One of the things we get asked often is what exactly we do for partners working with us. There’s an awful lot, and explaining it in a concise way that is easy for people to grasp isn’t easy, but it divides into two streams of activity.
Removing the guesswork
Some huge percentage of small businesses fail within the first few years. Even those who don’t, rarely turn a profit sooner than a couple of years. There are several reasons for this, and what we do is eliminate those reasons as far as humanly possible.
Most professionals starting out on their own, whether in HR or indeed any other sector, do so because they want independence, control, flexibility, work-life balance all those things. They are an expert in their field, they are comfortable working with their knowledge and experience. But they are not an expert in running a business.
HR people aren’t typically natural marketers. HR consultants starting out on their own usually spend months or even years finding out how to get clients, how to manage them, how to work efficiently so that the maximum amount of time is spent doing client work that pays rather than stuff that doesn’t pay. When you start on your own you are feeling your way in the darkness, trying to get a sense about what works and what doesn’t, and spending far too much time doing that rather than making money.
We remove all that. We want you to make a profit as quickly as possible, so we guide you in all aspects of running your business, from how to get clients as efficiently and quickly as possible down to how to manage the accounting side of the business and everything in between. All you have to go is go out and do it!
This information is captured in our PlayBook, which is an online resource for partners giving guidance in all areas of running a successful HR consultancy. There are plenty of downloads with top tips and in depth guidance in many areas to maximise your chances of financial success and minimise your stress levels!
Stuff we do for you
The other way to get you making more profit quicker is by reducing to an absolute minimum the time you spend doing things that aren’t bringing in money.
There is so much we do that it’s impossible to explain it all properly here, but to reduce it to as concise a list as possible, here goes:
- We help you set realistic and achievable short term objectives and long term objectives, and support you in achieving those.
- We help you draft a suitable business plan and stick to it, making it more likely you’ll succeed.
- To be an effective business you need to stay on top of the research and development side. We are continually researching the marketplace, researching user feedback about products, developing new products, consulting partners on products, researching into current trends in HR and SME behaviour.
- We are constantly monitoring, researching and briefing on case law, legislation and current thinking in terms of employment law and small business and keep you updated.
- We draft and maintain a large database of documents designed specifically for use with small business clients and kept constantly updated and expanded, meaning you can make a profit on these with minimal time spent.
- A website isn’t just drafting some text and finding some images. It’s incredibly time consuming and expensive and we take care of it for you, from domain names and technical support to search engine optimisation and monitoring, with continuous updates and professionally-drafted text.
- We’ll provide guidance on business banking, and advice on the logistics and legalities of setting up your own business, including company status, self-employment, tax, VAT and other aspects.
- We pay experts to design and develop marketing collateral that works for you.
- We produce a monthly newsletter for your clients and contacts and regular marketing mailshots and we’ll also draft regular articles for you to use in your marketing. This is all very time-consuming but effective.
- We’ll give you access to cost-effective high quality administration support at a competitive rate from professionals who know this business and understand your needs.
- We pay for a professional answering service so that you can go out seeing clients and contacts and know that your business is professionally represented at all times.
- We give you mentoring and coaching to maximise your success. Having someone there who has been there and done that, and who is motivated to ensure you succeed is invaluable and will make a huge difference to your success.
- We pay for and source a range of experts in a variety of different areas for the benefit of partners. Expert advice is usually out of range of start-ups financially, but you benefit from the start from high quality expert input into your business.
- We have developed a series of brand values and a brand profile identity after working with a branding specialist. These are designed to reflect our business and to engage with clients and potential clients as well as inspire partners.
- You’ll benefit from an annual get together with other Partners where you can build relationships, share ideas and experiences.
- We’ll provide regular training sessions to help you make the most of your business and provide personalised training at the start to ensure you are 100% comfortable to go out and start running your business.
- We continually develop and raise the profile of the face2faceHR brand as well as supporting you in raising your own personal profile locally, developing an individual PR plan with you.
- Legal advice as a small business owner is expensive. We have paid for terms of business, engagement letters and website terms and conditions which are reviewed and updated regularly.
- We’ve also paid for template settlement agreements and directors’ service agreements to be drafted for you to use with clients and these are regularly reviewed and updated at our cost, enabling you to charge clients for producing them while the only cost to you being your time.
And much more! All this is designed to ensure your success, and much of it is typically out-of-reach or is prohibitively expensive for start-ups, or not something you can do or prioritise when working on your own as you just don’t have time.