In 2014, Gareth John left the army after seven years in the Royal Engineers (with five years’ service in the Reserves prior to that). Initially intending to gain employment as a site engineer with a construction company, he took some advice he was given during an informal chat to go down the freelance route. This idea grew into something larger and he decided to set up a company dealing with Topographical Surveys and Site Engineering and so he got in touch with X-Forces. After an X-Forces loan, G John Surveys Ltd launched immediately upon Gareth’s departure from the military and now, with the aid of X-Forces ongoing support and mentoring, Gareth’s enterprise is a strong, sustainable, surveying business. He is also proud to be an official Ambassador for X-Forces for the South West.
Within the last six months G John Surveys has expanded exponentially. Initially based in Plymouth, Gareth established a second office in London and the services offered have grown to include Traffic Counting Surveys, Ecological Surveys, Arboricultural Surveys and Asbestos Surveys as well as the services that were initially offered.
“I enjoy working for myself. I like to adapt to changing situations and find solutions to complex problems, be that for a client or for myself.” said Gareth.
Gareth values a lot of the perks of being an entrepreneur like being in control of his decisions and being able to do things his own way. He is very grateful for the support and loan that X-Forces gave him in order to get to where he is now.
Although finding X-Forces was unplanned, their aid in securing the Start-up Loan I needed was immeasurable. They looked over my business plan and gave me the feedback I needed to secure funding, speeding up the process a great deal, which gave me time to put everything else in place (marketing, equipment etc.) before leaving the Army.
Most recently, X-Forces connected G John Surveys with Balfour Beatty, a large international infrastructure group based in the U.K. Gareth is keen to work closely with Balfour Beatty in the near future.
As an Ambassador of X-Forces Gareth will help to expand X-Forces reach and encourage members of the Armed Forces to look into self-employment when they leave the military. He also spoke at X-Forces 4th Anniversary event. He is very passionate about entrepreneurism in education. Along with X-Forces CEO Ren Kapur MBE, Gareth believes that entrepreneurial skills should be taught in schools.
Children need to be taught the basics of entrepreneurism at an early stage in their life. The thought of self-employment or running a business is not even mentioned in schools and this a problem that needs to be addressed. We need to make working for yourself much more accessible – most people are not aware that it is even an option.