Case Study

Lynsey Walton

MSc Human Resource Management graduate, 2013 Walton-HR.co.uk & JustKillinTime.org

Graduate Lynsey Walton worked as a HR Business Partner for several corporate organisations before deciding to set up her own business. Since joining the Enterprise Place she has grown her business and recently launched a second venture, JustKillinTime.org.

In 2016, Lynsey set up Walton HR, a consultancy service that helps businesses recruit and retain happy, productive employees and avoid expensive disputes and employment tribunal claims. A year on from her first step into business start-up, Lynsey has gone on to co-found a second venture, Just Killin' Time, a true crime subscription box.

“Whilst in corporate HR I received several questions from friends, and on behalf of others, requesting HR advice. It became clear they weren’t confident in their current options and wanted to get help from someone they trusted so I decided to set up Walton HR.

"I found I got a lot of satisfaction from hearing about other people’s dream enterprises and the thought of helping them grow to achieve their goals made my business idea even more exciting. I decided I wanted to work with small businesses and particularly start-ups to help them meet their legal obligations in a simple, stress-free way.

"I offer a bespoke personal service with the added advantage of face to face meetings and on-site support. I am passionate about helping people succeed and provide a friendly face, someone who gets to know the business, staff and culture, who can be flexible in the service they offer and who, by virtue of being a phone call away, can operate as if they have their very own HR department.

"For the last ten years or more I have been in HR or operational management roles with large organisations, this is now my opportunity to take what I have learnt over this time and apply it to my own business.

"During my first year of business I have helped several local start-ups employ their first members of staff and feel confident they are doing the right thing by them as well as maintaining the integrity of things that matter to them as a business. One of the opportunities highlighted to me by the Enterprise team was a regional business competition, the If We Can You Can challenge. I was successful in becoming a finalist last year which opened up some great opportunities with local entrepreneurs.

"I've now gone on to co-found a second business, Just Killin' Time with my business partner, Kayla Wren. We launched the business in October and I'm delighted that I'll be returning to the final of the If We Can You Can challenge for the second year running, this time with our joint venture.

"I love working for myself as the elements of the job that I loved before, helping people and getting to exercise my inner legal geek are still there, but now I get to see a bigger impact. It’s definitely more satisfying helping an SME (small-to-medium enterprise) or start-up than it was a large, corporate giant. The only downside is, I quickly realised whilst I am an expert in the job I am far from an expert in marketing myself, and that is pretty important to get clients (or so I hear!). Thankfully the Enterprise Place have been around to help me, with specialist advisers in marketing and sales.

"I have received endless support from the Enterprise Place. They held great workshops and gave me the opportunity to sit their Start-Up Skills course, covering all essential areas of business knowledge. Each session challenged me and I got some great take-away actions every week that have helped my business grow. I’ve received one-to-one business advice in marketing and general business which has been great for my company. They provide a great space to work from, where I feel productive and motivated whenever I work from the office. But for me the biggest thing has been the support from staff and my fellow members, it has really helped combat the days of self-doubt or loneliness that can sometimes creep in when you are self-employed. I can’t recommend the Enterprise Place enough. It’s a fantastic investment from the University of Sunderland in its students and graduates and really does make a difference.”