Introducing Bronwyn Pearson, Director and Principal Consultant of the multi-award-winning HR Consultancy company, Pinnacle People Solutions (PPS). PPS specialises in serving regionally-based small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and not-for-profit (NFP) organisations. Their client base reaches from Southern NSW to Southern Queensland.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m originally from Sydney, however, moved to Armidale in 1991 and raised two wonderful children. When I started out, I could have easily returned to the city, but my regional experience was so wonderful and became such a part of my DNA, that Armidale quickly became my preferred location. I firmly believe that career opportunities and stable employment are integral components of regional capacity building, and I strive to meaningfully contribute to this. At PPS, we aim to make a conscious, mindful contribution to the growth of the communities we serve.
What does PPS do?
PPS supports regionally-based businesses by providing HR services and helping them build internal capacity. Our services include HR health audits and framework builds, investigations, performance management, Industrial Relations, specialised recruitment, and executive coaching. We’ve also recently added HR training to our services. We are delivering a HR training series for the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network, and before this, training for the RMA Network across NSW.
Why has PPS been so successful?
I am very fortunate to work with great people who are all aligned in terms of ethics and values and love what they do. We take the time to understand our clients’ businesses inside out, so that the support we give is entirely fit-for-purpose and unique to each business and circumstance.
There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a problem solved or a business thriving. We are as invested in our clients’ successes as they are, and we’re always open to learning about additional needs that we may be able to provide support for. Also, we are not a traditional consultancy service who “fly in”, drop a report and walk away. We offer a meaningful and ongoing commitment to our clients and pride ourselves on this.
What were your biggest challenges starting out?
Belief. Could I do this? What if no one wanted to work with me? What if, despite all the research into the market, people still didn’t want it or didn’t want it from me? But, I always believed in the purpose. And it was purpose that made me overcome belief.
What is your favourite part of running your own business?
The flexibility. I work hard and often over long hours, but I’m able to be there for my family. I also get to work and meet with interesting people and businesses across NSW and Southern QLD. I love the diversity. Our work is a constant challenge; it requires us to be across a huge variety of awards, arrangements, and industries, and I love that. I like being my own boss, but that is not the main thing. For me, it’s getting to see the difference we make.
As a small business owner, what qualities have you found the most useful?
Resilience, innovation, and attention to detail – this is vital given regulations surrounding HR. Also, the ability to have difficult conversations to help the business get through a crisis and come out the other end stronger and more capable. In our team, we call it being “frank and fearless”. There is an opportunity in every crisis, and we help businesses realise that opportunity by providing perspective and insight.
What inspires you?
My family. I’m incredibly proud of my adult children, who have launched into the world and are achieving great things. To see them “grabbing life by the scruff of the neck”, forging their own paths with integrity and drive, is just fantastic.
What would you advise a business just starting out?
Do your homework. I’m a person who likes to have plans A to Z, with all the alternatives covered. Don’t just research your speciality and whether there is a need for it. Go out and understand what it is to run a business. If you can afford it, get a good business coach or seek out mentoring. When I started out, I had great support from the Armidale Business Chamber, and I still have a great business coach. She helps me with perspective, working through issues and challenges me to take the time to work on the business, as much as in it. Sometimes, you need an external prod to do it. If you don’t, your business can fall victim to being “busy”, and then you’re busy until you’re not.
Where to from here?
What we have discovered is that our fit-for-purpose solutions for regionally-based SMEs and NFPs is translatable to all regional contexts. The need in the New England is the need in all regional areas. While each area has unique challenges and opportunities, regionally based businesses everywhere are looking for a trusted advisor to help them attract, develop and manage their staff. We are still the only specialists in this space, so our next big challenge is developing scale without losing our boutique feel and hands-on approach.