Starting any business is never easy, especially when you are in your early 20’s and the economy is amidst a financial recession , but 10 years ago that didn’t stop the especially impressive achievements of husband and wife business partners, Garry and Tanya Russell owners of GTR Contracts Ltd.
The company is continuing to thrive after 10 successful years in business and recently marked the occasion by holding a celebration at Easterbrook Hall as way of thanks to employees, clients, suppliers, family and friends for their continued support. The evening was a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by all. The young couple pushed the boat out with various entertainment including a synchronised aerial acrobatic performance as the opening act – making it a night to remember for everyone.
From a young age even when attending his local school Maxwelltown High, Garry from Dumfries has always been hard working and full of ambition; becoming self-employed at the age of 18 from working on farms, milking cows, driving tractors for local contractors to operating a grader for the Forestry Commission. During this time he built lasting relationships with clients and enhanced his work portfolio. It was in August 2006 aged 25 and having just returned from honeymoon, that Garry confirmed that he wanted to set-up his own company
On leaving Dalbeattie High school, Tanya completed a degree in Business Information Technology and Management at The University of South West Scotland and was working as an Office Manager. With the support of Tanya, the pair started GTR Contracts Ltd in October 2006. The following April, they tendered for a road grading contract and were delighted when they secured a year’s work – This gave them clear vision for their new business venture. With Garry’s reputation on the grader and word of mouth recommendation from clients, the business quickly expanded and clients were requesting work involving other machinery, which enabled the couple to ex.pand into various other sectors.
In March 2014, the business was named Outstanding Performing Business with more than 25 employees at the Dumfries and Galloway Business Awards. The judges described the company as ‘demonstrating exceptional passion in identifying and growing its markets and customer base’
Garry told DGWGO “We didn’t think for one minute that we would win an award but were delighted to receive recognition for our hard work as the business is a way of life for us and our young family” .
Starting out in October 2006 with a hired grader, tractor and roller and no financial help, the couple worked hard to secure work, create lasting relationships with clients and maintain cash flow to enable them to expand and grow. 10 years later, having experienced substantial growth, GTR Contracts Ltd is now a multi-million pound business with 650 clients, employing 90 local people and has a fleet of 150 + machines. Based on the outskirts of Dumfries and operating from a 26 acre site at Terraughtie Farm, with an office of 7 staff, they offer various teams of professional and experienced individuals across various industry sectors:
. Civil Engineering
. Road Grading
. Agricultural Services
. Plant and Machinery Hire
. Plant and Machinery Haulage
. Concrete and Groundworks
. Onsite Maintenance and Repairs
. Winter Maintenance
“I was brought up on a farm and always wanted to be in the farming industry whilst having ambition to work for myself,” said Garry, who looks after the day to day running of the company while Tanya manages the office including the financial management, human resources and health and safety for the company. “Our skills and expertise lie in very different areas and complement each other nicely which makes us a good team.” adds Garry.
Tanya said “I was understandably cautious when starting out in business at the time of a financial recession, however I was confident in Garry’s ability and with my strict approach with cash management, I was confident that with our dedication and hard work that we could make the business a success“.
The Dumfries based family run company supports the local community by offering employment, working on local projects, using local suppliers and through various sponsorships and supporting worthy charities. ‘We are main shirt sponsor for Dumfries Saints First Team for the second year running and also offer support to other local clubs/events such as the Beltie Beer Festival and donate to charities such as Cash for Kids and RSABI’. Adds Tanya.
With two young kids, Harvey 7 and Maisie 2, the young family see GTR as a way of life and not just a job. They involve their two children as much as possible in the day to day activities of the business especially as their house and business are located together on the family farm. Their passion and commitment is much admired by clients: one of which stated ‘I have worked with GTR Contracts for 6 years and I have always been provided with a professional service with an expert finish. The attitude from the staff is always very friendly and positive. I would recommend GTR Contracts to any of my colleagues, associates and friends’.
The combination of Garry’s practicality and Tanya’s business expertise has proved to be the magic formula of the company’s success.