Last year’s Scottish Bar and Pub Awards winners reflect

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Ahead of the Scottish Bar & Pub Awards 2020, which takes place on November 10th, we caught up with some of last year’s winers to find out what winning has done for their business and what it has meant for them personally.

Lauren Clegg and Calum Runciman won the 2019 Buzzworks and Flow Emerging Entrepreneur Award in recognition of their business acumen and professionalism. They opened two Dundee bar businesses, The White Goose and The Giddy Goose, in as many years while remaining debt-free. Part of this award involved a year of business mentoring from Buzzworks’ Colin Blair and Montpeliers’ David Wither. This is what Lauren had to say. 

“We got a lot of brilliant business advice from both David and Colin that we couldn’t have got anywhere else and the benefit of their wisdom was especially invaluable throughout the COVID-19. 

We were business-led before we won this award but thanks to this mentorship we are now even more business-savvy and David and Colin have been so transparent with their advice – even about the mistakes they made along the way so that we don’t make the same ones and this has been a very humbling experience for us because they too are humble. 

They also put us in touch with brand reps and we have been able to network with other people in the trade too. Right from the word go they taught us about the importance of being part of a business community and sharing things with neighbouring hospitality businesses and competitors because it benefits everybody. Transparency is always better than secrecy, and I think the pandemic has taught a lot of businesses that this is a way better way to operate rather than holding all our cards so close to our chest. 

One of the most important skills we have learned from this mentorship is how to maximise what we’ve got and push it one step further, much of which we have applied to our long-term expansionplans,withourultimategoalbeing nine Giddy Geese in Scottish towns. Colin and David gave us some strong advice on building the brand and helped us identify towns rather than cities as potentially being the best markets for our businesses. 

My advice for the next winners of this award would be not to be afraid to ask and to utilise the mentors’ wisdom and that of their teams too of course. We were a bit hesitant to ask questions at first, but they are both very humble and genuinely eager to help grow the mentee’s business.” 

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