At PS Human Resources, we offer a range of professional, outsourced HR people management solutions, tailor-made to fit the style and size of your company.
When it comes to helping businesses, we believe in enabling our clients to get the best out of their teams. We like to think ‘what if’, not ‘if only’. What if we could help alleviate the stress from your staffing and employment issues? What if we could work with you to develop systems and strategies to deliver your business objectives?
PS Human Resources was set up by Paula Phelan and Emma Sheppard, who together have over 30 years of HR experience, including management, training and development experience. With quality client service at the heart of the business, there is no job too big or too small for PS Human Resources.
We offer a range of services, from HR consultancy and advice, through to mentoring, team building and talent management. We can also help you with performance management, restructure, staff surveys and strategic decision making. Whether it’s an hourly rate, a one-off project, a retainer arrangement or the full HR department service, we always aim to give that personal touch and deliver for your business.
We have a friendly team on hand to help, including our recently appointed an HR Co-Ordinator and a team of associates who support our work.
Based in Suffolk and ideally located to work with clients across East Anglia and London, PS Human Resources Ltd are ready to assist you with a hands on and flexible approach.
1 ) When did you realise you wanted to go into business for yourself?
Emma: I had always wanted to work for myself, but this became a reality when Paula and I had worked together for a few months and discovered that we had very similar ideas about how we wanted to work.
Paula: I’ve always known that I wanted to go into business for myself, but it took meeting my business partner, Emma, for me to build up the confidence to actually do it and I’ve never looked back.
2 ) Were you confident you would succeed or were you nervous of failing?
Emma: I was confident we would make a success of PSHR as we were both very dedicated to making the new venture work. Of course, there were moments when the nerves would kick in, but I think this is just normal. We had made some great contacts and preparations before we went ‘live’ with the business so we knew we were in with a good chance.
Paula: I was confident in our ability to succeed, but that didn’t stop me being nervous at times too. Although I think a little bit of nervousness is probably a good thing, as it can keep you alert and ensure that you are providing a good service.
3 ) Did you seek advice from your family or friends? Did anyone close to you suggest it was a bad idea to go into business for yourself or did you receive a lot of support?
Emma: I spoke to my family and friends in great detail and every single one of them was super supportive and encouraged us to just go for it!
Paula: Yes and mainly I received lots of support, so I’m very grateful for that.
4 ) What was the biggest obstacle you had to face and overcome in order to start your business?
Emma: Neither of us had ever set up a business before, so the most difficult part of it wasn’t actually the work we would be doing – we are confident in our HR skills – but setting up the business. Things like registering the company, having a VAT number and all of those sorts of formalities.
Paula: For me it was making sure we had enough business coming in to pay the bills each month. We knew it would be tough initially, but were prepared for that.
5 ) Do you remember your first customer and can you recall how you felt when you delivered what they were prepared to pay you for?
Emma: Our first client is still a client four years later! We have a great relationship with them too. Charging structures are always difficult to put together, but we discuss and negotiate with all of our clients to come to a fair agreement on price. Getting your first invoice paid is a brilliant feeling, but what is even better is knowing that your customer is happy and you are adding value to their business.
Paula: Yes. Our first customer was a pub/restaurant. It felt really good to be able to offer expert advice and get paid for it.
6 ) What would be the ONE thing you would do differently and where do you see your business in five years time?
Emma: When we went to the bank to enquire about a business account, both Paula and I were really nervous. I wish I had been more confident and gone in to the meeting with a different frame of mind. Thankfully though, we did manage to pull ourselves together and we were granted the business account that day.
In five years’ time, we will be a larger agency, employing lots more consultants in order to deliver our service throughout the UK. We would like to be an employer of choice, which to me means treating our employees fairly, developing their skills, working flexibly and giving them every opportunity to succeed.
Paula: I would have started the business 10 years earlier! In 5 years, we hope to have doubled in size.
7) What would be your advice to any start-up or to anyone thinking of going into business for themselves?
Emma: If you have a good idea, have faith in yourself and your abilities to succeed. Try to gain as much advice as possible from friends and family and those who have done this before. It’s hard work and there will be niggles and worries that come to light, but be resilient and remember why you wanted to set up your own business in the first place. Look for all the free training and advice that you can get as a start-up and don’t forget to consider HR – especially if you are looking to employ a workforce!
Paula: Make sure you partner up with someone you can trust and who shares your values. Have confidence in yourself. Another thing we found beneficial was to network with other similar organisations and partner up when you can.
We would like to thank Emma & Paula for submitting this article for our readers!
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