back to Success Stories

Lightbulb moments lead to growth for West HR

Many agree that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed various aspects of life including the way we learn. For Melton Mowbray-based West HR, online learning had already started to feature within their training delivery. However, the pandemic has also led to a few lightbulb moments for founder Sue West, as she navigated what has turned out to be a digital transformation and growth journey over this last year.

Sue started her business in 2010 after working in HR her whole career. West HR provides a mix of consultancy for small businesses, who typically don’t have an HR function in-house, together with training for HR professionals and people managers both online and face to face.

The consultancy side of her business was very busy as lockdown happened with many businesses calling on Sue for support, particularly around redundancies. When the furlough scheme was announced she kept her clients up to date, as details came through bit by bit. Like other businesses that relied on face-to-face meetings, lockdown meant her classroom HR training work sadly dried up.

Though her business didn’t qualify for any government-backed Covid-19 grants, Sue was signposted to several other resources from Melton Borough Council including the Business Gateway Growth Hub. Sue was put in touch with Business Adviser, Jo Moore, who provided tailored advice on the most appropriate funding available to her business including the Leicestershire Recovery Grant. From here, Sue’s idea for some on-demand HR e-lessons began to take shape.

With further advice from Jo on the application form, Sue secured a £3,000 grant to create three CPD accredited e-lessons that could be added to her website.  These covered an introduction to HR and employment law, managing redundancy together with recruitment and selection – key areas every business needs to minimise their risk around people management.

The e-lessons were not easy to find online, and it became evident her website needed a revamp if she wanted to attract more visitors, grow and do more digitally. Jo Moore also signposted Sue to specialist support from the Digital Growth Programme.  This enabled Sue to secure a further grant of £4,000 towards a new e-commerce website, which went live in June.

Her new site includes a host of resources for small businesses and HR professionals including over 100 blogs. Users can purchase consultancy services online, book appointments and webinars, do a live chat or buy a wide choice of on-demand HR compliance e-lessons.

Sue said: “Jo has asked some challenging questions throughout this journey and helped me come up with a business plan for growth. It’s led to some ‘penny drop’ moments as we’ve explored my client base in depth. I’ve realised I’m not just an HR consultant for small businesses but also a development consultant for HR professionals who want to increase their knowledge and awareness. I’ve also found that most of my training clients are larger employers.”

She added: “In addition, Jo and I have had some really good conversations on my pricing structure, to strike the balance in affordability for clients navigating tough times but also demonstrate the e-lessons are a quality, CPD accredited product. It’s been like having a third party saying ‘keep going.’ While the answers all come from me, Jo has a brilliant coaching style which has helped me get the work done and keep the momentum going.”

Jo commented: “We’ve had some really interesting, honest and open discussions together. It’s been great to see all Sue’s bravery and hard work pay off with the development of a new service for her clients.  And I know that the additional skills and knowledge she has gained by planning and implementing this growth strategy will help her to implement others further down the line.  The future looks bright for West HR which is great for Sue and gives me great satisfaction too.”

For a full business review including help with business planning for growth contact the Business Gateway on 0116 366 8487 or email