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Help me decide what new business to start!

(7 Posts)
Couldashouldawoulda Wed 11-Oct-17 14:02:08

Hi everyone,

I'm a solicitor, but have been a SAHM for the last 5 years. My youngest child is about to start nursery, so I'll finally have a bit of time to myself to start doing something workwise. I'm very keen to get back to work, but am reluctant to go back to a job like my old one, because it's so family-unfriendly, with the long hours and lack of flexibility.

I'd love to start my own business, and have been looking at various franchises, but I'm not sure a franchise is the right route to go down.

In terms of skills, I'm an experienced lawyer, with all the associated skills that you'd expect. I'm well organised, and good at getting things done. I speak a couple of modern languages to A level standard. In terms of other things I enjoy, I'm interested in fitness, anything to do with medicine, beauty, property, cookery and psychology. Bit of a mish mash, I know!

I'd like to start a business now (not necessarily connected to law, although extra points for using my existing skills) that I could build up once the children go to school. I want to be in control of my own time so I can do school runs and be around a reasonable amount in the school holidays. I don't see myself working in a school, and would prefer to be self-employed. I'd like the business to bring in decent money, once it's up and running. I'd be happy to do some retraining if necessary.

Please give me some ideas about what kind of business you think I should start! Many thanks.

RavenLG Wed 11-Oct-17 14:09:51

You need to do something you're passionate about otherwise you'll end up hating your work and it will go under. What are you passionate about?

Ludo2017 Wed 11-Oct-17 17:16:32

All those of us on MN who work for ourselves from home as solicitors seem to have exactly what you want. That would be the obvious place to start. Or go with one of the providers like Axiom law. O r just try to bid for a bit of work on websites like peopleperhour.

I've advised quite a few franchisors and franchisees over the years. Sometimes it works well. Sometimes it doesn't - it is not really your business so I am not sure it would ever suit me to be a franchisee.

Couldashouldawoulda Wed 11-Oct-17 19:32:38

Ludo - that sounds interesting. The thing really putting me off practising on my own account (apart from the terrifying levels of red tape and extortionate PI cover - I bought the Law Society book about this a few years ago!) is the idea of having to drum up all of my own clients. I hadn't thought of looking at pph, thanks. Any other ideas on finding clients from home?

mummmy2017 Wed 11-Oct-17 19:43:50

What about going the route of helping people with the legal side of starting a buisness.
There must be lots of people in your area who might like to have a Solicitor on call so to speak, you could do a sliding scale.
£48 a month, gives them 24 hours of help a year.
£100 a month gives them 50 hours ect.

lasketchup Wed 11-Oct-17 19:47:01

👆🏽👆🏽👆🏽 that’s an excellent idea! Is there’s something like this already I would use it!

Ludo2017 Thu 12-Oct-17 07:56:27

Actually most of the new people starting on their own who have been solicitors don't use the word solicitor and don't take insurance as far as I can see. There are a whole heap of new rules you could read. Eg my daughter (a solicitor) pointed me to someone who had recently left a big firm to set up on their own recently and I looked and yet again they are not a solicitors' firm and are not regulated by the SRA (they make all this clear on their website). They therefore are not allowed to do reserved activities (things like litigation a very small amount of which I do do so I keep my solicitor's firm and pay the insurance and last week the £1000 to the Law Soc for my PC) but they can do all the work they ever did when a solicitor - they do contracts, advise on rights and all sorts. They just cannot in their field litigate.

Then I was looking at another new firm last week and they again have set up without being solicitors although they were. You can be a legal consultant, legal adviser etc etc. It is very easy.

However whichever way you do it you do need to find work and that is always the difficulty if you work for yourself in any business aera - how to atrract work. If you don't have insurance,. work from home and are good at the work and are cheaper than other people as a result of the first two then price alone might help you. Perhaps join a few local business clubs to go out there and meet local businesses who want some legal advice or do on line marketing if you are mostly in the house. Two of the biggest jobs I have done this week by the way were for other solicitor's firms who do not have anyone doing my area of law. Some law firms also get very busy and need someone reliable who can help out on an occasional basis too.

I like the mummmm idea too above. There is huge demand for it. About once a week someone contacts me with a very small business and they don't have much of a b udget but have some and I send them off to where they can get free or much cheaper services if they don't want my fees/rates to draw up a shareholders' agreement for example.

I mentioned Axiom above because they seem to be the main name I hear of people who want to work from home after babies as a solicitor but I have not looked into them (as I like to keep all my profits for myself and not share with anyone so have always avoided these kinds of groups but they do work well for lots of solicitors).

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