Bright spark Gary's a start-up success

EACH week the Evening Times will throw the spotlight on one of the dozens of new businesses determined to succeed.

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Gary Maitles of The Service Directory
Gary Maitles of The Service Directory

They are the future for Glasgow and the West of Scotland's economy and are working hard to achieve success in the face of continuing economic hardship.

Many start-up businesses are struggling to take off due to the economic downturn and this column will offer advice for potential start-ups.

Each start-up will answer the same questions about their business with their answers showcased here each Wednesday.

This week, Gary Maitles, right, tells how he set up The Services Directory.

Who are you?

Gary Maitles: 25-years-old from Glasgow, enthusiastic, hard-working and positive individual.

I excel when challenged and am currently focused on developing my own business.

What does your business do?

The Service Directory (TSD) is the UK's first and only 'one stop portal' for products and services specifically aimed at the care sector with the sole aim of 'giving people time to care'.

Our 24-hour service guarantees to increase financial and general efficiency.

Where are you based?

At Entrepreneurial Spark's Glasgow Hatchery. One reason is the reduced overheads for the firm while here but the main reason is the discipline and focus that is instilled by working with mentors, enablers and entrepreneurs alike.

How did you get started?

In my previous job I worked with care homes and became increasingly aware of the trouble and time it was taking the care homes to gain the access to services they required.

I began to develop TSD while working for my previous employer with initial planning completed at home in the evenings.

In March I left my job and converted my parents' garage into an office.

What is your background?

1st Class Honours degree in Business Studies with Marketing from Napier University in 2008. I then spent the following 4-years working in the care sector.

What is your top tip?

Do not be a busy fool. Starting you own business is incredibly stressful and so you need to be smart with your time.

Prioritise your work and ensure time is being spent on the projects that need worked on. Give yourself some 'me' time.

How long has your business been running?

Since June 2012.

Has anyone helped you get started and how?

I received a small grant through Glasgow City Council, office space and mentoring from Entrepreneurial Spark has been a huge support but the biggest support has been from family during what is a stressful time.

What was your first deal?

A small group of care homes in Helensburgh signing up.

That deal proved that the care sector see the benefits in what we are trying to create and will pay for it.

What was your biggest mistake/or what would you do differently?

I would definitely try to listen to other people's ideas more often and not be so defensive about the concept I am trying to create. It is important to use the feedback to develop act, learn, build and repeat.

Who was/is your mentor/or inspiration?

I was at an event recently and heard Fraser Doherty the founder of Superjam speak. It was inspiring to hear someone of a similar age talk about his experiences, problems and successes while not driven by the personal financial gains.

Where do plan your business to be in five years?

Over the next 12 months we want to develop our services across the whole of Scotland before expanding the model nationwide.

In five years time we plan to be offering a national service with the potential to develop outside of the UK and expand into corporate and hospitality markets.

Useful Contacts:

Gary Maitles

0800 056 54 51

gary@ theservicedirectory.co.uk

www.theservicedirectory.co.uk

Business

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