Pacific Quay Powerboats Glasgow

Success Story 17 July 2017

Region/Nation Scotland
Sector Arts, Entertainment and Leisure
Programme Start Up Loans

Created by John Hillis, alongside his brother Merrell and marine operations manager Terence McKibben, Pacific Quay Powerboats Glasgow offers high-speed power boat trips and water-sports on the river Clyde. Having been inspired to turn his hobby into a business, the gamble has paid off for John, a former rural surveyor and town planner, as he has now attracted several investors.

The business’ primary challenges have been the covering staffing costs and, for John, juggling a full time job going on the side; but he says that hiring a good manager in his brother Terence has been an excellent investment. Aside from a Start Up Loan, the business has also received additional funding from Investors.

Looking towards future growth, John has employed a manager who is building the customer base with phase including of a new product: “Ride The Clyde”. The aim is to run fast boat trips from Plantation Quay pontoon outside the BBC Scotland HQ at Pacific Quay. Since starting in July John has managed to established Ride the Clyde and has exceeded his financial target for the month and made a profit. Many other opportunities have also come about, particularly in consultancy work.

John has not taken up any mentoring to date, but he says that working with his delivery partner has nevertheless been an invaluable source of support:

They have provided a great service. The Business Advisor helped to fine tune my business plan. I wouldn’t have been able to start the business without him. A lot more opportunities are now available that were not available prior to starting the business. My only problem is not having enough time to fit them all in, but I’m sure that as the months move on, I can employ more staff.