Introducing Cheryl Evans
Three years ago I started up my own business – ‘Helping Hands Business Support Services’ – offering basic bookkeeping, credit control, systems development, payroll and HR advice to Sole Traders and SME’s.
I was working on-site at one of my very first clients when I met Sarah from New Dawn Resources, who they had brought on board to guide them in readiness for their BRC audit.
I immediately warmed to Sarah’s enthusiastic and professional way in which she managed the anxious and somewhat disorganised client. Our aims were the same: we were helping and supporting a company to ensure that they had the confidence to deal with one of the many day to day challenges that SMEs face.
Over the past few years, I have grown my client base, from sole traders to those employing 30 staff, providing a helping hand to business owners in construction, recruitment, textiles, logistics and even a Zumba instructor! Throughout this time, mine and New Dawn Resources paths kept crossing one way and another, and I found myself working with Sarah and Vanessa a number of times, always with the same goals of helping and supporting.
So where did it all start? I started working for a manufacturing firm when I was 18, (a very long time ago, but how many years specifically I am not telling!) I had a go in the sales dept, then moved quickly into accounts. I worked on the old ‘Kalamazoo’ system (I bet not many of you will even know, or can remember that!) We had a manual pay system and then we moved into the 90’s. I was actually the first person to have one of those boxes on my desk that they call a computer and everyone was so jealous (I do sound really old now).
I remember when ‘the boss’ used to tell the shop floor lads that “if they weren’t prepared to work overtime ont’ Saturday they could leave their boots on their way out and not come back on Monday!” – Can you imagine anyone doing that now?
Always being a somewhat confident individual I remember telling the Chairman that I thought it was time we ought to have a look at contracts of employment and that perhaps we needed to give them out to staff….that was my introduction to Human Resources. From contracts to staff handbooks, policies, procedures, shop floor disputes, disciplinaries, grievances, health & safety risk assessments…..it all suddenly became my responsibility and I loved it!
It was tough at times – culture change can be difficult for both managers and staff but we got through it and it was a great experience. I studied part-time at Huddersfield Uni for my CIPD, whilst working full time and having two very young children who are now two very ‘grown up’ teenagers!
Being 5ft (well just under, but what’s ¼“…), having to deal with heated disputes between very tall, outspoken factory workers, and the trials and tribulations of office politics, I soon realised that it was how you conduct yourself and your approach to situations – listening, being objective, consistent and fair whilst still paying attention to detail that was important.
Dealing with so many situations, characters, individuals, managers and companies over the years it is so apparent that all SMEs and Business Managers need consultation, advice, guidance and a ‘helping hand’ at some point, but the challenge is finding the right people to help, to give them the confidence to deal with the challenges they face and New Dawn Resources does just that!
That’s why, when I was given this amazing opportunity to merge with New Dawn, I knew immediately it was the right move and to be honest I have had to hit the ground running (even though that isn’t one of my favourite clichés). Now, as part of New Dawn Resources, we have the skills and expertise to offer all the services I offered, in addition to the excellent and attentive care and service that New Dawn currently offer. The future is looking good for all of us at New Dawn Resources: our existing and our new clients as we continue to grow from strength to strength and confidently offer professional, affordable support to Businesses.