James Reese, the owner and founder of TigerSwan brings his experience as a decorated combat leader to the business. His unique experience has proven to be an asset when selecting staff and charting the course for the business. Once referred to as “one of the finest special operators in the modern military” by the Commander of Coalition Forces of Iraq and Afghanistan; it is undeniable that Reese has what it takes to lead TigerSwan while providing a much-needed service for military veterans.
Like many small businesses, the idea of TigerSwan and its business model was born at the kitchen table over coffee. The company is now a respected small business with 300 employees and operations that span the globe. A veteran small business has many challenges that James Reese is determined to get a head of. He acknowledges that the nature of his business requires that he draw from his military experience to provide leadership, guidance and moral support to employees while provided a service to the public.
James Reese fully understands risk and reward. Owning and operating a business is a risk but can yield huge rewards. One area that Reese has identified that can contribute to the success of the business is hiring the right staff. Reese seeks out employees who can see the value in the vision of the company and work towards its growth.
There are several challenges that veterans re-entering civilian life must face. They must adapt their skill set to an ever changing technological world. James Reese had these challenges in mind when he formed tigerSwan. Starting a business is no small feat. In many cases there is limited starting capital and high barriers to entry. One thing that worked in Reese’s favor is that he is classified as a disabled veteran which opened funding opportunities for the new company.
At the time of the formation of TigerSwan, the Department of Defense was seeking out contractors to provide support services. Because of the company’s vision and Reese’s accountability, TigerSwan was awarded a contract which provided the working capital needed to form and ultimately grow the company. Reese reinvested the money from the contract into the business to improve business systems and recruit capable staff.
When in the military, Reese was given come of the military’s best soldiers to lead in the most challenging circumstances but now with his business, he had the task of selecting the best. Along with recruiting capable staff comes compensation. It can be challenging to pay top-notch people a top-notch salary; especially when the business is new. Reese looks for staff who can properly represent the core values of the company and he balances out the lack of experience with ongoing training. Employees who are early in the career are often eager to gain experience and will take advantage of opportunities for training and growth.
For example, Reese recruited an intern to assist with finances. After the completion of the internship, the student was offered a part time opportunity with TigerSwan. The student initially worked on financial tasks. It was dual benefit because the student got the experience and the TigerSwan got a young, innovative employee who was committed to his professional development and the development of the company. With hard work and dedication, the once part time intern now holds and upper management position with the company.
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