Thursday, April 2, 2015

Anna Edwards Turned Her Luck Around And Created Her Own Business - Edwards HR

Becoming redundant isn’t always the incentive that makes a person decide to start their own business, and jump into the unknown, but this exactly what happened to Anna Edwards in 2013. Having the type of personality who isn’t scared of the unknown or afraid to jump in feet first, sums up Anna to a tee!

Edwards HR (of which Anna is the Director) began in June 2013, and is a HR consultancy providing HR support to SME’s that don’t have their own Human Resources department. Based in North-West Manchester, Edwards HR went limited in August of 2013, and has grown and grown since its inception that summer. Anna had previously worked in HR for 10 years and is a self-confessed workaholic, dedicated to Human Resources.

Before this career, she was a Retail Manager with a Business Studies Degree and had always been interested in the Human Resources side of her degree. After she left her retail management job she completed her official HR qualification (CIPD), and started at the bottom of the ladder.

The bottom of the ladder was a HR administration, but things quickly changed for Anna. She says; ‘Within 6 months of being there I was headhunted to become a HR advisor by another company, and spent 2 years there.’ Over time Anna climbed the ladder, and eventually became the head of Human Resources for Opal Property Group. When the company went into administration in 2013, Anna saw it as the perfect opportunity to start her own business.

‘It was either go and find another job, but nothing took my fancy at that time, or run my own business, which I’d always wanted to do. I thought I would try it and if it didn’t work I could always go and jump back in.’

Whilst Opal was winding down, Anna began to research and talked to a few different people about starting up her own business and then jumped straight in. A great opportunity occurred when Opal Property Group began to be split up, and Anna was handed one of the portfolio’s which didn’t have an HR function; ‘I saw it as an opportunity for me to go and say, look I can do this, I didn’t need to do it full time, I could be a consultant for them, and they took me on!’. At the moment that contract is coming to an end and Anna is winning new business and clients rapidly!

Although she is the first to admit that sales is not her strong point, Anna is getting more comfortable with selling her services through social media and recommendations, as well as working towards improving her confidence in terms of sales. This was how she heard about The Women’s Organisation. 

‘After Christmas this year, I knew I was going to be finishing with one of my biggest clients, so I had done some presentations for new clients and failed miserably. I’d taken a bit of a knock, because sales aren’t my strong point. This is when I contacted a friend of mine and asked if she knew anyone who was a business mentor because I needed to focus on my weaknesses.’

Her friend put her in touch with Manchester Programme Leader of The Women’s Organisation; Mike Marsden, and Anna has sat down many times with Mike to discuss her business, the aims for the future and how to achieve them.

‘It’s great to have someone that you can chat things out with.’ Anna says, and she has built up a support network within her industry that she can use to ask questions and advice of, including financial aid and legal aid. Anna says; ‘It’s all about building up a small network of support.’

The future is looking exciting for Anna, and she would like to take on staff as HR advisors, hopefully within the next 6-9 months as currently she is working long hours! But she admits she wouldn’t have it any other way because she is a self-confessed workaholic! And as the business approaches its second birthday, Anna is proud of all that she has achieved;

‘I’m really proud that we’re coming up to two years because a lot of small businesses don’t pass that, and there have been times when I wanted to pack it all in. You go through your peaks and troughs with it, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m doing something that I love and it’s for me. It’s great to see everything that you have achieved.’

Contact details for Edwards HR
Tel: 07799 627683

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