THE thought of working with their spouse would fill many people with anxiety.

For Lyndsey and James Brannan, however, joining forces at work was a shrewd business decision that has helped their company go from strength to strength.

JBB Groundcare takes on a wide variety of tasks, from commercial landscaping, ground maintenance, snow clearing and gritting, to civil works such as tarring and fence repairs.

Sub-contracting has allowed the Cumbernauld-based firm to expand and attract bigger clients than ever before.

“I think our skillsets are very balanced,” says Mrs Brannan, 29. “We’ve been together seven years and we know each other really well, which makes it easier to work together.

“James is the driving force, the one always pushing forward, I’m the one who does the reality check - sometimes I have to reign him in a bit. But we’re a great team. My strengths are his weaknesses and vice versa.”

Mr Brannan, 31, agrees that the range of skills they bring is key to success of the business.

“I love working with Lyndsey,” he says. “One of the reasons we’ve able to expand so well is that when I meet potential clients I can call Lyndsey and very quickly confirm a price, and we move forward. Lyndsey is a fantastic administrator and has an excellent head for figures.

“You need both sides to run a successful business – the front facing capacity to win clients and the behind-the-scenes ability and procedures to make sure you deliver for them.”

Over the next five to 10 years the couple hope to grow the sub-contracting and commercial property side of the company, with an eye on selling up at some point.

“The last couple of years have been pretty successful for us,” adds Mrs Brannan, who worked as a pharmacist before joining the business. “Having big commercial clients has made the difference and given us the opportunity to diversify. Turnover isn’t everything – profit margins are what really matter.”

As well as seeing eye to eye on the future direction of the company, the young couple from Kilsyth also agree on what they enjoy most about running a business for themselves: freedom.

“The freedom to give yourself time is the thing I relish,” explains Mr Brannan. "We’ve grown over the last year but I don’t feel we’ve had to work stupid hours to sustain it, though, of course, sometimes you have to work very hard to deliver for customers.

“We’re members of a church in Cumbernauld and having time to put into that is very important to both of us.”

Mr Brannan, who trained as greenkeeper after leaving school, says falling into debt when he was younger taught him some valuable life lessons that have served him well since.

“Looking back, it was one of the best things that happened to me,” he says. “I’m much wiser and value money a lot more now. It also made us more savvy in the way we buy our assets. We don’t take on unnecessary debt.”

The couple bank with RBS and are members of the bank’s accelerator scheme for entrepreneurs, which has brought a range of benefits.

“I’ve attended some really useful sessions since we joined the programme, covering key things like making sure you have the right mindset for growth and networking," says Mrs Brannan. "It's been good opportunity to reassess things you take for granted."

As for the advice he’d offer others thinking of setting up a business, Mr Brannan says it’s best to take things slow.

“Do your research and don’t just jump in,” he says. “Ultimately, creating a business from scratch is a leap of faith, but it’s important to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into and have all the right accreditations and insurances in place.

“Make sure you have capital behind you, too - and don’t live beyond your means.”