Case studies

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I never dreamed I’d have taken on a second territory in month 9!"
Deborah Witcomb - Southampton and Fareham With The HR Dept for 1 year

From riches to rags...and back again. From hamster to fat cat. Starting a franchise business helped Deborah boost her personal life.

A Chartered Fellow of CIPD with over 22 years’ experience, Deborah mainly worked in the FTSE 100 Defence and Engineering sectors and travelled all over the UK, living 3-4 nights a week in hotels, truly placing herself on the proverbial hamster wheel…and the road to hell. This took a toll on Deborah’s health, marriage and relationship with her teenage daughter.

“I wanted to invest in a recognised brand, with a solid support network, advice and support behind it so that I could hit the ground running and replicate a pretty impressive income as soon as physically possible.

“I initially enquired about The HR Dept in 2012, but after my husband became ill, I had no choice but to stay in employment to keep our heads above water financially. When I arranged to meet Gemma individually in December 2016, I didn’t need any convincing, I was just wanted to know where to sign!”

Deborah hit the ground running in her first year

“I never dreamed I’d have taken on a second territory in month 9!

“I really thought it would be tough and made all concerted efforts to get rid of all our luxuries, gym memberships, cleaner, horse livery, grocery delivery and pull the belt in as far as possible. Sticking rigidly to the advice that is provided, it wasn’t long before the luxuries were reintroduced to our household and in fact, we’ve now reverted back to all our high-end habits!”

Working from home

“Some might find keeping motivated whilst working in your own home challenging, but I simply love it; I am highly disciplined and focused, but if I don’t have an appointment, I can simply log on in my tracksuit or PJs in the hope that no one demands a video call!”

What does your HR Dept future hold?

“My intention is to expand my business year on year; I took on an additional territory in month 9, I am taking on a part-time administrator in the next month and have offered a higher apprenticeship to sponsor a business graduate to gain CIPD Level 5, starting in May.

“My vision is to employ a second full-time coordinator by the end of year 2. I am a very ambitious person and I fully intend to turn this into a significant business. I believe there is a market for it and I am confident I can continue the growth I’ve experienced so far.”

The licensee network

“I imagine running an independent business can be pretty daunting and lonely, but this is another priceless part of being a licensee; not only are the network like-minded and ambitious professionals, but they come with a wealth of experience across every sector and situation imaginable, and are only too happy to share their experience, templates and advice when you ask. Most of us have a niche skill and we play to our strengths and share our successes.”