Monday, 30 January 2017

Jack of all Trades - Andy Edgar's Journey with A1 Coaches

I’ve always worked as a joiner, having worked for big companies, I’ve been never out of work. My long term collaboration with A1 Coaches started by coincidence:  My brother asked me whether I could check out some repairs needing done at his boss’ kitchen.  At that time, I had been self employed carrying out assignments for a big kitchen fitting company, and I was enjoying some time off, so I just cut short my holiday to see my brother’s boss about these repairs. 

It turned out there were not repairs to be done, rather the upgrading a kitchen.
I immediately felt at ease when talking to my brother’s boss, Colleen. I thought my brother was lucky to have such a nice and young person as a boss, and it soon became apparent that it was awfy easy to work with her when I had to explain the difficult parts of the job and why there would be bits and pieces that had to be changed; she fully trusted my assessment and gave the green light to start the works.

Fitting/upgrading a kitchen is a very straight forward thing, although there’s always the troublesome hidden old pipe or faulty wiring that can hold back the schedule.  Here, however, I never felt any pressure to “hasten up things”, but was encouraged to take the necessary time to achieve the desired results. 

As the works progressed, Colleen seemed satisfied with the results and in the most casual manner we were already talking about future jobs she would like me to have a look at.
Looking back, I was very lucky to have met Colleen as a customer: I easily transitioned from being the-man-in-the-van all over the place from Kilmarnock to Aberdeen, hastily fitting kitchens on schedule, to having a “local customer” who would trust me all kinds of fitting jobs and above all, would allow me to work favouring the quality of the results rather than how long would I take.

And there I was, I was getting jobs locally, no crazy mileages on the van to fit some faraway kitchen, and enjoying a better quality of life, so it landed on me that I could be readily available and keep close contact with this new commercial collaboration if I took my professional driving test. And so I did. Before I knew I was driving for A1 Coaches, enjoying very much the job, with the added advantage of still working on my original trade: I continue to be a joiner.

One of my first projects I am very pleased with was the VIP Bus. Fitting a mobile party bus was a lot of fun!

The project I am developing now is the complete renewal of the A1 Coaches offices. We are building a full office block, complete with two floors which will consist of 7 Offices, 2 Training schools, Staff Gym, Toilets, Rest room, Bothie and Locker area.


I also obtained my hackney license to allow me to carry out school contracts, as and when required. I find it very rewarding transporting the children back and forward to school.

I am well chuffed with my collaboration with A1 Coaches!

Disconnected from the World

After almost 3 weeks of our business website being down, we are now pleased to announce our new website is back up and running.

Someone decided to hack our website down, stupidly I had backup of all the text from the website but not the actual database itself! The Database is what pieces all the elements of the website together including the text. This has clearly been a lesson learnt!

Luckily, I have some coding knowledge of HTML and CSS and Web design that I have picked up over the years so I was able to build a new website. This helped to keep our costs down, the cost we were given for someone to design and build the website for us wasn't just a couple of hundred of pounds.  I felt the charge was colossal, so I decided I would take the time to build a new one for the company.

This is where decision making comes into action, people have made comments along the lines of "You should focus on managing the company", "You should do what you know best" or "hire people who know what they are doing" I always take every comment on board, but after weighing up the pro's and the con's of all comments made, I decided to tackle this plan on my own for the following reasons:

  • Your website connects you to the world! 
  • Your website is one of the most important communication channels there is and acts as a platform to push your content to other channels out there. 
  • Your website is connected to all your social media platforms!
  • Your website sells your business 24 hours per day, 365 days per year! 
  • Your website stays at work while you sleep! While your office is closed, your website is still there! 
  • Your website should answer everyone's problems relating to your industry! 

No one knows your business better than you! If I hired someone to design and construct the website for us, I feel the message that would be put out to the world would be the design company's message and portrayal of our company. Yes, the design company will put up what you tell them to put up and place the information you tell them you would like to get out there, but doing it in house, you become less dependent on other people, your message is in real time and your content is updated easily and instantly.

It is very difficult to put pen to paper when you don't know what you are trying to say, sometimes we just say things for the sake of getting it done and think to ourselves, "Yeah that will do", This is not how I want our company to work. I like to see what I am doing and how is it going to look before it is published.

I want the content being put out to our audience to mean something, to be true and directly focused message to our people.

I mostly follow these rules:

  • Who we are?
  • What we do?
  • Why we do it?

You can read who we are, what we do and why we do it here! 

The logic behind every business out there is to solve a problem for their targeted audience.

A1 Minibus and Coach Services LTD is a transport provider who can provide 8 to 72 seat minibuses and coaches to anyone looking for transport for a small or large group of people. This would be my simple but descriptive message of who we are and what we can offer. All leading back to how can we solve your problem?

So, after a long 3 weeks of being disconnected to the world, we are now live and showing what we have to offer. Of course we feel on top of the world about this!

Visit our website here

To enquire about minibus or coach hire please call 01592 713443

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Airport Transfers from Fife

At some point, we all need to travel to the Airport! May it be a family holiday or business travel. Sometimes people take car(s) to the airport and then parking fee's would be charged, the cost's for this can be more expensive than hiring a minibus. This is the reason I have written this article.

I would like to raise awareness of how easy and cost effective it can be to hire a minibus or coach to travel to the airport.

Here are some questions that we are regularly asked by our customers. We have noted them here for your information.

(Q) How do I enquire about an Airport Transfer?

  • You can enquire about an airport transfer by completing this form or by telephone 01592 713443 or by direct email to

(Q) How many passengers do I need to book one of your airport Transfers?

  • A1 Minibus and Coach Services LTD offer Airport Transfers for both small and large groups of passengers; we offer 8 seat minibuses to 72 seat coaches.

(Q) What information do I need to pass on to you to get a quote for my Airport Transfer?

To get an accurate costing for your airport transfer, please have the following information ready:

  • What date is your outward Airport Transfer.
  • What date is your inward Airport Transfer.
  • What time do you need to check in by.
  • How many passengers are travelling.
  • How much luggage space is required.
  • What time does your inward flight land.
  • Are you returning back to the same airport.
  • Do you have any special requirements.
  • Do you have any extra equipment i.e. golf luggage, wheelchairs, buggies etc?
  • How do I book my Airport Transfer?

Once you have received your quotation from us and you have decided you would like to proceed to book. Please contact our office on 01592 713443 or email for us to take you through our simple booking procedure.

Do I need to double check my booking before I travel?

We will be in touch with you 48 hours prior to travel to confirm all your details including your driver’s name, mobile number and to double check your flight details are correct.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Women who have made an impact!! Including our women of A1 Coaches!

There was a time long ago in ancient Egypt when the higher wisdom was attributed to women. Women governed Egypt until the Amun priesthood infiltrated, took over and destroyed any traces of the previously governing matriarchy. Since then, there have been many important women on the books of history, really not as many as there should actually be.

Amazing geniuses have passed unnoticed to the history books, (scientists of sorts, mathematicians, musicians, adventurers, pilots, biochemists, engineers, you name it) although in many instances we wouldn’t have come this far without those almost unknown heroes. Good news is that we all know amazing women both in our everyday lives (mums all over the world are number one hero to millions of children) and on the public arena.

From Cleopatra to Indira Gandhi, up to our days there have been many women governing nations... famous examples of women that “have made it” in a man’s world.

Marie Curie always is perhaps the most renowned scientist, but not the only one. She discovered two elements, was the first women to win a Nobel Prize, in 1903, and was the first person to win a second Nobel price. 

Although many other have passed mostly unnoticed?  Did you know that Mozart had a sister, a sister that played with astonishing precision and skill? As poetically described in the theatre play “The Other Mozart” by Sylvia Milo, starring Helena Bonham Carter.  But Maria Anna Mozart went pretty much unnoticed by the history books.
Many pioneering women in their field, many “first ever to”

Lillian Moller Gilbreth was an American psychologist and industrial engineer at the turn of the 20th century. She was an expert in efficiency and organizational psychology. Her long list of firsts includes first female commencement speaker at the University of California, first female engineering professor at Purdue, and first woman elected to the National Academy of Engineering. 

Rosalind Franklin was a British chemist and crystallographer, best known for her research that was essential to elucidating the structure of DNA.  During her lifetime, Franklin was not credited for her key role, but years later she is recognized as providing a pivotal piece of the DNA story. Franklin spent the last five years of her life studying the structure of plant viruses and passed away in 1958.(photo)

In modern times there are hundreds of examples of very prominent women contributing to all aspects of life... Science, medicine, politics... we see them almost daily on the news: Angela Merkel, Theresa May, Nicola Sturgeon...

Kellyanne Conway has very successfully managed a very tough political race across the pond, and continues to be an indispensable figure in the entourage of the newly elected President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

Here at A1 team we have some amazing members without whom this company wouldn’t be the same:

Colleen Goodsir, Director.

Colleen is notable leader, with acclaimed recognition. The A1 Team knows and appreciates her hard work and dedication. She is the Director that has brought us to where we are today. Knowledgeable and experienced, with the bright mind of contemporary improvements.

Katrina Goodsir, Operations Manager.

Katrina is our unstoppable Operations Manager.
She coordinates all drivers and vehicles for both scheduled and unscheduled services, Katrina follows through every movement of the fleet making sure everybody is at the right place at the right time.

Laura McCormick, Human Resources and Finance Administrator.

Laura is on top of Finance and Human Resources departments. She efficiently manages all assets, every commercial transaction made by and to the company in the daily course of operation, and of course, all aspects related to the Human Resources side of the company. HR is a very important element to any company or organization, our HR department is the systems and processes behind the scenes to take care of our most valuable assets, our Staff!!.

Ashling Macdonald  and  Karen Flynn, Sales Team
Ashling and Karen are the forefront voice of A1 on customer´s care. They conform a very important area of a company, which is customer´s satisfaction. You´ll find them managing customer´s calls and providing advice and solutions to every customer’s requirement, they will give you confidence that you have chosen the correct transport provider.

Jaki Fraser. Cleaner/Driver.
Probably the best in the final result is the most subtle. Jaki and her team will make sure all vehicles in the fleet are clean and shinny. A silent work that represents the company´s image and prestige. 

And all our drivers:

Cheryl Barnet 

Also, Elaine Dudman, 

Helen Gibson and

Morag Wilson 

Ray Wilson  who also helps us clean the vehicles too! 

Well then, let’s not commit the same old mistake again. Let’s appreciate and give recognition to all the women who make the world a better place on a daily basis and that includes our A1 Minibus and Coach Services women too.

We value all our male and female employee's here at A1 Minibus and Coach Services LTD. 

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Difficult Journeys often lead to beautiful Destinations!

Outdoors, impressive landscapes, open road, visiting new places, always on the move...  These were the things that made me want to work as a professional driver, and that for years kept me happy in my job.   But life awaits with unexpected twists that put us to the test: health issues started claiming my attention and I had to face a difficult moment in my life:  I had to find another job.

At this moment in time, many thoughts occupied my mind; feeling that this was part of growing old was one of them thoughts.  You still feel very young inside, and you hope for your body to keep up with the enthusiasm of your young spirit.  In the middle of this crisis of mine, this became a big issue, and at this point in my life I became very depressed.

Me (Tony) trying to look happy at work!

They say with age comes wisdom... Well, it’s difficult to be wise when everything seems to be spiralling down...  Wisdom... or resignation? It seemed to me it was “resignation” to living a “limited version” of myself, and hey, this is not “special edition” I’m talking about.
And while I was waiting for “wisdom” to pay me a visit, I was very depressed. I was becoming increasingly stressed and grumpy, health issues pressing on me, and feeling powerless and run down by the “old age” looming ahead.

Obviously, with this frame of mind, things started spiralling downwards until I reached the end of my rope, and found myself seating at my boss’ office ready to resign my job. Needless to say, quitting my job would have had dramatic consequences, but what else could I do? I always used to give the best of me, and now I felt totally inadequate, to me it was not just a mid-life crisis, it was a total disaster. And I was striving for a way out of my misery.

I had then a conversation with my boss that meant a turning point. I learnt from her two things: 1) Being a professional goes beyond the mere performing of the immediate tasks at hand and it includes social and human abilities. 2) I could bring forward these abilities and put them to work.
The first part of the conversation consisted of my moaning about my life situation and I already felt relief being able to put it all into words and have somebody listening to what I had to say. This made a big difference.

Think about how many times you feel somebody is really listening to you in your everyday life?  Sometimes when talking to people you have the feeling that they are just waiting for you to finish talking so they can put across their point. On the other hand, when somebody is listening to you he or she won’t judge you, he or she will ask you about your feelings, will ask you to explain your points: This is called “active listening”. And you can tell the difference when somebody is really listening to you, as opposed to just being quiet when you are talking but not really “sinking in" what you are saying. When you are being listened to, something happens during that conversation by which everybody makes progress.

My boss reminded me of all other things I was good at. Things I even had forgotten and that had been a part of my previous professional experience.
Then my boss prescribed the recipe for my “problems”, a plan of action. She hinted that there was a job position she thought I could fit in. She first invited me to “pull myself together” and reflect upon the things we had spoken about.

Therefore, I had some time to do an overhaul of my approach to life, time to reflect on the things that really matter in life. And it worked.
Upon my return to work, I was presented with my new job position: I would be working in the office, in collaboration and close contact with the Sales Team and my boss. This exceeded by far my expectations, I felt immensely grateful for having received such a positive way to resolve my conflicts.

Note : Fortunately “wisdom” exists.
A profound change had taken place within me: I felt like brand new. I feel empowered to be the new version of me, and leave aside the worries that brought me up to this point.  I had a renewed zest for life: My new job was very fulfilling, so much that all my stress and worries dissolved and I started to search for solutions instead of succumb to problems.

Me (Tony) Looking naturally very happy at work!

I want to thank Colleen Goodsir, my boss and Director of the company. She has played a brilliant role in appreciating value in me and highlighting my potentiality. Managing a company requires talent to know your staff and acknowledge their contribution. Possessing this talent is something extraordinary in this vertiginous world of ferocious competition. Deeply grateful for that.

On the other hand I believe it is an outstanding example of corporate values: The real life evidence that my boss puts into action that what she believes, not just big words for the show, but a genuine interest in the people that work alongside with her. Now, when she says things like “I believe in people” or “people is the most valued asset in this company” I believe her. A real leader has the responsibility to bring into life the company values.

I am happy to say this is a real story. And the satisfaction to say this is part of a story, my story, and part of a path that starts here. That’s why I I am enormously grateful to this organisation and its spirit. Spirit, the driving force of this company, alive in the hearts of people like the Goodsir family, with so much knowledge and experience, people that put their heart into everything they do.
Thank you A1 Coaches!

Written by Tony Cordova.