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Gordon Pearson

WOW Scotland Tours
Inverness, United Kingdom

WOW Scotland Tours is an independent tour company located in Inverness. Since Gordon Pearson set up the business in 2010, it has been consistently rated as one of TripAdvisor’s top tour guiding businesses in Scotland.

60-Second Interview

Who was your biggest hero when you were younger?
When I was younger my biggest hero was Warren Miller. He is a ski movie producer but also a great businessman. He has managed to combine his passion for skiing with business, allowing him to ski a lot whilst earning a living.
What initially attracted you to enterprise?
I was attracted to enterprise from an early age as I liked the idea of making something from nothing, having no rules and doing my own thing. I didn't like the job I was in when I decided to start the business I'd been thinking about for so long, so it seemed like the right time.
Can you tell us about the first £10 you ever made?
I made my first £10 when I was at school. I saw some chocolate bars on sale very cheaply in Fort William, so I bought the lot, took them to school and sold them all. The next day people were begging me for more chocolate, so I started selling sweets in school.
What has been your biggest challenge so far with your business?
We've had to overcome quite a few difficulties when setting up in business, but for me the two major challenges have been finding good staff and suppliers. Both are instrumental to the business and taking it forward.
Who is it that keeps you going through any tough times?
My wife has been involved in the business from the beginning. She initially provided a bit of motivation and feedback on ideas but now she's also in the business full time. It really helps having someone there to help you when things get tough.
What is it that gets you out of bed in the morning?
The thing that gets me out of the bed every morning is my email inbox. We have an automated booking system and it is exciting to see how many online bookings have come in overnight and how much money we've taken.
How do you define success?
For me and my guides, success is measured by customer feedback. If a customer tells you that your tour was the best they have been on during their trip, or ever, that means a lot. However, the bottom line is also important. We constantly monitor our turnover and profits.
Where do you see your business in 5 years' time?
In 5 years' time we will still be doing what we do today, hopefully doing it very well and expanding the products and services that we offer. However, I am also looking at the next really big idea that's going to set us apart from everyone else.
If you could give your 'teenage self' one piece of advice, what would it be?
If I could give my 'teenage self' a bit of advice it would probably be to ski a little bit more, but also to trust my instincts and do what my gut feeling says to do.
If you could have any one person on your business contact list, who would that person be and why?
If I could have anyone on my contact list, it wouldn't honestly be anyone famous and I probably already have them there. It's other people doing the same things as me, who I can bounce ideas off and who share the same concerns, problems and experiences as I do.