X-Forces assisted Julie Martin-Davy (37), whose husband Mark served 16 years in the Royal Dragoon Guards and Royal Signals before being medically discharged in 2014, to launch a retail business.
Present Purrfections is a specialist gift shop for cat & dog lovers, which trades from its shop in Kirkcaldy, Fife as well as online. Customers come from Scotland and across Europe.
Julie said: "While my husband was serving I gained several years of retail experience starting as a Christmas temp all the way up to assistant manager. When Mark was Medically Discharged I decided that having my own business would offer me the flexibility and independence that working for an employer doesn’t give you. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard work, stressful at times but at the same time when a customer says "what a beautiful shop you have" or leaves a review saying "they had great service" I know that it is because of me and the genuine effort I have put in.
"X-Forces helped me with my business plan and securing a Start Up Loan. Financial planning was an obstacle; although I was given a lot of help there were things I missed out and never even considered. On the other hand I over estimated other matters. It is difficult when you don’t really know what to expect.
"It has taken longer than we forecasted to get to where I am, with limited budgets for advertising it is difficult getting your name out there. I’ve learnt to be clever with where I advertise and a lot of that has been trial and error."
Find out more about X-Forces at: http://www.x-forces.com/