Gloucestershire Woman of the Year Awards 2017 Winners
We had a fantastic start to June! I’m very proud to say that the Auto-Enrolment Bureau won ‘Business of the Year’ at the 2017 Gloucestershire Women of the Year Awards. We were up against some amazing local companies, so it was a genuine surprise and a real honour to win this award. Many congratulations to all of the award winners and finalists – all women with amazing businesses.
My journey from the company’s inception in 2013 up to now has been hugely enjoyable and I’ve loved every minute. Setting up your own business equates to throwing yourself in at the commercial deep end - the challenges and demands of your business will take you well and truly out of your comfort zone but, ultimately, this gives you a huge amount of confidence in all aspects of life that perhaps you didn’t have before.
Having worked for a local actuarial and pension consultancy for nearly 20 years, I was more than ready for a change. The more I learned about workplace pensions, the more I realised that small businesses would struggle to become the pension experts that the Government expected them to be, and they might appreciate a little help.
So the Auto-Enrolment Bureau was created, and our first job was to service a handful of payrolls from a local accountancy practice. The payroll bureau has since become the backbone of the business, and we have some wonderfully appreciative and loyal clients who have been with us from the start. We employed our first payroll manager very early on so that I could focus on developing the pension side of the business, and then later on we needed further support on the pension side. Employing the right staff has been key to the success of the business.
I found that I loved networking, and this was a great way to spread the word about workplace pensions. The referral network we’ve created across Gloucestershire and the UK provides us with the vast majority of our clients today – there’s nothing like a positive introduction from someone who knows both parties.
Since 2013 we’ve helped hundreds of businesses across Gloucestershire and the UK to choose and set up their workplace pensions. For some of our clients, the ongoing pensions administration through payroll was too much for them, and so they’ve passed their payroll work to us too. Pensions and payroll now go hand in hand, so our knowledge of both has been of huge benefit on the payroll side.
Looking forwards, the workplace pension ‘capacity crunch’ will slow down later this year, although new businesses will still need help and advice, and in readiness for this we’re focusing a little more on our payroll and ongoing pension support services. We’re very proud of our payroll track record and our aim is to be the most proactive and tech smart payroll bureau in Gloucestershire!