If you’re going to pivot in business, make sure it doesn’t impact your entire company and end up costing more jobs. That’s the advice of Scotland’s top entrepreneurs in a response to a caller to ‘The Board You Can’t Afford’ on their Go Radio Business Show with Hunter & Haughey.

The anonymous caller, who has a small housebuilding company with a core team of 15, as well as subcontractors, explained a cooling down in the sector meant his organisation was now struggling.

Sir Tom Hunter said: “Traditionally, you might have to cut your workers but that’s weighing heavily on him. He’s actually thinking about pivoting and trying to keep the team together.”

His co-host Lord Willie Haughey commented: “I’ve been in this position before many years ago when I had a small building company. Unfortunately, in the building industry, you have these peaks and troughs. 

“It’s hard. But it’s really good he’s thinking about his team. I’d ask how much you’re taking yourself. If you can give up a bit to try to carry the guys, that would be the first place I would look.

“But the best advice I would give is to be aware that sometimes you need to make tough decisions that mean, even if you’re losing two jobs, you might be protecting 13.

“So make sure whatever way you’re going to pivot, it’s not going to be to the detriment of your whole business and maybe cost more jobs.” 

Sir Tom agreed, adding: “If you have this great workforce, as the leader of the business you feel a paternal instinct to take care of them. So maybe there are other things they could be doing, because there is a skills shortage. Maybe they’ve got to turn their hand to something else to keep the business going – and keep the team together. 

“Sometimes, however, there are tough decisions . . . and, if a couple of people need to go to save 13, that makes sense.”