It was four years before a friendship between Neil Carr and Gary Bruce turned into a business partnership.
The pair have seen their firm Aberdeen Marine Surveyors reach success this year despite the global oil and gas downturn.
The company originally started in 2012 but had found it difficult to get their foot in the door and opportunity to showcase its talents.
Then finally in February this year, the pair met in a café in the heart of Europe’s oil capital to discuss the firm’s future.
Mr Carr, who previously worked for Bibby Offshore before striking out with Mr Bruce, said: “Gary and I worked for the same company in about 2008 we worked together then and have been friends ever since.
“We worked for Marex then I went off to Bibby. We set up the company in 2012 but the market then was very different when we went round doors.
“In the past year, the response to the company has been totally different.”
Both Mr Carr and Mr Bruce have had experience in rig move operations, offshore safety coaching and marine assurance surveys during their careers in the sector.
Their company provides a number of services including ship to ship transfers, tank cleaning supervision and on and off hire surveys.
Mr Carr said the downturn had presented a “massive opportunity” for those willing to “look outside” how things have been done previously in the industry.
When the costs had been more than $100 per barrel, the pair had found companies less willing to look at the cost-saving opportunities the firm was able to offer.
The 32-year-old said launching the company has been like “running a marathon” with the first step “always being the hardest.”
His advice for others looking to create their own businesses is to focus on what you can offer.
He said: “It’s about keeping it simple and going back to the basics. Look at what you want to do and what you have to offer and where your expertise lies.”
The firm has already had a number of successes doing work with an array of operators and just recently achieved supplier status as well as working for five or six clients.
“We see a projected growth and are hoping within the next year to take on a few staff.
“Hopefully we can just continue on with what we’re already doing.
“We have got a very simple business model. We’re not in this to make millions and drive fancy cars we just want to be in charge of our own destiny with regard to our work.”
This series is in association with Elevator – Scotland’s social enterprise dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship, enterprise and employability – works across Grampian and Tayside to help facilitate the start-up and growth of new and existing businesses.
Delivering Business Gateway, Elevator currently engages with 2,500 start-up businesses and assists around 1,000 organisations to grow annually with advice and support. It aims to help an additional 200 start-ups a year through initiatives such as its hugely successful Accelerator Programme, which aims to fast-track businesses to the next level. Find out more here.
Recommended for you
Read the latest opinion pieces from our Energy Voice columnists
- Opinion: Service sector could do with a ‘long-term champion’ at government level
- Opinion: It’s time to get excited about the North Sea again
- Opinion: Expanding into new sectors – diversifying to survive the oil and gas downturn
- Don’t get used to the amazing cuts in OPEC oil production
- Oil company injects ‘Frankenstein Bug’ into Earth’s core