Friends Richard Cumming and Linda Littlewood set up Sirology following in their fathers’ footsteps of working in retail. Here, they share with us the story behind their business.
Why choose to go into business for yourself and when did you start your current business? Linda and I became friends through a chance meeting as I sold Linda’s house for her when I worked as an estate agent. We hit it off instantly and have many things in common. Both our fathers were shopkeepers and we have such fond memories of those days that we always talked about opening a business one day and carrying on family traditions of old fashioned, individual customer service. Earlier this year we decided to go for it and so we launched Sirology.
Why did you choose your current business? We felt there was a gap in the market in Moray. We wanted to create a place that men who like to take care of themselves would feel comfortable visiting. Men nowadays are as groomed as women and we wanted to provide a relaxed, friendly environment both in-store and online for men to buy their grooming products.
Who has helped you get started and develop your business? Craig Robertson from Business Gateway in Moray was a great help and his positive attitude really helped reaffirm our vision. He did challenge us in our ideas so we would look at all aspects of running a business and gave us important support and guidance so we were always on the right track.
What achievement are you most proud of? That our joint clear vision became a reality while sticking to our budget and timescale. This was not an easy achievement but we did it and that’s something that we’ll always be proud of.
What was your biggest mistake? Not taking this step sooner. We’ve talked about it for years and we are getting such pleasure out of it.
What is the biggest challenge facing your business? Being based in an IV postcode restricts us somewhat for supply and timing but we hope this will improve not just for us but all businesses in the area so we can offer the absolute best to our customers.
What would help your business? Developing connections with other businesses in order to boost Elgin as a retail destination for all. We are fortunate with having Embrace Elgin and great support from some neighbouring businesses and we would hope that this continues and grows in 2017.
What do you still want to achieve for your business? We never shy away from a challenge and hope over time more and more people come and visit us. Eventually we also hope to employ staff as we grow.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a business in Moray? Go for it. We live in an amazing part of the world where we get a lot of opportunity to show off what Moray has to offer. Plus any business in the area can add to this experience with the help of organisations such as Business Gateway. The help and advice you receive makes a big difference.
Find out how Business Gateway Moray can help your business by visiting their local page or calling 01343 508 838.
Outwith this area? Find your local Business Gateway office or call 0300 013 4753.
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