I have never been a lady who lunches
FOR Sue Tumelty life is actually getting busier and more stressful and it is obvious she is loving every minute of it.
Ironically as we speak she is on holiday in Crete with her "surrogate grandchildren" but by her own admission her business the HR Dept is never far from her thoughts.
The mother of two worked in human resources for most of her career but decided the time had come for a change when the firm she was taken over.
She explains: "Suddenly things just changed overnight and there was a real change in attitude.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
"I really didn't like it and I didn't want to work for a big corporate and decided to move on.
"My husband suggested I did some interim work, I worked on projects for companies but the problem was it was either feast or famine and it felt like I never saw anything through to the end properly."
As a result the 60-year-old decided to set up her own business offering HR services to small and medium sized business and the rest as they say is history.
The growth has been enormous and a series of 39 offices have opened across the country under franchise deals. As well as running the Bristol business, Sue also oversees the franchise operation from the firm's head office.
The company is very much a partnership with her husband Mike Stevenson, who is the finance director.
She said: "Mike used to be on the golf course three days a week but those days have long gone, we both work full time but I wouldn't do what I do unless I absolutely loved it and to be honest I am having the time of my life.
"I have never be one of those ladies that lunch and I would be bored out of my mind if I was sitting at home doing nothing.
"I am not domesticated in any way and I have worked all my life. I have always worked full time. I have never known anything different."
The company has grown at a frightening speed and according to Sue it is all about word of mouth.
She said: "It is really interesting and you can follow a pattern of how one contract led to the next thanks to referrals.
"There is no point in doing something unless you do it to the best of your abilities. We also found a niche and we provide a service that is in demand. There is no point in doing something unless you give 100 per cent service and I am really lucky because I have a great team of people around me."
"There are plenty of firms out there who cannot afford to have a human resources department but as soon as you take on an employee you have to do things properly.
"Some people are scared to expand because of the extra responsibility that comes with taking staff on. We can take care of all of that no matter how big or small the firm.
"Things have been tough for a lot of businesses out there but we always stand by our clients, loyalty is very important to us. We have never had our fingers burnt and people tend to remember. It means that people are incredibly loyal to us and also tend other businesses about us."
The fact that she is profoundly deaf is a subject that is raised only half way through our conversation and a good indication of just how remarkable, enthusiastic and spirited she is.
The conversation is peppered with the warm laugh of someone who enjoys her life but there is also an incredibly strong set of ethics and morals at work.
Sue is also proud to call herself a feminist and is a strong believer in instilling her beliefs and values in her two daughters.
She said: "It is a cliche but being in charge of a small company is incredibly tough and can also be lonely. If you have an employee who is not playing fair then it can be really difficult to deal with. It is the same if you are having to restructure and reorganise.
"People who run small companies get to know there employees intimately, they know about there children and their lives, it can be incredibly difficult.
"That is where we come along, we can take away the stress and the emotion out of a difficult situation."
She adds: "We can take the pain away. We have actually had cards from people who have been made redundant to say thank you for dealing with the situation so sensitively."
Sue went deaf in her mid 30s as a result of a viral infection but she is not the sort of person to let that kid of problem slow her down.
She said: "I have all sorts of gadgets to help me out but I don't like it when I am in a room and there is noise in the background. I also find it difficult when people treat my like I am stupid and shout in my face. In a way it has helped a lot because it makes me a very good listener."
Asked about the success of her business at a time when most of us our thinking about winding down she said: "It does dominate our lives but I wouldn't have it any other way.
"I think I am really lucky to be able to do something I really love and I am surrounded by a great team."