This time last year I came back to work fresh from a Christmas break, determined to be ruthless about concentrating on the aspects of running my business that contributed towards success. I was convinced that I could improve margins and grow the business by cutting out all the distractions.

Of course the challenge came in identifying which were distractions and which still needed my close attention. I have always wanted to invest time in my (18) staff, but when I looked closely, I realized that a lot of the time I spent on staff management was actually wasted on dull administrative functions. If I could find the right tools to help me, I could instead focus my staff time on getting the best from my team, instead of the admin tasks of being an employer.

That’s where the idea of citrusHR was born. Because when I looked at what was out there, I couldn’t find a solution that really worked. I wanted a software-as-a-service tool – one that the supplier would keep up to date so I didn’t need to. I wanted a tool that would keep control of holiday requests, record absence, show me who was in that week and in which of our two offices. But I wanted a tool that would keep track of the critical things that I knew I had to do right – stay across work permit deadlines and remind me how to process maternity leave requests. And I wanted a tool that allowed me to adapt a single employment contract for all the purposes I needed.

citrusHR was born out of my experience of being an employer of around 20 staff. I wanted to spend my time inspiring and leading those staff, not keeping track of their holiday requests and work permit deadlines.

For the next year, I listened to the experiences of small employers, developed a SaaS tool that would meet their needs and refined the approach so it addressed what I heard small businesses were crying out for.

A year later and the first clients have signed up to citrusHR. But that doesn’t mean that we’ve stopped listening to what small businesses really want. I am determined to ensure that citrusHR listens harder and reacts to what it hears faster than any other SaaS supplier. I’ve spent my lifetime running small businesses and I know that it’s only by spending time with your clients that you really build solutions that work rather than solutions that sell.

So, if you’re a small business owner, then I would be delighted to hear what you think of citrusHR and how it could be made even better at allowing small businesses to concentrate on running their business, not their to do list.

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