Meet the MD: Lachlan McInnes of McInnes Plumbing and Heating

Meet the MD: Lachlan McInnes of McInnes Plumbing and Heating

As MD of McInnes Plumbing and Heating, Lachlan McInnes is no longer picking up his tools as he finds himself in charge of looking after the whole business. BQ caught up with him to see how he has managed the transition.

What is it the company does?

McInnes Plumbing and Heating Ltd & McInnes Renewables Ltd, is the number one choice for Renewable Energy solutions throughout Scotland.

Experienced in plumbing services, bathroom renovations, heating installations and renewable energy systems our team of highly skilled, locally based engineers, can advise on all aspects of installation.  


Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

When I was 24, I achieved my gas safe certificate, but I still had another 12 months to go before achieving my full SVQ to be a fully qualified plumber and gas engineer. At that point I was made redundant. I decided then and there that I didn’t want anyone else paying my wages and I launched my own business, with the help of my dad, who purchased my first van for me. In a years time the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers Federation assessed me and I achieved my SVQ. I’ve never looked back.


What do you believe makes a great leader?

Organisation, drive and foresight. I believe you have to earn respect from your employees and lead by example. Also, keeping the lines of communication open and in this business, ensuring the work we do is varied and interesting to not only broaden skills, but to keep the team interested.


What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

A few years back, a major client didn’t pay us for the work we completed. I lost a lot of sleep over it, and spent about half of the company’s value trying to get it back. It cost the company about £45,000 and me endless stress. It was a tough lesson for me – but I’ve been a better businessman ever since. It taught me about better cash flow and management and I would never make the same mistake again.


How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

I listen to music, and I go to the gym a lot. It’s good to just completely take your mind off the job sometimes.


When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a digger driver!


Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?

I have a few! Lateness is probably my top pet hate. But I have to be honest, my team works really hard and it’s not been an issue in a long time. 


Where do you see the company in five years time?

In five years time I would like to see the company experience significant growth. I would like our headquarters to remain in Inverness, but I intend to have offices in the central belt and in England too. I’m only 29 – so by the time I’m 35 I would like to see turnover increase to £10m.


What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

Quite simple, put the hours in and focus. Anything is possible, but you have to be willing to give it your all.