Alan Price, CEO at BrightHR has one primary rule—don’t give up. “No matter how many knock-backs you might receive, always be prepared to dust yourself down and find an alternative route to the summit.” It’s this kind of grit and determination which is required to take a business idea from just an idea and transform it into a profitable business or product. Fear of failure is one of the main reasons that many people give up, but according to Alan, successful entrepreneurs treat failure as a learning curve and something to overcome in the future. “Everyone inevitably makes mistakes along the path to success. But what matters most is that you own your mistakes, don’t give up and move forward quickly,” adds Alan. BrightHR’s four key values have become an important milestone for anyone who wants to become an industry leader. “Being brave, being open, being an expert, and transforming yourself into an ally. This is something we work hard at BrightHR to instil in our people. And the best way to do this is to lead by example.”
BrightHR started when it recognized gaps in the market for a cost-effective and straightforward digital initiative for managers. “We saw that businesses were spending hours on staff admin rather than on their business, and we wanted to save them time and money,” explains Alan. “Staff absence can be a massive strain on small businesses. According to the CIPD’s 2016 Absence Management Report, the average cost of absence per employee is a massive £522 every year. And if a manager doesn’t have one place to track absences and spot patterns to reduce them, then they’ll lose thousands each year. That’s where BrightHR comes in.”
BrightHR helps businesses identify where they are going wrong, helping them to learn and develop through analysing data they didn’t have access to or even a record of before. They make it as simple as possible to track, export, and analyse the data that is collected across BrightHR’s digital platforms. For example, their data shows that in 2018 the average amount of time a member of staff turned up late was 36.17 minutes, and the most popular day to be late was Wednesday. It’s these kinds of metrics that can help users better understand their business and keep track of any recurring trends in lateness or sickness, which can be so costly. Thanks to BrightHR’s transparent recording system, 68% of businesses have seen a decrease in staff lateness after two years. This is because employees are more aware of their attendance. Not only does this benefit small business owners, but also employees who develop a better working relationship with their managers.
For Alan the greatest challenge has been helping and supporting employers through the enormous shift in business requirements during the coronavirus pandemic—while facing all the same issues as a business. Throughout the first UK lockdown, we closed our offices and staff worked remotely. To keep communication channels open, they relied heavily on video calls, screen sharing, and collaboration tools like Slack and Figma. “The Associate Director of Service and I also worked with the team as much as possible, so that we could continuously give direct feedback,” he says. “To support our customers, we created a full suite of software to support employers through every stage of the COVID-19 pandemic in-line with changing UK Government guidance.” From concept to creation, it took BrightHR just three weeks to create the Furlough Navigator. The Furlough Navigator helps employers plan wage claims, record staff details, and comply with the Job Retention Scheme. With a massive team effort, they went from concept to creation in three weeks; under half the time a project of this scale takes typically, with over 50,000 records logged to date. A few weeks after the launch of the Furlough Navigator, BrightHR launched the Back to Work Navigator. It helps employers with every element of bringing staff back to work safely, including a rota planner to easily set up staggered shifts in-line with government guidance and unlimited cloud-based storage for furlough documents. The Back to Work Navigator has now been used over 50,000 times.
It is pertinent to mention that BrightHR is always looking at new ways they can disrupt the market and create meaningful products that are beneficial to their customers. The creation of the Furlough Navigator and Back to Work Navigator has shown them just how quickly BrightHR can respond to a huge pivot in customer demand. “This motivates us to continue to be allies to small business owners and keep them at the heart of everything that we do in the future. By offering employers such innovative software products, we’ve been able to retain clients and attract new business,” adds Alan. In the financial year 19/20, BrightHR generated £8.7m in revenue, which is a 50% increase of revenue YoY. They also saw an increase in BrightHR users in the UK, jumping from 65,000 to 144,000, with no signs of slowing down. “Recently, we launched BrightSafe globally. It’s complete online health & safety software that helps existing customers through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. We know that it will provide small businesses with much-needed support as they get to grips with new health & safety processes and work to reopen their businesses,” elucidates Alan.