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  • Writer's pictureSusan Wakelin

Human Resources at its Best - Six months on!

Updated: May 25, 2023

With a big thank you to those who have supported SWan HR so far!

Susan Wakelin, Founder of SWan HR

Amazingly, it has been six months already since Susan Wakelin set up SWan HR. This is short in terms of a business, however, it has not been without its ups and downs.

"Starting a business from ground zero with no client base is not easy and not for the faint hearted!" - Susan Wakelin

SWan HR six months on

Six months of trading provides another ideal opportunity for Susan Wakelin to reflect on SWan HR's journey so far.

"The hardest thing for me so far, has been getting my name known, to building a brand and a client base." - Susan Wakelin

Although Susan has a wealth of experience in Human Resources, when setting up SWan HR, she had little experience running a business and understanding of the different elements involved, such as sales and marketing.

"I was very naive when setting up my own website, not understanding the time and effort it takes to build up an online presence." - Susan Wakelin

With no clients, Susan's first and most pressing problem was how to reach out to potential customers. Susan set up her own website, but quickly found that she needed expert advice in relation to search engine optimisation, and the first piece of advice she received was to rebuild her website in a more Google friendly way. Susan quickly learnt that sometimes you do need to speak to others and get expert advice.

In addition to this, Susan had limited social media presence and one of her initial priorities was to build up her connections on LinkedIn and Facebook. She was also advised to write weekly blogs on her website and post links to these on her social media.

"Something I find most challenging is writing my own blogs each week, however, I have received good feedback, which is very encouraging." - Susan Wakelin

SWan HR's first clients

Susan Wakelin quickly learnt that she could help a broad range of clients with a broad range of needs. Susan offers a free half-hour consultation, and prides herself on listening to each and every client to understand clearly their current situation and concerns, to ensure that she offers the right support at the right price.

"I wanted to reach smaller enterprises who need me most, because I know where HR succeeds, the business achieves!" - Susan Wakelin

Initially, clients were referred to Susan from people she had worked with or for during her years of employment in London, which Susan is most proud of. Susan also joined a local networking group who referred clients to her and, in the last few months, Susan's online presence has started to generate a few enquiries.

"What I find most exciting is working with clients from a broad range of industries, who have a wide variety of problems and concerns." - Susan Wakelin

Susan Wakelin's first client was referred to her from her networking group. It was a Company with few HR policies and procedures in place, who had a difficult situation resulting in a grievance from a long serving member of staff. Susan, following best practice, was able to work through the issues and settle the situation satisfactorily for both parties.

The range of industries Susan has been supporting at SWan HR, includes: coach travel, haulage, logistics, funeral services, events, construction, architect, garden nursery, later living and care companies.

The range of support Susan has provided, includes: investigations, grievances, disciplinaries, redundancies, sickness absence and people resigning in the heat of the moment, as well as creating contracts of employment, policies, procedures, handbooks and forms.

SWan HR the next six months?

The one thing SWan HR has learnt, is that there are employers are out there that need help, even if they do not know it. Many have no HR support, they use incorrect and out of date information from the internet to create offers of employment, or don't have any written offers and often no policies and procedures in place at all. They believe that they are doing the right thing, that they are treating their employees well and naively believe that "it will never happen to them".

"Small employers are scared that implementing HR best practice will cost too much money and will cause unnecessary workload, but it is actually the complete opposite." - Susan Wakelin

Problems will eventually arise where employees are not looked after and managed properly, which can be incredibly stressful for any business owner and is not always easy to repair.

SWan HR Consultancy (London and Kent)

SWan HR is an HR consultancy that specialises in HR support for small to medium sized businesses in the South East.

"Where HR Succeeds, the Business Achieves"

SWan HR was founded by Susan Wakelin, MCIPD, who is a qualified HR professional with over thirty years' experience, from setting up, auditing and improving HR functions to management coaching and supporting organisations through difficult situations, transformation and change.

SWan HR provides a broad range of tailored HR services including an HR audit, HR advice, HR outsourcing, HR coaching and project work for all businesses.

Free HR consultation

Contact Susan Wakelin now to take advantage of a free half-hour consultation to talk through your initial HR concerns and how you can manage these going forward.

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