Ren Kapur, Founder and Chief Executive of X-Forces, shares her top tips.
There are pros and cons to starting your own business, here is what you should consider.
- Being your own boss: you are in control of what you do, when and how.
- Follow your passions: you are free to create a business around your interests. You can explore completely new areas or create a career based on your military experiences.
- Uncapped income: you are no longer constrained by salary brackets, and can reap the financial rewards of growing a successful business.
Interestingly, the top reasons for starting a business can also be the biggest challenges.
- Being your own boss: you ultimately be accountable for everything that happens in your business, even for the areas that are not your specialism, which can be overwhelming.
- Following your passions: your interests may not be the foundations for a successful business. It could be a good idea but in the wrong location, at the wrong time or in a saturated market.
- Uncapped income: there is the risk of earning little to no money, especially at the start. Plus the income can be irregular, especially while trying to secure new customers.
You can reduce the risks by getting good business advice. Contact your local chamber of commerce or X-Forces to help you create a credible business plan, and provide the essential on-going handrail of support. They can also identify your strengths, challenges and strategies to increase your success rate. Remember it may take several attempts to build a sustainable business.
About Ren Kapur
Ren has started several businesses, and believes in people supporting themselves through enterprise. For much of her career, Ren helped organisations with their sales and marketing strategies, focusing on business growth and client acquisition. She is a Home Office advisor and was awarded an MBE for service to the Entrepreneurship in 2016 in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours list. Ren recently joined the Army as a Reservist.
In 2012 Ren founded X-Forces, which provides business advice and support, including writing a business plan; cash-flow forecast and helping clients source capital from a personal loan. The organisation is now working with government departments, businesses and charities to see how the X-Forces model can be adapted for other communities. Since 2013, X-Forces has supported more than 1,000 business ventures launched by veterans, Service leavers, reservists, cadets and family members.
You can read Ren’s answer, plus more tips on starting a business from other industry experts, in the latest issue of Pathfinder (pages 8-9). The magazine is for people transitioning from the military into civilian careers.