Our face2faceHR brand is all about personal service. We take that approach with clients – they get a tailored service to meet the needs of their business, from their own dedicated consultant rather than a helpline arrangement. But we also extend that to our partners.
It can be a lonely business being self-employed. You no longer have colleagues around you to bounce ideas around, or seek input from. You don’t have a boss you can run things past if you’re not sure about something, or want another point of view.
When you’re starting your own business, that lack of day to day input from others is combined with the fact that you are doing something entirely new. You may be starting a business offering services in the field you have plenty of experience in, but the reality is that when you’re running your own business, you’ll be doing lots of things that aren’t related to your own expertise at all. And you’ll especially be doing these things during the first few months, as you are not likely to have plenty of clients initially.
So you’re in a heady mix of doing lots of brand new things you’ve never done before, and being on your own, both physically and in terms of being entirely responsible for your own business success. Put like that it’s enough to put anyone off stepping outside the comfort zone of regular employment.
However, for those who do want to take that step, and set up their own HR consultancy, we want to address that. If you set up your business in partnership with us, you will get personal support from day one. We have loads of information on our PlayBook about exactly what you need to do in every aspect of your business, but we don’t think that’s enough. It doesn’t replicate the value anyone gets from being able to talk through a problem with someone else; to ask for their input, to ask how they would address it, to ask for a sanity check, to ask for anything you may not have thought of yourself. We obviously want partners with us to succeed in their business (even though we don’t skim your profits!), and we think this personal support is crucial in ensuring that happens.
As well as your bespoke training, you’ll get meetings with me at least monthly during your first six months, and then quarterly thereafter. At these meetings we talk through how things are going, look at what you’ve been doing, both in terms of client work and marketing/other business activities. We can pinpoint together what’s working and what needs changing, and identify (with the benefit of my experience) what can be tweaked. We can discuss ideas or initiatives that might work for you, and how to implement these. Those meetings can also provide accountability for you, which can be especially useful for those who find it difficult motivating themselves to do things if there is no one asking whether they are done or no deadlines set.
As well as meetings, I am always available for support or input on the phone or via email. If you have a client issue you’ve not come across before, either in terms of the HR aspect or the behaviour or approach of the client, you can run it by me. I can check letters you’ve drafted if you want a sanity check, or advise you on adapting a procedure you may have used in a big company before into one suitable for a small business client.
In addition to that, our business manager Sarah is also available for ongoing personal support. She can help with managing spreadsheets, using the PlayBook, using social media, managing your accounts and all administrative/business support aspects of your business. Our partners also find each other to be a useful support, and feel that building links and relationships with others in similar situations can be enormously useful, for professional input and personal support.
We think our personal support ethos sets us aside from other HR franchise opportunities, and we think it makes a huge difference to our partners, both in terms of the success they achieve but also in terms of reducing the stress of running your own business, especially in the early days.