In Your Shoes - Liam Duncan

Where to begin? The start I suppose would be great! I've always had a great work ethic instilled in me by my wonderful mother, beginning employment as a paper boy back in the day! 

I've had various jobs over the years, covering multiple sectors, but all of them have been customer related and I strive to provide an experience that sees my customers with a smile on their face. Which is one of the many qualities aligining with my employers. 

Joining the Astute Group in August of last year has been a great move in my career and one that utilises my skillset and experience. Having worked in the signage industry in both Aberdeen and the Central Belt, I have worked on great projects with some of the biggest Tier 1 contractors across the UK.

I moved to Angus a few years ago and my hope is to build up my network in Dundee and Angus to help raise the profile of Astute and meet as many new wonderful people as I can.


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The start of a new week is always great fun. The chance to discuss weekend endeavours and normally for me, any major refereeing decisions that may have happened at a match.

But back to business and Mondays are often a day I have a networking event or group to attend.

Networking is not only enjoyable, but I feel a critical part of my role in being able to build strong relationships and understanding of my connections so that I can hopefully help to pass business or connect people together. I also really enjoy meeting people and finding out about their businesses as well as listening to how others pitch themselves to a room.

With a lot of my network in Aberdeen, I often head up there on Monday morning and split my day between networking and appointments. As it happened, all three of my appointments cancelled, but it allowed me to catch up with emails and I ended up bumping into a few familiar faces. A good opportunity to hand out a business card and arrange a catch-up.


Admin Tasks Await.

Normally I manage to get a day or two in the office to get caught up with my emails. It’s great to be able to sit down and get cracking with these after being out and about, as it feels that time can quickly run away from me when I’m not in the office or anywhere with free Wi-Fi.

I know some people like the hybrid or working from home models, but I enjoy being in the office and being able to speak to my colleagues. It’s sometimes easier to have a quick chat in person than wait on an email response or call back.


One, two, a one, two, three, four

On the road again

Just can't wait to get on the road again

The life I love is business with my network…

…okay, so I changed the lyrics slightly, but it’s catchy right? (points to anyone who knows the song without using a search engine)

Most weeks I am on the road for at least a couple of days, normally in Aberdeen or Dundee, visiting prospective clients, existing clients and following up with people I have met at the many attended networking events and business shows.

Today seen me head to Perth and Edinburgh though, for a couple of great 1-1s before heading back up through the Kingdom of Fife as I visited some suppliers.

I don’t mind driving thankfully, but it does take up time from catching up on emails and Linked In. It would be great if AI is shortly able to provide a fully integrated mobile PA that can operate fully on my voice commands. Hey, it may even exist and I don’t know it yet.


Supplier, survey, supplier.

With the number of services and products we offer, it is no wonder that suppliers are keen to offer their products to us, or that we have to use multiple suppliers depending on the client’s specific requirements.

Today I met with suppliers from the signage industry, one new contact and one established. It was great to see what they stock and what potential could be on offer, as well as finding out more about them and building a relationship up. One of them even loved our office so much they said they’d love to work at Astute.

In between the meetings, I had a survey with an established firm who have many offices throughout Scotland, to measure and take pictures of the local office with an aim to provide new internal graphics and signage.

The last 5 years of my career have been in the signage industry and it’s one I love! No job is ever the same and the variation in possibilities are almost endless. Some jobs are straightforward, others more technical. But when a job is done and you have seen it through from a blank page to the finished article, it’s a wonderful feeling. And yes, I do that thing where I point out signs or buildings I have worked on.


Another week almost done, another survey, this time in the blistering cold weather! Followed by another last-minute survey, which was not too long outside thankfully. The upside, I did get my lunch for free!

Then back to the office to try and catch up with everything before the weekend.

Although it’s still only January, I can’t believe how quick it’s settled back into the flow of work, and it will not be long before it’s Christmas again!

As you can see, a week in my role is never quite and thankfully, never the same. I am not one for monotonous things, in work or out of it.

Once finished, it’s home to get my tea, make sure my kit bag is ready and an early night before my match on Saturday.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog, it’s the first time I’ve ever written one.

If you would like to know more about Astute or myself, please get in touch, I’d certainly love to hear more about you and your business.