Are You An Entrepreneur Starting a Business? Or Already Running a Company That is Suffering From Growing Pains?

Adam Coleman HRLocker Blog

Whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur or a newbie just starting out in a new business there are so many supports and programs out there that can help. There are also a lot of tools and communication methods that can be used to make the everyday task of running and managing your company easier.

One thing that must be done – and trust us we know how hard this can be – is to author a Business Plan. This may seem like a tedious and time consuming activity but if you are serious about taking your business forward and eventually seeking help either from government, the banks or a funding body it is the one document I guarantee they will all ask for.

There are lots of websites out there that can help you to create a good business plan. We recommend that you take the time to do this right. Why? Well, because it will save you time in the future. Once you have a first draft don’t hesitate to reach out to someone and have them read it over for you and there are so many sources online to help do your research.

A website that has an excellent business plan creation guide is the Invest Northern Ireland step by step guide. or if you want to take it a step further you could use a business plan software package.

Check out what we use: LivePlan

At HRLocker we use LivePlan and we love it! Why? Liveplan is in-expensive, easy to use and links directly with our accounts package Xero. This connected approach allows us to gauge how we are doing against our business plan in real time allowing us to know where we stand and keep our eyes on the future too!

Northern Ireland Business Info Guide

Another great website, ThinkBusiness.ie, has some excellent help with creating a business plan and also has a handy template that can be downloaded.

Think Business Business Plan Template

ThinkBusiness.ie also have this great list of 50 funds and supports available in Ireland.

Taking the time to go through the process of writing the business plan will allow you to get a clear picture of the task at hand. By assessing what needs to be done and how you plan to do it, what may have seemed like a good idea can become an inspired entrepreneur’s vision.

Once you have a good working document that you are happy with, you will be able to go back and edit and change it as you go forward to reflect how the business changes as you grow. Here in HRLocker we advocate planning out your workload step by step and breaking up your management tasks into workable chunks. Trust us! You don’t need to do everything at once!

When you are off the ground and starting to look to hire people then it is the time to talk with us. Normally when companies start hiring people they look to friends, family and their immediate network. This can prove to be the biggest mistake that a start-up makes.

Our advice would be, absolutely use your network, but also go to market to see what is out there. Products like the applicant tracking software Hire in HRLocker will allow you to advertise across all the social job platforms and popular job boards for very little money. Less money in fact, than putting out an advert in your local paper or going to one specific job board. The great thing about HRLocker is that you can take on these supports when you need them and you are not forced to take the whole package from day one.

Here in Ireland we have a range of supports from local and national, public and private organizations that can be approached for help. A good place to start would be your Local Enterprise Office.

Another common business issue you will have when you reach 5+ employees, is managing employee’s holidays and times.

How can we help? Well for starters we can help with tracking employee hours, holiday and leave entitlements and requests. This can include helping your business to be compliant by allowing workers to sign in and out of work, or record and track their hours worked. In Europe and the UK this is now is required, and here in Ireland we need to stay in line with the Working Time Act 1997.

Here in Europe and the UK, keeping records of your employee’s time worked is a legal requirement and if you don’t have an electronic system like HRLocker, it will mean a lot of paper and excel spreadsheets that are only held in case you get audited and a pain to check and keep. If you start to think about even a small company with say 10 employees that is a lot of records that need to be maintained and secured.


Business Solution 1- Time-tracking

Timesheets & Clock In/Out- Many business owners and Companies freak out when they find out that they must track employees time and go out and buy expensive time and attendance systems, with biometric recording and the like. You don’t have to over-commit with a fancy costly solution, slow down and ask yourself – What is the business issue you are looking to solve?

  1. It’s a compliance thing (well lets face it- you have to do this, so how can the company stay compliant and add more value to my business?)
  2. Could recording time, if positioned and introduced properly, help keep my employees more focused?
  3. Could this data inform me on other things that would help me in business decisions. (The answer to this is yes, I would love to show you🙂)?

You can see more about your legal obligations on the Employment Rights Ireland Website

Using our system would alleviate the stress and worry about falling short of these legal requirements, while also focusing on making sure your employees can stay more engaged and productive. 

HRLocker has two ways that your employees can record their time worked. We have the option for the use of time sheets where employees record their hours worked or the option to have your employees log in and Clock In & Clock Out as the day progresses. Another handy feature of our timekeeping systems is that employees can also input time spent on projects. All this information is then stored in the lovely tidy cloud and can easily be accessed, reported on and ran with HRLocker.

Business Solution 2- Leave Tracking

Our system also makes tracking employees Holiday and Annual Leave entitlements a breeze. Allowing employees to see who’s off at at any moment really improves communication and reduces the chance of getting caught with too many people off from the same department at the same time. This gives managers the comfort of having the ability to avoid a resourcing nightmares.

There is no need to stress when either on-boarding or off-boarding employees about how many days they are entitled to, all these calculations are done automatically with HRLocker.

Business Solution 3- Applicant Tracking

HRLocker is also able to help recruit, hire and on board prospective employees. Our system does the hard work for you and will save time and money plus allow you to automate all the administration and posting of jobs associated with hiring new employees.

When starting out in business it can be so easy to get bogged down in the actual day to day task of managing the company. This can lead to high levels of stress and also feelings of not having enough time and energy to do all that needs to be done.

By being clever about your approach and using some of the handy tools out there for running a business so many of the less exciting tasks can be automated. This will leave you breathing space to spend more time on doing things that are going to get you more customers and that you enjoy.

Starting a company is hard work and at times it may seem overwhelming. Please don’t hesitate to book a call or chat into our HRLocker chat bubble for any advice about how using HR Software can help to make your business and employees happy!

And, if you haven’t started yet, get to work on that business plan!

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Are You An Entrepreneur Starting a Business? Or Already Running a Company That is Suffering From Growing Pains? was last modified: August 13th, 2019 by Adam Coleman

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