Olga Crosse launched Tercus HR (then CrosseHR), her HR consultancy, in January 2015 after many requests from start-ups, small businesses, and charities to provide HR and business support to those businesses that can’t afford full-time HR but need it from time to time.
Prior to that Olga had over 20 years of experience working for all sorts of businesses big and small, local government, central government – you name it, she has worked in it. Tercus HR is more than just a supplier of services, it really gets under the bonnet of the business and provides that all-encompassing support. No question or issue is too silly (well, maybe sometimes).
Working mainly with entrepreneurs on a day-to-day basis, Olga could get asked anything from “Have you got an employment contract or staff handbook?” to “My employee is suing me, what do I do?” and from “I am short-staffed” to “How do I know if I’m paying enough?”, “How do I deal with millennials?”, or “I need to shake things up around here” and everything in between. She was even asked what sandwich they should buy – quite regularly in fact. She gets asked to do podcasts and has met some truly amazing businesses and their owners. “It’s amazing how innovative the UK actually is”, says Olga.
Being an entrepreneur can be lonely and isolating and often Olga is the only one a CEO or owner can honestly speak to and that Olga feels is as important part of the job as anything else – in most cases the most important. Olga’s clients range from tech, advertising, social care, restaurants and catering, to charities, social enterprises, and retailers.
As Olga tells it, “the first year of starting the business was nerve-racking to say the least; you are everything from the bookkeeper to the marketer, to the business developer, PR, etc. Doing the actual HR work was easy compared to running the business. Without Colin at the Portobello Business Centre for support, I’m not sure I would have kept going. He introduced me to people, badgered me into attending the PBC events where I met wonderful people who became my clients and who still are to this day. PBC was a wonderful revelation to me and I cannot thank Colin enough, even though I nearly killed him the other day when driving him back in my car, I recommend them all the time and champion them constantly. Other business owners I know in other boroughs envy the support the PBC gives, it really is special”.
A few very crazy years later and Tercus HR is going strong and has built up a solid roster of fabulous clients. “No day is ever the same, running a business is tough so it’s good to help out where you can and provide real support in a cost-effective way. Tercus HR are hoping to expand, hire staff, and take on some bigger contracts, as well as looking after the clients in the same all-encompassing way they still do.
And any advice to other start-ups and entrepreneurs?
Olga says: “Never, ever try and do everything yourself – especially if it’s not your strong point. It won’t work. I hired a social media person, a sales person and a bookkeeper, which allows me to concentrate on the business instead of fretting about tweets and newsletters. Always pay your bills on time… even though some don’t! Always try to give business to other start-ups and entrepreneurs – the big organisations have enough, give the little guys a chance. And if you feel like you have a business in you, go for it, what’s the worst that could happen? One last thing: there is no greater feeling than being your own boss and never having to sit through an appraisal again, even though ironies of ironies, I roll-out appraisals all the time to the businesses I work with!”
LinkedIn: Tercus HR Twitter: @tercus_hr Website: www.tercushr.co.uk