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Jo Rogers, founder of UK law firm NaviStar Legal, which specialises in providing affordable legal services to SMEs.
My business card says:
In-house lawyer for SMEs and speaker
I would describe my business self as:
Optimistic; passionate; creative
I decided I wanted to run my own business when:
I lost my job. I was a lawyer at a London law firm and my role was made redundant. I thought the people I worked for were the reason I didn’t enjoy my job but it was my need for freedom. I came to learn that I’m independent and free-thinking and running my own business was the best way to do work I enjoy.
The hardest part of setting and building up my business was:
Not trusting myself. I had too many people giving me advice. I felt so uncertain that I listened to it all and ended up feeling overwhelmed. But the bottom line is that you’ve got to bring the money in. I decided: ‘I’m a lawyer, I’m going to continue doing that and I’ll grow my business from there’. Many SMEs are unable to afford basic, preventive legal care and less able to afford the expensive legal support they’ll need if something goes wrong. This inspired me to create an entirely new type of law firm based on the concept of affordable wisdom – the belief that every business owner should be able to easily access legal wisdom they need at a rate they can afford.
The biggest challenge for my business has been:
Managing cash flow. I now have a bookkeeper and accounting software that send invoices, chases unpaid invoices and sorts my business expenses. It’s also been a challenge doing the work while bringing in new business. Now I manage my hours by separating the two – being available to clients and doing marketing at set times.
My biggest business regret is:
Not doing it sooner.
My greatest business success is:
Growing my public speaking engagements and incorporating this into my business; doubling my client base this year.
The key to being a successful small business owner is:
Weekly reviews. Look at what’s working, what isn’t and what’s next for your business.
My advice for those starting out is:
It’s going to take at least a year to establish your business. Make sure you don’t run out of money in that time.
My top money-saving tip is:
Manage your cash flow. I use chaser.io, which sends reminder emails to clients with outstanding invoices.
The one thing that has saved me the most time with running my business is:
Working from home. Saves on travel time and office costs.
The one thing I would do differently with my business if I had my time again is:
Not be so scared of making a mistake.
The business headline I would most like to see is:
‘Lawyer changes the profession in one fell swoop!’
If I wasn’t answering these questions I would be:
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Lorraine Carey is pleaseant
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