I want to start my own HR business: What now?
If you’re in HR and have considered launching your own consultancy, you’re not alone. More and more people are longing for the independence and flexibility that comes with starting their own business, and with over half of business owners agreeing that there has never been a better time to take the plunge, now could be the perfect chance.
That just leaves the question – how do you start?
What’s Your Motivation?
If you find yourself daydreaming about being your own boss, it can be really helpful to do some self reflection and consider your motivation. Are you experiencing an entrepreneurial pull in the direction of having ownership over your own company? Or is it a push away from the stress of corporate life?
Once you’ve identified your motivations, it’s much easier to take the next step of assessing your strengths and opportunities. As a business owner, you have to wear lots of different hats: there’s development, financing, networking, marketing, and, of course, the delivery of HR services to consider.
Once you’ve established your strengths and motivations, you can start to consider different routes: do you want to go solo, or does setting up with a franchise sound better suited to you? Are you more interested in being a generalised or specialised consultant? Take the time to think about what would work best for your business goals, and go from there.
What Route Do You Want to Take?
Let me be clear here – the franchise route is a real game changer. Being a part of a network gives you support across a multitude of areas, allowing for the best of both worlds – the independence and autonomy of having your own business along with guidance from the franchise’s head office and network of existing licensees; a knowledge bank that independent consultants just don’t have the benefit of.
If you are interested in the franchise option, there is plenty of guidance available to help you while you find your feet. The first few months are crucial, so it can be really beneficial to have that extra support during this time.
Franchises and independent start-ups differ in that franchise networks have already gone through the trials and tribulations of getting their business off the ground – franchisees are able to skip these steps with the backing of an established brand behind them, which has continuously been shown to work through research of business success rates. According to data from What-Franchise during 2022, 80% of new franchised businesses were still going after their first five years, and NatWest’s 2018 report with the British Franchise Association found that 93% of all franchises claimed profitability during that year.
What Resources Do You Need?
As part of the necessary financial backing that comes with launching a consultancy, there are options in place such as business loans to consider. The HR Dept works closely with suppliers to offer licensees fast and reliable access to funding, and also give advice and support in crafting the business plan that accompanies the loan application process. Beyond this, there is also a preferred accountant available that provides the necessary services in your first year.
Once you’ve sourced a loan and your business plan is done and dusted, it’ll be time to focus on marketing and branding your business so you can get going. With The HR Dept, marketing materials are readily supplied to help you get started, such as business cards, a website, and written content. Not only does this help with your online presence, but your ability to make connections and attract clients.
Being part of a franchise doesn’t only support you in servicing clients, but it helps to be part of a network as well. As a HR consultant, your role can be challenging. It takes compassion to be able to deal with difficult interpersonal situations. It’s about more than just being good with people – real HR means doing the right thing for people, and that can be hard, especially when you’re just starting out on your own. The support network of the franchise means you’re never alone in a tricky situation, and you have people with knowledge and experience to turn to for guidance.
About the author:
Sandra Porter joined The HR Dept Elmbridge as a licensee during 2016 after being a full-time mum for several years. Not wanting to return to the corporate world with two children to care for, The HR Dept was the perfect fit for her desired work/life balance. She has since grown her consultancy over two territories with a team working on the outskirts of London. Sandra has also published a book titled ‘How to Be a HR Superstar’ that explores all areas of success in HR.