Behind the business: Ian Hepburn’s hard work story

Providing the best service possible is what drives Ian Hepburn’s business forward. Here, Ian chats the highs and lows of being self-employed.

Starting up

5 February 2019

Running a business is hard work. From keeping your customers smiling to keeping track of your finances, it takes determination to make it work and keep going.

But being your own boss comes with plenty of benefits too. And for Ian Hepburn, the owner of Dynamic Double Glazing, providing a high-quality service to his customers and scheduling his work commitments around his young son proves that his hard work is paying off.

Here, Ian reveals what he’s learned since launching his business, talks the challenges and highlights of being self-employed, and shares some of his top tips to help make being your own boss simpler.

Tell me about your working life before you started Dynamic Double Glazing?

I was fed up being treated like an idiot by bosses, seeing jobs being finished to poor standards and being unable to do anything about it. I didn’t have quality control over the finished products of the services the business offered, which was frustrating. When I worked for others, it was more about getting a job finished and on to the next customer as quickly as possible instead of providing a quality service.

I was sick of all that and wanted to make people happy with the services that I knew I was skilled at. That’s why I decided to launch Dynamic Double Glazing in 2018. Ever since launching the business, the freedom that being self-employed offers has been great. From setting up my website and social media channels to sorting out my business’s advertising, I did it all myself.

What are your goals with Dynamic Double Glazing?

I would love to be driving down a street and know that every door is mine. It would be nice to be able to help transform as many buildings as I possibly can.

Why is hard work such an important value for you and your business?

You get nothing in this life if you aren’t willing to put the work in. You get no respect, you get no money. Whatever money you get this week is because you’ve gone out and worked hard to earn it. I instil this attitude into my business. I work hard and put the hours into my business because I want it to be known for the high-quality service it provides its customers. I want to make people happy, make them smile.

I keep a hardback book with empty pages that says ‘be inspired’ on the front. I write my goals in it. I read a lot of stuff by Earl Nightingale, Jim Rohn and Napoleon Hill, who were self-help authors and philosophers. Every one of them agrees that good things come to those who are willing to put the hard work in. One of their phrases that always sticks with me is: ‘people who work hard get the wages.’ Obviously, there’s an element of doing what I do for money, but there’s more to it than that.

Ian, late 30's male, sits while using his phone. He is surrounded by tools in a home that is bare.
Ian Hepburn, Dynamic Double Glazing

How do you find being your own boss?

Being a business owner is tough, I’m not going to lie. But having the flexibility to be a dad, spend time with my son, Noah, to be an individual and look after your own business is good. I can’t deny that sometimes I don’t always get the work and family life balance correct – sometimes it’s a struggle.

You’ve got to wear so many hats when you’re running a business. In my case, I can have the salesman head on one minute, and the next my joiner skills need to be put into action, before going on to manage the financial aspects of the business at the end of a long working day. You need to be in the mindset for what each role throws at you, which can be challenging!

There’s no such thing as an average working day because every day is different. Some days I’m on jobs from 9am to 6pm, other days I’m at my computer working all day. No two days are ever the same.

What’s the thing you’re most proud of with your business?

I believe that my business has a great look, a great name and a great reputation with customers. I don’t think I can ask for anything more than that, really.

What is it that makes running your own business worthwhile?

Being able to deliver the service I couldn’t deliver in previous jobs. Being able to spend more time with my son and provide for him better than I could in my previous employment – my business lets me do that.

Being able to give customers a better service than I did when I was working for somebody else is really important to me. When working for someone else, I would go home feeling rubbish knowing that I could have done a better job. I wasn’t allowed to work to the standards I wanted to when I worked for another company. Being able to complete a job to the standard I think work should be done to – and not a standard that someone else has defined – is great.

What advice would you give to those thinking of starting their own business?

You can only make it happen if you put it into action and do it. You can’t overthink. There’s so many people in life stuck in the thinking part of things rather than the doing aspects of achieving their goals. The more you overthink, the less your ideas are likely to become a reality.

It takes your brain the same effort to make something complicated than it does to make it simple. The only mountain standing in front of you, is you. The problem is that some people could do, should do, but won’t do. Don’t let life happen, make life happen.

If you get an idea, strike while that thought is hot and the emotion is strong. And if it doesn’t work, I would say aim for the moon and you’ll get to the stars because if you try to achieve your goals and only manage to get halfway – halfway there is better than nowhere.

What do you wish that you knew when starting your business that you know now?

Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. I’ve spent half my life wishing things were easier. Life isn’t easy. Running a business isn’t easy.

If you’re going to dip your toe into something that becomes difficult, don’t wish it was easy, because then you’ll become complacent. Focus on improving your skills so that you become better.

What does success look like for your business?

I don’t want to be the biggest, I just want to be the best. When you become the biggest business, you’re not the best. Even if I just fit one door a month, I believe that Dynamic Double Glazing is the best. If your desire is to be the best and you can get halfway to that, then you’re still doing better than everybody else who doesn’t try.

Work hard, insure easy

Running a business is hard work. That’s why we’re doing all we can to make your insurance a bit easier. From helping you tailor your policy to your unique business needs, to taking the guesswork out of finding business insurance, find out what we’re doing to help small businesses.