Guy Heseltine

For our first ever edition of ‘In Profile’ we caught up with Guy Heseltine, polygraph examiner at Miles Platting-based UK Lie Tests / Distress Services, to talk business, family…and Jeremy Kyle!

What’s the name of your business, and what does it do?

Our business is UK Lie Tests / Distress Services. We offer professional polygraph (lie detection) services to members of the public as well as commercial and media sectors.

We conduct lie detector tests all over the UK, including at our office in Miles Platting. We also work with ITV providing the lie detector services on the Jeremy Kyle Show!


How long has your business existed, and what inspired you to start it?

Our business is family operated and was started in 1999 by Bruce Burgess who was the first qualified polygraph examiner to offer a service in the UK. I came into the business in 2003 and was inspired out of a fascination about how the polygraph works and because of Bruce's enthusiasm. 


Do you have a business or personal motto?

We don’t have a motto as such but our focus is about treating each case on its own

merits and working with a professional and ethical approach at all times. 


What’s the biggest challenge you faced when you set up the business?

By far our biggest challenge has been marketing. In the early days we used methods such as print adverts and yellow pages. However, now the internet dominates our approach.

Our need to reach a targeted audience over the whole of the UK proved tough in the early days of the business. The evolution of internet marketing brings its own challenges and we are constantly looking for ways to exploit the internet for our benefit.


And what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt?

The biggest lesson is take nothing for granted but always be respectful. We often find ourselves facing challenging situations which can be stressful.

Due to the nature of what we do, conflict management plays a big part in our day-to-day work. My skills as an interviewer play a big part in what I do. Through training and experience I am always looking to learn new ways to improve.


In a dream scenario, where do you see you and your business in three years?

Our business is very specialist and will always be in a niche market. Because of this we don’t have long term plans to expand the business beyond its current size.

However, we are determined to maintain the high standards of service and expertise that we have set ourselves over the last 17 years and I am fascinated about the new technologies that will help us in the future of lie detection.


What’s the best thing about being a business owner…and what’s the worst?

The best has to be the flexibility. I love being able to determine my own future and I get to work with great people who also happen to be my family!

The worst thing is probably long working hours. Because we offer a service seven days a week the telephone never stops ringing for long and sometimes this gets in the way of family life.


Are there any essential items you always have with you?

My polygraph! It's never far away. My wife often jokes that she is surprised I don’t sleep with it under my pillow! Joking aside, it’s obviously vital to our work and we look after it with great care.


Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently in business?

Not really. Like anyone in business I have made mistakes and bad decisions but I am a big believer that you only really learn from the mistakes you make – they are "the cost of doing business". Providing you learn from mistakes it’s best to move on and not dwell on what could have been!


And finally, if there’s one piece of advice you could give to your 18-year-old self, what would it be?

Education, education, education. I truly believe that education not only benefits everyone but also that it brings people together. I enjoyed my way through formal education but, in truth, I could have done better and if I could go back I might work a little harder in higher education!

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