The Herald SME Feature

Last week, Annandale Design’s Graeme Frew featured in The Herald’s weekly SME Focus article, discussing all areas of his professional career at Annandale, the business itself and why the current tough times in the North Sea have created new and exciting opportunities to win work in the industry.


Here, we have picked out some key questions and answers highlighted in the feature.

What was your biggest break?

The business has had a lot of progressive opportunities or breaks that have allowed it to develop, grow and diversify over the years. We never wanted to sit still so we always took advantage of any opportunity that came our way.

What do you most enjoy about running the business?

Working with the people we employ. I also thrive on the daily challenges - most days I probably wear a dozen different hats covering all aspects of the business. I take great satisfaction from delivering solutions.

What are your ambitions for the firm?

To maintain, develop and grow from the solid base that we have. We have recently re-launched a new marketing strategy and website to enhance this growth pattern in all sectors, but I have a burning desire to succeed in expanding our services to the oil and gas and energy sectors.

Oil and gas is a fascinating and lucrative industry for Annandale Design in terms of margin and relevance to our product and service offering. Although the current fall in the oil price has placed the industry in real jeopardy, we see the situation as a real opportunity and not a negative. Due to the current climate, the big players in oil and gas are now looking elsewhere and Annandale Design are primed and ready. We have a number of exciting opportunities in the pipeline at the moment, with myself and other members of the Annandale staff travelling up to Aberdeen regularly to meet with potential new customers.

What are your top priorities?

We have a duty and obligation to our father to maintain and grow the Annandale Design brand for the future; to maintain a safe, healthy and committed workforce; to expand our services and grow our business but maintain the level of service we provide to our existing customers; to continue to enjoy the business and make the workplace a happy one; to perfect the unachievable balance of work and social life.

What was the most valuable lesson that you learned?

You never stop learning. I have learned many lessons throughout my years, however I would suggest honesty, tolerance, patience and perseverance are the main attributes. Stopping for reflection on situations, not only in work but in general to assess how situations could have been avoided or addressed differently, is one of the best pieces of advice I can give.

To read the full article, please click here;