We want to highlight the fantastic array of small businesses we have on our doorsteps. In this feature we ask an FSB member some key questions about their business journey and involvement with FSB. This week we hear the story of Caroline and Thomas Laurenson from Aberdeenshire based TL Tech Smart Home Solutions.
If you have a story to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]
How and why did you start in business?
I set up TL Tech Smart Home Solutions with my husband Thomas in August 2016. The business idea came from Thomas’ hobbies and background as an Electronic and Electrical engineer. Initially we saw our business as being the “plumbers” of the smart home world, no different to any other home trade. However, we quickly realised how transformational these technologies can be and that’s when I became more involved in the business development. Smart homes and technology are a big passion of ours and we love helping people go from technophobes to technophiles.
How did you get to where you are today?
I have a rather unusual background, going from working fulltime as a Chemical Engineer in the corporate world of oil and gas to now running a tech business that is very much consumer focussed. But while I say this is unusual, I’m seeing more and more people working in multifaceted areas developing really diverse skill sets, where their day job is one thing and, in the evenings and weekends, they might do something more creative or related to their hobbies- like baking or cooking or even things like coaching sports to kids.
What's the best thing about working for yourself?
It has to be the flexibility. With two school age children, it means I can be home for them to take them to school and do pick-up. Before starting the business, the kids spent a lot of time in breakfast and afterschool clubs.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
The absolute key thing is focusing on building your network and personal brand, so that you are the go-to person in your particular area. FSB events are great for networking.
Have you used any of your FSB benefits/How has your membership helped you?
I remember the first meeting with Jim Aitken (Membership Advisor) to discuss the membership feeling blown away by the value for money of the benefits package. The tax advice and investigation support are worth the membership fees alone. Our company insurance policies are due for renewal soon. I’ll definitely be taking advantage of the insurance quote service!
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