Brian Scott and Nick Scott of Ipswich Skylights.
Brian Scott and Nick Scott of Ipswich Skylights. David Nielsen

Dad’s hard yakka days done as son takes over

A FAMILY business is challenging but can also be a very positive arrangement as the younger generation takes on more responsibility.

What was commonplace only a couple of decades ago is now becoming increasingly rare.

Ipswich Skylights is one of those small businesses that has reached a milestone as the son takes over the business from his father.

Brian and Nicholas Scott have worked together over a number of years.

For Nicholas it is second nature, as he grew up watching and learning from his father as a young man.

"I re-roofed our house when I was about 15, it is in my blood," he said.

Nicholas Scott worked as a labourer but decided to formalise his qualification, attending TAFE to become a qualified roof plumber.

"It also means that I can now take on an apprentice and I have the formal qualification for the business," he said.

The official handover of the business took place on July 1 this year, but it has been a transitional process.

It's a big step for Brian, who started the business 28 years ago, but he will continue to provide support to his son.

"I started out with my wife and child and he is now ready to take over control of the business," Brian said.

The more experienced of the Scotts had 20 years in the RAAF working as a jet mechanic and went on to be a qualified roof plumber.

"I joined the air force when I was 15 and over the years I have seen and learned a lot," he said.

"In the early days of Ipswich Skylights Brian developed a lot of his own designs.

"Dad can make something out of nothing; he has a real eye for how to apply something into a particular situation," Nicholas said.

"We started out with a clear top and bottom with an open shaft - today we have a range of products that feature the latest in technology.

"We have a great range of LED solutions that give light into dark parts of the house.

"Two storey homes could not have the old technology, now the LED can work off one solar panel and light up to seven rooms.

"You can even switch them off if need be - so flexible."

Nicholas knows the business inside out but admits that it is a bit "scary" to have the full responsibility.

"At the same time I am excited, after all they are big shoes to fill, both in terms of Dad's experience and what he has builtand also his involvement in the community," he said.

"He has a young team coming into the business as a new generation.

"My partner Kylie Muhling is my personal assistant and great support in the business.

"It is gratifying to see that the family business continues with family members, not just in name only.

"Everyone we employ is from Ipswich and that is important to us. I will be keeping myself busy as I will be standing in Division Five for the Ipswich City Council."

Ipswich Skylights will be moving into a new phase for 2016, with a brand new showroom at the 65 Pine Mountain Road location.

"People need to see the products and they need more than just a brochure," Nicholas said.

"Our main focus is on skylights and insulations along with fireplaces. In fact we are still installing fireplace even now. We will have an extensive range of skylights from traditional to LED to also see in action."

The business has a big range of products and accessories.