Olga Crosse launched CrosseHR her HR consultancy in January 2015 after many requests from startups, 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 or all the time but just not full time.
Prior to that Olga had over 20 years working for all sorts of businesses big and small, local government, central government – you name it she has worked in it. CrosseHR 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 stupid (well 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’ to ‘I am short staffed’ to ‘how do I know if I’m paying enough’ ‘how do I deal with millenials’…’I need to shake things up around here’ to everything in between. I’m even asked what sandwich they should buy quite regularly in fact. I get asked to do podcasts and have met some truly amazing businesses and their owners. Its amazing how innovative the UK actually is’. 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 the tech, advertising, social care, restaurants and catering, charities, social enterprises to retailers.
As Olga tells it, the first year of starting the business was nerve racking to say the least, you are everything from the book keeper to the marketer, to the business developer, PR, 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. As Olga says ‘the 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’.
3 very crazy years later, CrosseHR 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 its good to help out where you can and provide real support cost effectively. What next, CrosseHR 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 its not your strong point, it won’t work. I hire a social media person, a sales person and a book keeper, that 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, whats the worse that can 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.