Finalist Spotlight: NLB Climate


With decades of experience behind it, Best New Business Finalist, NLB Climate takes the collective skills of its team and provides Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Services across the North East. Nathan Binnie, Director / Engineer for the company, explains more about what drives NLB Climate and how the business is continually improving.

You’re up for Best New Business at this year’s Trades Awards. Though the company has decades of experience behind it from the people who work there, what are the lessons you’ve learned in your first year in business?

“Due to our background, being in Engineering roles since we were both apprentices, we have learned that there is a lot more to running a business than just doing the jobs. There are many things that need to be organized before you even start to carry out any manual work. Various things such as accreditations, insurances and H&S training just to name a few. We also have carry out the tasks of various roles, which the bigger companies have people employed to do. These roles include marketing (brand exposure), sales, procurement, project management and providing all relevant H&S paperwork required prior to jobs being carried out. So we have learned that it is more than just carrying out the jobs, there is a lot of clerical work in the background which we are learning day by day. But we enjoy it as we are gaining a wide variety of knowledge that we haven’t had the privilege of receiving in the past.”

What was the main driving force in setting up NLB Climate?

“The talk of starting up our own family run Air Conditioning & Refrigeration company was spoken about amongst the family for a very long time. We were both in steady well-paying jobs where we knew we would be paid at the end of every month and not have any worries. Unfortunately, Nathan suffered from a few health problems over the last few years, which brought the topic of starting our own company back up. We discussed it in greater detail and looked into it a lot more deeply this time around as after Nathan’s health problems, we decided life’s too short to say ‘what if’ and we went ahead and Incorporated NLB Climate Ltd on 28th March 2018. It was the best decision we both made. Yes it’s a lot of hard work, but we wouldn’t change a thing that we have done or look back at the decision we made.”

That’s a very inspiring story that I’m sure lots of new businesses would benefit from hearing. What would be your advice to these new businesses in the trade industry?

“Setting up your own new business is a daunting task with so many doubts and worries at the back of your mind. We know, that’s exactly how we both felt when we decided to start NLB Climate. It takes up a lot of personal time with having to work 8, 10 or 12 hour days and then having to deal with the paperwork when you get home at nights. Don’t let the doubts and worries make you second guess your choice of starting on your own. If you have the passion for your company/business then that will drive you to push your company or business to be successful. Then once you’re more established, you start to see all your hard work pay off and this gives you the sense of success, knowing that you have taken your business to that established stage.”

How would it feel to win?

“To win this award would be an incredible achievement for both of us and would mean the world to us both. With both of us coming from an ‘on the tools’ background and having little knowledge of the administrative side of business, we got selected for 1 of 3 finalists with the possibility of winning the ‘Best New Business’ award, which shows us that we are taking our company in the right direction and learning about running a business as the days go by. If we are selected as the ‘Winner’ of the ‘Best New Business’ award it will drive us to take the company further in the right direction and build a successful business.”

View our full list of finalists and book your table at the Trades Awards 2019 now.

  • Stewart Milne Group
  • AACP
  • Barratt Homes
  • Cala Homes
  • Evening Express
  • Flexistore Aberdeen
  • Glulam Solutions
  • GPH Builders Merchants
  • Life property Management
  • Nicol of Skene
  • Richard Irvin
  • Safety Scotland
  • Thorpe Molloy
  • Mearns and Gill