In Your Shoes - Fiona McLellan

Fiona McLellan is a Contracts Manager at leading business support organisation Elevator, where she heads-up the Business Gateway Tayside service. 

Fiona and the team of advisers help people to start or grow their business across Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross.  

A passionate advocate for local business, Fiona’s background includes stints in sales and marketing director roles as well as previously running her own business within the shipping sector. 

To access Business Gateway Tayside’s free support, get in touch with the team via the details below: 

Phone – 01382 843 082 

Monday Commute

Well, that’s a word that hasn’t been used much recently! 

Although not technically a commute, I spent my Monday travelling 547 miles back to Scotland after a busy weekend attending the wedding and three christenings of my best friend’s daughter and her young children. Like me, her number two baby turned out to be twins! 

The sun shone and the bride was so happy to have all her loved ones together at long last – it was lovely to catch up. The babies were delighted to be made a fuss of by so many brightly dressed people all wanting a cuddle and it was worth every arduous delay and roadwork to join such a special family celebration. I really wouldn’t recommend it as a commute every weekend, though. 

And of course the dog was delighted to see us home again. 

Smart Collaboration Tuesday

Catch-up time after my annual leave: rattled through countless emails and read up on the numerous reports waiting for me. There’s some really exciting news coming out soon with Elevator – watch this space! 

I had a great meeting with the lovely ladies at Growbiz, Jackie Brierton and Merle Palmer, to explore ways of working together more to reach and support as many businesses as possible in rural communities across Tayside. 

Then it was time for a team brainstorm to explore ideas for workshops aimed at charities and trusts and reaching out to businesses that aren’t aware of the free raft of support we can give to them. 

After a quick lunch in the garden for a vitamin D boost, I had a fantastic meeting with Smart Masoni – one of our Expert Help consultants. This man is an export legend! There is nothing he doesn’t know about selling and exporting your products overseas. I’m very much looking forward to working with him to give expert help to our Tayside businesses looking to navigate the maze of exporting and avoiding the pitfalls. 

Whirlwind Wednesday

A day of planning in between some of my regular catch-ups.

It was great as always to chat with Mandy McKenzie at Dundee City Council, and I’m so looking forward to the day when we can meet up at long last in person over a real coffee. 
Then it was on to a terrific discussion with our team leaders on staffing, targets, new workshops and events coming up. It’s all moving along really well – I am so lucky to have such an amazing team. 

I had a long catch-up with Roz, our Operations Director at Elevator – these conversations always result in at least ten more things to add to my to-do list, but all really exciting, innovative stuff. I’m looking forward to joining the Michelin Steering Group soon and hearing all about their plans which seem to be rocketing forward in Dundee. 
After I finished up for the day, it was off to B & Q to buy some canes for the sweet peas before they collapse. I know how they feel at times, but wouldn’t change it for all the world! 

Blue Sky Thursday

A day of compiling reports, checking figures and more meetings, but you can’t beat the view of the water from my window on a day like this. It makes working at home a little bit more bearable and sometimes does inspire creative thoughts… Although it can be quite distracting in the middle of a meeting when a boat comes up the Tay! 

I had a great catch up with Cat Ward who runs our Elevator Accelerators in Dundee. Whilst running them virtually has been very different to having a whole load of people in a room, the exciting thing is she has people from all over Scotland and further afield joining up who aren’t committed to being located within travelling distance. I dearly wish when I was running a business something like this existed to fire me up and get me thinking outside the box.  

 I finish up my evening with a visit to the beach with the dog. 

Accomplished Friday

I spent the day in the office to take delivery of all our Covid-safe equipment and read through important paperwork to ensure we’ll return slowly and safely to the office.  

I moved on to planning our quarterly team and directors’ meeting, before catching up with Esther Doig from Dundee and Angus college to discuss taking on an apprentice in the autumn. 

An interesting report on start-ups in the UK was put on my radar this week – Scotland has 14.3% more start-ups than the previous year...we’re a truly entrepreneurial lot. England had 3.3% more, and Wales -6.2 % less. Dare I mention they did slightly better than us at the football though? 

I finished a busy week in the best possible way with a meet-up with former colleagues from the Employability team at Dundee City Council at the Wine Press. Great food, wonderful wine, fantastic company and lots of laughter.  

What more could you ask for to end the week?