Name: Ciaran Strachan
Location: South Australia, Australia
hrsafe provides Fair Work and Safety software and services for SMEs in high risk sectors including hospitality.
What products/services do you offer?
After two years of research with SME owners, we decided to create three types of services. Bundles, Presentations and Round Tables. Our bundles are for any SME with 1-100 employees, each contain
- Employment Contracts, Policies & Procedures for both the FWA and OHS Act.
- A Fair Work and Safety Help and Advice line.
- HR and Safety Software so we can support you anywhere at anytime.
- A 12 month health Check.
Our Presentations are monthly and on Fair Work and Safety subjects, some are presented by experts in related fields such as Mental health.
Owners Table is coming soon. When it is up and running, it will provide a safe space for owners to talk about confidential topics and listen to experts for requested tailored session.
Why did you start your business and how long have you been running it?
We started hrsafe 12 months ago and we will commence trading in April 2020. My business partner and I decided to amalgamate our HR and Safety consulting businesses due to an increased demand in Fair Work and Safety services, and separate software. We decided to combine all three and streamline our services with bundles and presentations. I also spent 2 years speaking to owners and other professionals such as accountants and solicitors servicing SMEs and asked them what was keeping them up at night and how could we design something that supports them all with regard to Fair Work and Safety. The result was Bundles, Presentations and Owners round table.
What struggles do you think most businesses face in your industry and what would you say they need to do to overcome them?
All SMEs struggle to meet award, workers rights, safety legislations and good HR and safety practices in addition to understanding and applying data driven decision making. Collectively, we have 45 years of specialist experience and a total of 4 (soon to be 5) post graduate degrees in HR, Fair Work and Safety. To say these are not professions and that anybody can do HR/Fair Work and Safety is no different to saying anybody can be an accountant or solicitor. The best thing a owner can do is due diligence on software and experts to help them with their Fair Work, HR and Safety obligations.
This is why we combine our expertise with software to ensure SMEs spend more time on their core operations and spend very little to access two professions and software, at a monthly fee that equals an employment lawyers hourly rate.
SMEs struggle not only with compliance, but understanding and applying specialist knowledge to high risk situations including ending employment and applying entitlements such as leave (the top 2 non compliance risks according to the FWO).
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Recently, it was completing my MBA specialising in HR. Soon, I will have been a part of creating a new Masters in Employment Relations for a well known Australian University.
What has been your biggest ‘fail’ so far?
Well, quitting a six figure job over eight years ago and starting on my own. From a financial perspective, this was a failure, but from a self fulfillment perspective, a huge success.
What do you love most about your business?
That’s simple, its helping people and long term, making a difference as we plan to pioneer new HR practices that combine IR compliance with productivity and reducing mental health issues. Just to name a few.
What do you find most challenging?
Navigating emotive situations such as unfair dismissal and ensuring both the employee and employers rights and obligations, and where possible, best practices are observed.
How do you promote your business (please include as many details as you can)?
We have a two years strategy and our promotion will grow as we achieve growth milestones.
Initially, we are marketing directly to Hospitality SMEs face to face (walk in and have a cuppa and conversation) and with monthly Presentations. Eventually, our strategy allows for an expert to take over our webpage for SEO optimisation. We also have other strategies that are designed to increase our exposure and credibility over our competitors. This includes publications and posts on linkedin, HRMOnline, Institute of Managers and Leaders (IML) Magazine and state seminars, Senate Enquiry Submissions, advisor to a National University etc.
What business skills do you have (eg. graphic design, customer service)?
Fair Work Specialist, business partner is a Safety Specialist.
What software did you/your designer use to create your website (eg. WordPress, Wix)?
WordPress with Elementor and several Elementor addons/plugins. Base template is Business Lounge.
What are some of your favourite business tools and apps?
We tested 23 different HR, safety and payroll/roster systems for our bundles. Our end conclusion was Stems (for both Fair Work and Safety).
What do you like about your website and what’s not working for you?
It looks professional and reflects our well thought out strategy to our business model, including our communication plan of quality posts, which will grow in time.
What lessons have you learnt during your time as an entrepreneur?
Research and talk to owners, don’t follow the heard, just because competitors are big, doesn’t mean they are right.
What key tips for success in business would you like to share with others?
Do your research, including competitors, focus on low to minimal costs at the start, plan your growth including costs so that you get your model right from the start. If your gut tells you its not right, then its not right, but take the time to resolve the problem until your gut tells you it is right.
What is the one thing that you want everyone to take away from this post?
Fair Work and Safety Specialists.