Charlotte Dean started P3 in October 2004 from a desire to offer high quality, yet simple and effective, outsourced HR support to SMEs across the North West.
P3 work with businesses from a range of industries, including IT, Finance, Property, Healthcare, Warehouse, Logistics and Manufacturing.
P3’s purpose is to improve business performance through effective and efficient people management. At their core, they provide their clients with professional and practical employment advice, plus support over the phone and via email through their HR Advisory Service.
In addition, P3 also provide regular and ad hoc on-site support on more complicated employee issues, or to deliver a more strategic outsourced HR service, as well as specific expertise for projects related to Resourcing and Talent Management, Business Acquisition and Change Management.
How long have you been running P3 and what does your business do?
I have been running the business since October 2004 so we have just celebrated 15 successful years!
We provide outsourced HR support for businesses with up to 200 employees. Our purpose is to enhance the success of organisations through their people.
We provide a full range of HR services so our clients get what they need when they need it, including HR admin support, a secure online HR system and a HR advisory line, plus more strategic HR expertise and projects for clients who are focused on growth.
What was the inspiration for the business current path you are on?
I loved all my in-house HR roles and I met inspirational people in all of them which has helped shape the person I am today.
I never wanted to start my own business – I loved being part of a team, not leading one!The real drive to go out on my own was when I was responsible for a number of business units across the north of England. Whilst they were all part of the larger organisation (the ‘mother ship’) they were independent units, with their own challenges and opportunities, and I loved working with those smaller teams of up to 150 staff rather than 5000.
I also felt that it was the smaller businesses who suffered most when things went wrong. They often don’t have the power or money that larger businesses have to deal with legal challenges. I have always believed that you can avoid such trouble by doing things right first time and I wanted to work with small businesses to help them do just that.
Is there one piece of advice you wish you’d been given before you started P3?
Don’t do everything yourself. Delegation is an art best learnt quickly!
What is the one most important thing you’ve learned during the experience of running your own business?
That it’s not just business, what we do is personal to those we work with and has a personal impact so acting with dignity, respect and understanding is key.
What do you see as your future business challenges?
It’s important to stay one step ahead of what businesses will be looking for with regards to people management so that we can maintain that competitive edge and ensure we are helping our clients to deliver their business objectives.
At P3, our focus for the future is on growing our own team and increasing our reach to businesses across the UK.
What would you like to leave as your business legacy?
That HR is commercial, strategic, value added and not as easy as some people think it is!
What would you say is your biggest business achievement so far?
We have had so many successes through the years. Overall, I am very proud that we are still going strong after 15 years and that we’re still supporting clients who have been with us from the very beginning.
When you are not running your business, what do you do to relax?
I love spending time outdoors with my family, whether it be walking on the beach or up a mountain, out on the bikes or motoring around in a bay in Wales doing some fishing!. My husband and I have recently qualified as day skippers too – sailing around Greece is magical experience. Closer to home, I also love a bit of DIY and gardening.
Your biggest achievement outside of business?
I’m not a runner but I was thrilled to have completed the Great North Run in 2002 for a local Charity – never again though!
What would you be doing if you weren’t running your business?
I truly love working with businesses so if I wasn’t running P3, I’d probably specialise in leadership and management. But in my dreams… I would be exploring the world by boat in my bare feet!