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Meet Sonya Kemp of EveryBusiness HR Essentials

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sonya Kemp.

Sonya, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In the beginning …

We identified an unmet need for affordable, high quality, customized Human Resources solutions and tools for small and mid-size businesses. EveryBusiness HR Essentials was launched to serve businesses which either lack HR infrastructure or those with overburdened HR functions dealing with growth or change. We’ve found our niche helping organizations in a variety of industries by providing additional resources and expertise for a short or even extended time. Our approach is straightforward. We’re passionate about understanding what makes your business successful so we can provide the right HR tools, solutions and resources.

Whether you need compliance training, a new HRIS system or an overall assessment of your HR function, we’re your go-to HR experts. Our unique combination of solid expertise, experience and enthusiasm ensure we can deliver the exact support you need to better manage your workforce. For more about our entire suite of services, visit How We Help. “Regardless of size or industry, businesses must apply well-crafted, well-communicated, and effectively implemented HR tools and processes to drive performance. I founded EveryBusiness HR Essentials to deliver these tools and processes to market in a way that makes the most sense for small and mid-sized companies.”

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Smooth — by no means!

Entrepreneurship is new to me. I often say I’m glad I didn’t know how hard it would be because it might have deterred me! Starting a business is a passion project — be sure you have enough passion to sustain you through researching your target market, zeroing in on your service offering, delivering on your commitments, setting up infrastructure, setting up financial systems and most importantly, recruiting the right, like-minded people.

Failure is real, Expect it. Corporate success does not assure entrepreneurial success. The first couple of years of being in the “red” were so frustrating. I equated those losses to my corporate experience thinking, how long do you move forward when there is no evidence (profit) your direction is correct?

The hardest lesson for me was pricing. I’d expend tremendous effort identifying prospective clients, creating a winning proposal, selling the work, fulfilling the commitment only to have underbid the project and make no profit! This happened a number of times and not just in the beginning!! Lesson # 1 – Learn how to price your services competitively is key to surviving.

Feedback, both solicited and not, has been invaluable!! Initially, I created the business and its logo. A few years in, a trusted advisor gifted my input from a team of MBAs. Their recommendations were spot on but hard to hear. I’m so glad I heard them and acted. Lesson #2 – Keep your ego in check and take good advice.

Self-management is critical. There is far more to do than time to get it done. Workaholic behaviors will take hold to serve the business. That said, I can attest to Lesson #3 – Feed your non-work passion as often as possible. With something to look forward to, I can work tirelessly for long, long, long stretches. However, when the downtime target arrives — I am all in on recharging and disconnecting.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about EveryBusiness HR Essentials – what should we know?
EveryBusiness HR Essentials (EBHR) exists to provide HR support to small and mid-size businesses, on demand, not on payroll. We specialize in learning about your business and understanding its intersection between product or service and people. At this juncture, we work to identify what is needed if nothing currently exists or how to improve your current people processes for better business outcomes.

I love working with business owners because, while my corporate experience has taught me much, there is no greater education than being eye to eye with someone dedicated to making their enterprise great.

I am most proud of EBHR’s ability to develop trusted relationships with clients who time and time again return to us for new, different and more complex projects based our prior successes for them.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Being a good, engaged listener. Regardless of what you do, if you do not listen well and with your whole being, cues, clues and important data is missed. We differentiate by how we listen and deliver based on what we heard.

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