Name Mark Glasgow.


What is your business called?

The Glasgow Boiler Company.

What does it produce, what services does it offer?

We install boilers and provide home care cover contracts.

To whom does it sell?

We focus mainly on the domestic market and homeowners.

What is its turnover?

We are currently recording a turnover of more than £100,000 per month so I am pleased to say we’re on track to hit the £1 million mark in our first year.

How many employees?

Six based in Glasgow and we also work with a number of sub-contractors.

When was it formed?

September 2020.

Why did you take the plunge?

I was working offshore for a few years in the oil and gas business but it didn’t really work out as well as I had hoped. I had three young girls and I found it difficult being away from them so decided to come home. That’s when I decided to go out on my own. I set up the Edinburgh Boiler Company in 2015, which is going extremely well. I noticed there was a gap in the market in Glasgow so last year decided to expand in the west. It wasn’t an easy decision given where we were in the pandemic but I’m glad I took the plunge.

What were you doing before you took the plunge?

I did a gas engineer apprenticeship with a Glasgow company, CC Building Services. I had a short spell with my own business doing work for letting agents but then got the chance to go offshore. I was a supervisor (instrument pipe fitting) on the Arbroath Platform.

How did you raise the start-up funding?

The money I saved from working offshore basically gave me the funding to start out. I was working from a single van and a shed in my back garden to begin with, looking back now I can’t believe that’s how it all started. I held interviews there and spoke to manufacturers in my little shed!

What was your biggest break?

I think to be successful in business, no matter how you good you are at your job, you need some good fortune along the way and you need good people. For me that was bringing in Connor as one of my first employees – he actually worked alongside me in the shed! He took on the marketing of the company, devised a really good user-friendly website experience for our customers, particularly the online quick quote calculator, which we were one of the first businesses to adopt.

What was your worst moment?

When the pandemic hit, we weren’t able to service all of our customers. While some had important jobs needing done, the government’s coronavirus rules meant we could only attend to essential tasks. The customers concerned were all understanding given the circumstances, though, and we have since managed to clear the backlog which had built up.

What do you enjoy most about running the business?

Being able to offer employment opportunities to people is something which is very rewarding. It’s been great to see our staff develop and progress over the years. I take a lot of pride in the workforce and what they bring to the team.

What do you least enjoy?

It has been rare that I have had to let staff go but when the occasion has arisen, I have always found it difficult.

What are your ambitions for the firm?

We have to keep working hard to ensure we keep every single customer happy and aim to be ‘Scotland’s local boiler company’, setting up in Dundee and Aberdeen as part of our growth plan.

What are your five top priorities?

Delivering work safely.

Looking after employees.

Giving young apprentices and office staff a route to work and qualifying them in their chosen discipline.

Community involvement - we are currently building a new training centre, not only for the gas engineers of tomorrow but for elderly, disabled and youths, too. We plant a tree for every single boiler we fit. We have now reached over 200 trees planted on behalf of our customers in Glasgow! That’s more than 60 tonnes of CO2. That could charge your mobile nearly 7 million times!

Introducing new technology to help work towards a more sustainable future.

What single thing would most help?

Good funding for young apprentices. There are a couple funding options but there needs to be more done to help young people into the trade.

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

A bit more clarity from the people in power about where the industry is going.

There are plans to scrap gas boilers by 2025 but there remains a lot of big questions around hydrogen and heat pumps which are to be the new way of heating our homes.

It would be really helpful if the Scottish government could involve owners like myself in some discussions so ideas could be shared about the way forward in some sort of regular round table or forum.

How do you relax?

My wife will tell you I don’t! I’m 100mph, 365 days of the year!

I enjoy spending my weekends with her and my three girls. Family time is precious for me and I try to find that balance and relax as much as I can when I’m with them.