The blinds of the future
A father and son team have joined together to beat a gap in the market and create their own company.
25-year-old Daniel Dawson and his father Keith, 54, are partners together in Balmoral Blind Cleaning. Having started the company in the last year, the duo are passionately growing it as they believe there is huge potential in the idea.
Daniel said: “I was paid off working in oil and gas because of the downturn and was left hung out to dry.
“I stumbled across a job in sales for blinds and gained experience in the industry through that job.
“But I prefer being my own boss. We found out through sales that cleaning blinds wasn’t something that was being done.”
Originally, Daniel went solo on the venture to be in charge of his own work, but his father Keith soon followed after he was also paid off, only a year-and-a-half after Daniel.
“There were many hurdles initially,” said Daniel.
“We only had information from cleaning our own blinds so we had to do research and brainstorming.
“We have a friend who is a businessman who gave us their opinion and said they thought it was a great idea. Plenty of people have been wanting it.”
The initial start up phase was the slowest part and Daniel was chomping at the bit to get going in the exciting venture, but family tragedy called a halt in the business planning. Sadly, Daniel’s sister and nephew died in a tragic accident on Aberdeen beach in the summer of 2016, throwing the family into a deep grieving period.
“I was not able to focus on the business,” said Daniel, who is throwing himself into the future.
“We operate currently in Aberdeen but my initial business plan is to expand out, up to Inverness and down to Edinburgh.”
Even though he has exciting plans for expansion, Daniel always keeps in mind his ethics and ensures the products they use at Balmoral Blind Cleaning are eco-friendly and not harmful to the environment.
Using ultrasonic cleaning equipment and other techniques, Daniel and Keith remove the harmful bacteria that you can’t see, and fix the dirt that you can.
Catering to hotels, restaurants, domestic households, offices and other services, the family run business can clean a range of different types of blinds, taking them away dirty and returning them sparkling.
“Our processes don’t use up too much power,” said Daniel, describing more of the eco-friendly nature of the business.
“We mainly deal with small to average size buildings, with about five windows. But we would like to build up to having a commercial customer base when it is something we are capable of.
“When I was in the blind company in sales the boss was constantly pushing for sales, but that wasn’t what Aberdeen wanted. People would rather clean their blinds than replace them, especially the older generation.”
The family business, in which Daniel’s girlfriend also helps with part-time, places huge importance in helping people and being a part of the community.
“We are taking part in the 500 Faces Cash for Kids Campaign with Northsound,” said Daniel.
“The charity work is amazing and helped us.
“We are such a people-orientated business that charity work is important. Going to events will also help to raise the profile of the business.”
Even though leaving oil and gas turned out to be a positive for Daniel, he is still able to use some of the skills he learnt in the industry.
“Experience as a safety officer means I have a good understanding of chemicals and working with them,” he said.
“But I also have a work ethic and will not stop.”