Female Founders - Dr Liz Royle & Cath Kerr, KRTS International

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#FemaleFounders: Dr Liz Royle & Cath Kerr, KRTS International

As experts in PTSD and other forms of trauma, Dr Liz Royle and Cath Kerr have made it their mission to provide workplace trauma support with KRTS International

KRTS International provides brand-supported solutions that benefit individuals and companies alike. With services that range from pre-incident training to an online trauma support programme, KRTS International are leading innovators in the mental health sector.

Let’s find out how Liz and Cath went on to found a company that provides such crucial services.

1. Which 3 skills would you say are crucial to being a company founder?

  1. Maintaining a passion for what you do and being able to communicate that to other people.
  2. Independence and the ability to think creatively but this needs to be balanced with taking advice from appropriately qualified professionals. In other words, not being blind to other opinions.
  3. Perseverance when the going gets tough.

2. If you could learn more about one area of marketing, what would it be?

Being in a very niche market and offering disruptive technology means it can be difficult to value and price our services and products. There has been a lot of trial and error along the way!

3. What are the challenges you face now that are different from when you started your business?

When we originally started in business, our services were traditional offerings for managing psychological crises and trauma. As we have deliberately moved into disruptive technologies, we have found we have to be more flexible in finding new markets. Convincing major organisations to adopt innovations can be challenging – many people don’t like change even when they can see the benefits. 

We are constantly adapting and learning how and where innovations can best be applied.

4. What are the biggest barriers you face when it comes to growing your business?

Generating funds to develop and market our business. Also, getting introduced to decision-makers to adapt our services and products.

5. What’s your biggest business achievement to date?

Apart from still being in business after nearly 10 years?! We’re really proud of the fact that we are changing how mental health services are being delivered after crises and traumatic events. With over 40 years’ experience between us in the field, we recognised that traditional services were inaccessible or ineffective for many people. We saw the impact of this on the individuals involved, their families, society and even their organisations and set out to change things. 

Our internet supported trauma and crisis programmes don’t replace traditional treatments but offer an alternative to those people who cannot or will not engage with them. Winning international awards (such as the CIR Business Continuity Award in 2019) are lovely validations of our achievements.

6. How did you recognise that you were an entrepreneurial person?

We have always had high goals and didn’t set limits for ourselves. We had the creativity, courage and drive to go along a different path. We hadn’t originally thought of ourselves as entrepreneurs, but through reading, learning and talking with similar others, realised that we are.

7. What makes you proudest about your company?

Our business values. We really feel we are making a difference. We remember one of the first users of our trauma support programme KRTS Power to Recover® who described it as “life-changing” after her traumatic experience. That felt very humbling.

8. If someone was struggling with their confidence, what would your advice be?

Be around other entrepreneurs. Many people don’t understand that this is different from being ‘in business’ or employed and they will offer well-meaning advice that isn’t always appropriate. It’s easy to lose confidence when this doesn’t work or when you’re not Sir Alan Sugar after six months! We also found that even being in disruptive technologies requires a different approach and hearing from others can be really helpful.

9. If you could magically change one thing about your business now, what would it be?

We would be in a position to employ people who can support us in daily tasks and leave more time and space for growing the business.

10. What are 2 characteristics you look for when you are hiring someone to work for you?

Enthusiasm for the company mission and independent efficiency – someone who we know will always do what they say they will do.

Going so soon?

If you’re seriously inspired by Cath and Liz’s work with KRTS International, keep the good feelings going by reading through the rest of our Female Founder series. Why not start with our interview with Michelle Dow, founder of All About STEM, or Alana Davidson, former Apprentice winner and founder of Ridiculously Rich by Alana?

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