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Women Entrepreneur Awards 2023 WINNER

United Kingdom

Meg Fenney

HR Download


HR, Coaching & Education

About the Winner

HR consultant Meg Fenney founded HR Download in 2019 and has over 20 years’ experience in HR. Meg has a passion for helping leaders realise their potential and do what they didn’t realise they were capable of and for this reason, set out to build what is now a thriving HR Consultancy business.

HR Download create people strategies that deliver strong, profitable growth for clients - supporting leaders in developing their business through their people. We offer high-end HR support, including HR policies, employee relations advice and support with any people matters for small businesses typically between 10 and 150 employees.

We have grown the business from nothing since 1st August 2019. Shortly after launch, Covid hit in March 2020, yet the business has continued to grow from 0 to 42 clients currently and growing. We confidently expect this because our clients are recommending us to their network. 66% of our clients have come through recommendations. From the concept to now, we have moved ourselves from £0 turnover to viably sustaining 3 colleagues. Importantly the skill and experience level of our small team is exceptionally high. We have not gone for the traditional low-cost low skill approach that most businesses take. To deliver outstanding service, the HR Download team have put their money where their mouth is and hired the very best to join the team, enabling continued strong performance and service delivery during expansion. Other large businesses that service the same sector have apprentice level support that read off scripts to assist managing directors through, what is often the most stressful time of their business ownership. We know when leaders must let people go its hurt them, as the SME market treat their team as family, and they desperately care about the people and their actions. As such we coach, teach, and mentor with our vast experience and meet the leader where they are, and walk them through the issue with great empathy and knowledge, decreasing the level of stress dramatically in comparison to our competitors.

Testament to this and what HR Download stands for, there are several testimonials on our website and include comments such as:

"Outstanding Professional Service, Advice and Support. Exactly what we needed to help our company grow" Sam Thapar Sona

"We are a £2M business with 25 operatives and 10 office staff. We have used HR agencies before, but none have come close to Meg and her team. I would normally phrase this slightly differently, but it is both unusual and a pleasure to deal with someone that knows their stuff and gets stuff done, in HR it is unprecedented." Nigel Smith, Pro-Duct Clean

We believe that everyone should enjoy their work and deliver this to teams via high quality support for leaders enhancing their ability to foster positive work environments. Our support and products are designed to ensure our clients' teams are engaged through consistent, transparent, and fair practices that clarify roles, responsibilities, and expectations. We also believe we must add value and don’t want to be simply a reactive plaster for business owners. We have created many mechanisms to avoid this being the case, such as monthly newsletters, monthly micro training, both of which steer our business owners and importantly their managers to call us with any issue. We also hold quarterly reviews where we talk through their strategy, how they’re managing to succeed towards the strategy and what challenges are preventing them. From this we share our strategic thinking on what people lever would be useful for them to pull to help them move forwards towards their goal.

Our onboarding programme provides a structured, professional process, prompting managers to engage with new employees at various points of the onboarding. This creates a warm and supportive working environment from the outset with clear goals set out. It's estimated that around one quarter of the workforce will leave a company within 90 days and this product has been designed to reduce the risk of losing talent and alleviate administrative burden on leaders. MEEL Group spoke with us to advise how great this product had been to improve their new employee satisfaction and performance.

Furthermore, there are 27 videos to walk managers through an array of common people matters, e.g., handling investigations. We have recognised people now choose to watch videos as a way to learn for the 18 videos stored on YouTube we've received 327 views over an 18 month period.

To build a viable business Meg engaged with the well-regarded franchise 'Business Doctors' to analyse the HR Download model and put a strategic workplan in place. She also engaged in a local mastermind group (ROAR) that enabled HR Download to continue working 'on' rather than 'in' our business. We attend BNI meetings once a week for the Cheshire East region - the Exec Director BNI, David Skeels, commented "what was previously perceived as a painful process [managing people] is actually quite satisfying bordering on enjoyable." which represents what we are about.

We have commercial contracts in place for all our clients with broadly 72% of turnover guaranteed, from retained business. Our mix between retained, ad-hoc clients and strategic work has allowed sustainability throughout Covid. Meg ensures that GP is within the tolerance set (via Business Doctor's). We have several testimonials on our website but the quote from our client 'Ensure Safety & Training' says a lot - 'when it came to our annual review, it was a no brainer, why would we not renew for another 12 months?'.

Our growth plan is well thought through and tested. We want to continue the BNI growth which typically leads to £30,000.00 of new retained business each year, we have found that networking is our most valuable lead generation tool and as such have chosen to join the Chamber of Commerce this year along with another local networking group.

Women Entrepreneur Award 2023 Winner

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