my own business and it was unlikely that such circumstances would come around again, so I took the leap! And remember in 2004, we actually had quite a buoyant market.

We built an excellent business together which actually allowed me to undertake a company buyout in 2016, and allowed him to retire!

What were you doing before you took the plunge?

I was a contracts manager for one of my competitors. They were a great company to work for but nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say.

What was your biggest break?

We have had several instances where new relationships have opened more doors for us than anticipated and have proven to be instrumental in the Group’s growth.

What was your worst moment?

Apart from the mess our economy has been in since 2008, there haven’t been too many singular disappointments! It’s been tough, but there have been more positives than negatives. Having the right attitude, coupled with the right people, can turn around most situations.

What do you most enjoy about running the business?

Working with the people in my business and my clients. I have made some lifelong friends along this journey and that is the biggest reward.

What do you least enjoy?

Unnecessary bureaucracy. Repeatedly getting asked the same questions time after time by the same establishments who claim that their systems are created to avoid just that. And then there’s procurement…..

What are your ambitions for the firm?

There is so much potential within the group and I would like to be around long enough to see it flourish into what I know it can be. There will be a time when I will have taken it as far as it can go under my direction and when that comes I will happily hand over the reins.

What single thing would most help?

Our governments need to get their act together and stop pressing the self-destruct button. Since 2008 we have had the collapse of the banking system, two referenda, the implosion of the oil and gas sector and the never-ending saga of our messy divorce from the EU. Our economy is now under immense stress from the pressures of Covid-19 and all the while we have the possibility of Indyref 2. Against this backdrop, it’s surprising that even more businesses haven’t gone under. Is it beyond contemplation that perhaps we could all take a breath and allow a period of stability? Do we need to be fighting on so many fronts, wasting hundreds of billions of pounds in the process?

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

I don’t want to get into the independence debate but how refreshing would it be if they put party politics aside and actually worked together for the good of the people who put them there in the first place? Focus on getting us back on track, get the economy moving, create jobs and lift people out of poverty.

What was the most valuable lesson that you learned?

Listen. Listen to what people have to say and that’s relevant from the site labourer to the chief executive; appreciate people’s perspective and make the best-informed decision you can. Conversely, if you have nothing important to say, say nothing!

How do you relax?

I am a huge music fan and love nothing more than a great live concert with my family. I have a membership for the SSE Hydro and have seen everyone from Little Mix and André Rieu to Black Sabbath. I also love the movies and going to great sporting occasions..