X-Forces Enterprise is proud to announce that it’s surpassed yet another milestone, having now lent over £11m to the Armed Forces community to help veterans and their families to start their own businesses.
The recipient of this support that took X-Forces Enterprise just over that £11m mark, Michael Brown is the owner of Minuteman Press Reading, a full-service graphic design, printing and marketing services provider for businesses.
Michael, 41, father of three from County Durham in the North East and now living in Basingstoke, Hampshire joined the Royal Signals in 1996 where he trained as a Telecommunications Systems Technician. He’d always had an interest in the telecommunications field and the Army offered him an opportunity, not only to gain an education, but also to receive training whilst working within the telecommunications environment. For Michael, this training and education would prepare him for later life.
Royal Signals training is well known and respected within the industry and I knew that whichever path I took after the Army I would be well prepared for any next steps.
During his time in the Army Michael spent time in 7Sigs and Germany, as well as managing operational satellite links during the Balkan conflict. However, to further his career in the defence industry he knew he needed to leave the Forces and so he became a freelance test engineer on a number of projects for Thales, Lockheed Martin and Ultra Electronics.
After this period of freelancing, Michael decided to take the next step and set up a business on his own.
It is something I’ve always wanted to do and so, when the opportunity arose I decided that I should make the leap.
For Michael, good support is essential to running your own business.
Get as much help and support as you can from other people in business and make the most of business networking groups. I under-estimated just how much working capital I would need to get my business past break even. Towards the end of the first year I needed to raise more funds and X-Forces helped me through that process. They made sure that I was able to continue with my business and provided me with an affordable finance option.
So what advice would Michael give to others thinking of taking the same step into self-employment?
Make sure you understand your product and the market. Be prepared to work long hours. Be prepared to learn a few lessons the hard way but do learn and move on. You just have to keep going forward.
To find out more about Minuteman Press Reading please visit the links below:
Facebook: Minuteman Press Reading
If you’re considering self-employment like Michael, we run free Self-Employment Discovery Workshops! Find out more via http://bit.ly/xfevents