TigerRec interviews Cpl Tom Cornwell from 2 PWRR

Cpl Tom Cornwall from 2 PWRR was recently introduced to X-Forces via TigerRec. With the help of X-Forces, he is in the process of setting up a business in preparation for leaving the Army.
Natalie Flay from TigerRec will be following Tom’s story over the coming months.

Natalie: Tom, tell me about the business you’re planning to set up.
Tom: I’m in the process of setting up a Private Investigative agency. I’m going to be a sole trader focussing on insurance companies, the NHS and other private clients. At the moment I’m on resettlement so I’m focussing on setting this up and launching the business at the end of January or beginning of February.

Natalie: What sort of clients will you have?
Tom: Well, my target markets will a mixture of industrial clients that might require a private investigator to look into potential issues such as industrial espionage, fraud and internal theft and also commercial clients. This would encompass small businesses such as solicitors, legal firms, insurance companies, loss adjusters and local authorities such as councils and the NHS.

Natalie: What sort of work will you be doing for commercial clients?
Tom: Things like accident investigation, insurance and benefit fraud, marital disputes or pre-nuptial background checks. Other aspects might be anti- social neighbour disputes, tracing missing persons, mystery shopping, theft and giving evidence in court.

Natalie: Any other potential markets that you might be tapping into?
Tom: Yes. Private clients. I don’t envisage this being a regular source of income but instructions do come from private clients.

Natalie: What kind of skills will you need to be able to do this kind of job?
Tom: A lot of this work will require a good understanding of the different types of forensic experts and how to utilise them within the legal system. However, and most importantly, good basic soldiering skills. There is no dark art, if soldiers can identify straight away why this line of work is suited to a soldier, a variation on a theme to soldiering using their innate skills, abilities and experience then they would also make good private investigators.

Natalie: What have you actually needed to set the business up?
Tom: I’ve been quite lucky. I’m a sole trader so start-up costs have included a vehicle, equipment I need to do the job, stationary and office supplies and making sure that I comply with the Data Protection Act. I’m providing a service rather than a product – so I haven’t had to incur the cost of creating lots of products to then bring to market. X-Forces has been really helpful in finding me low cost finance.

Natalie: And how is X-Forces involved?
Tom: Well they’ve been really good in terms of the support I’ve been offered. They’ve been there for me in terms of offering me business advice that I’ve needed. I knew exactly what I wanted to do and how to do the job, but the actual bit about running a business, that’s where X-Forces has really helped. I’ve been assigned a mentor whom I can still contact once I’ve left the Army. It’s brilliant to know that that support is out there and also that my mentor knows me and knows my exact situation and can continue to help and provide me with business support when I need it; and I know I will. I’ll need their advice in the future about which direction I take my business in.

Natalie: How did you find out about X-Forces?
Tom: Through TigerRec actually. Alasdair Goulden, the TigerRec Operations Director, was instrumental in putting me in touch with X-Forces. They’ve been brilliant. As a Regimental Association PWRR are really breaking ground with TigerRec. It’s really about helping soldiers – and it’s accessible too.

Natalie: How else have X-Forces been able to help you?
Tom: Well for a start from the marketing side of things. In terms of networking they’ve been showing me how to expand my client base. It should mean that by January, once I’ve finished my termination period with the Army everything should be ready to go.

Natalie: Soldiers from The PWRR will be interested to hear how you get on once you leave the Army. TigerRec would like to follow and report on how you get on!
Tom: That’s great! If I can help ex PWRR soldiers in anyway by telling my story I’m more than happy to!

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