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Trustee Focus: Top Business Tips from Nicolina Andell

Nicolina Andall
Nicolina Andall

I’m a Croydon girl through and through – born, bred, educated and still living in Croydon so hopefully you will understand why Start Up Croydon is close to my heart!  I qualified as a Solicitor around 20 years ago in 2001 and spent a lot of time in the City working with real estate developers on their deals, developments and disputes!  I have also spent chunks of time working within global listed businesses, dealing with the full range of work you can imagine…. From mergers and acquisitions to contracts to real estate to disputes.  You name it – I’ve pretty much done it.

Like many of you, I started my own business so my work could better fit around my young family.  Little did I know that it would be one of the best decisions I have made in my life!  Although it’s had its many ups and downs, I have valued the huge amount of independence it has given me – and it’s made me into a better business person all round.  This has allowed me to serve my various business clients from a position of understanding the trials and tribulations of running a business.

Three top tips for those of you considering going from employed to self-employed:

  • Where are your clients going to come from? Don’t assume that because you or your product is “good” the clients will come.  This is a critical part of your business plan.
  • Value your time. People will try and get as much as possible for free.  Ensure that what you do give away is tightly controlled (eg. strict 30 min chat) and leverage social media platforms if you can eg. do a blog, e-book, you tube video etc. so you keep more of your time to focus on your business and convert potential clients to paying clients!
  • Cash flow is REALLY important! Try and ensure you get paid upfront – or staged payments.  The more you give away without payment – the greater your problems going forward if they fail to pay.

I’ve just completed 4 years as a Broad Trustee of Start Up Croydon and alas, it is time for me to move onto pastures anew.  It’s been fantastic meeting so many of you in person and electronically at many events, including my commercial law masterclasses.  Thank you all for your myriad of questions around Commercial law over the years …. I leave you with a few of my top suggestions:

  • Terms and Conditions of Business are there to protect you. They are important.  Get them in place for every single client.
  • Simply Docs is an excellent very reasonably priced resource if you need some basic legal precedents. They have five folders containing hundreds of documents in the field of Business, Corporate, Employment, Health and Safety, Property.  Top resource!
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