This interview is part of a series chatting with local business owners, artists, organizers and people in our community who are learning to adapt during COVID-19.
Aileen M. Edwards – AME Consulting
Describe your business.
I am a seasoned professional with extensive experience in all aspects of Human Resources. I began my Professional HR Consulting and Leadership Coaching business in February 2020. My business provides services to businesses small and large in Quinte West and other areas as far as Toronto.
AME Consulting provides services such as Leadership Coaching, Labour & Employee Relations, Leadership & Organizational Development, Dispute Resolution, Independent Investigation, Talent Management and other HR services.
I am a Certified Coach with extensive leadership skills, and I am also certified in Crucial Conversations to help navigate those difficult discussions.
What does work from home/your workplace look like for you right now?
I love working from home! My children are grown, and I do not have the worry of home schooling or noise in the background for the most part. I can get a lot of things done in the quiet of my home without many interruptions (except when my dogs want out). The only issue I have with working from home is living in an area where the internet is not the greatest, and sometimes that can be a struggle.
How have you adapted your operations during the pandemic?
I began my business on the heels of the pandemic and thought I was doomed. Suddenly everything shut down and I did not know what to do. My contacts (mainly in the hospital industry) were too busy to speak with me when I reached out. I really did not know too many people in the Quinte area, having just moved here in 2016 and worked in Markham and Toronto prior. I learned that I needed to continue to reach out to people to offer my HR and coaching services in these times of uncertainty, and was surprised to have a few clients that took me up on the services.
How have you been supported by the community?
When I began my business, I reached out to the Chamber of Commerce and attended their Small Business Centre Business Start-Up Workshop and that opened a lot of doors for me in the area. I have been introduced to so many businesses and people in the area. I have been able to follow businesses on social media and have met people in the community at many of the events offered through Hello Boss Girl, Quinte Women in Business, Bay of Quinte and many others.
What is something good that has come out of this difficult time?
All the great connections I have made in this community. Not having been involved in the community prior to February, I had no idea how much Quinte has to offer. Although I have been for coffee in downtown Belleville, I really had no idea about the other business there and what they have to offer. Another good thing that has come out of this difficult time is that people are getting to know me, my business and the services I offer. I have some clients in the area and hope to continue to get more.
What advice do you have for other business owners at this time?
Keep doing what you love to do!! At one point I thought starting my business during a pandemic was a recipe for disaster, but I have found out that it is quite the opposite. This has been a dream of mine for many years. I have always been a “glass more than half full” kind of person whose intent was to follow my dreams of business ownership.
I encourage you to get up every day and do something to move your business forward: learn new things, educate yourself, take advantage of the free webinars and embrace this time to make it work for you. I heard today about “getting back to normal” and the woman stated instead of that, we should “look forward to the new normal”. In this unprecedented time, we have learned to do things in ways we never dreamed of and are making it work, so do not stop now.
Discover something new everyday about your business and embrace change.
Stay tuned as we share more local folks who are Makin’ It Work, and check out our weekly interviews (of the same name) on Instagram Live every Friday.