Small Firms

Successful Solo's Advice to Others: Save, Plan, Be Brave

A decade after he ventured out on his own at age 40, one successful lawyer now has some advice to offer others on how it can be done.

Save your money, put together a business plan, enlist your spouse’s support and then … take the plunge, says Richard Kemp, who now heads a 17-partner London technology boutique. Once you’re in business, he recommends, spend carefully, get the help of a good accountant and waste no time notifying the press and current and potential clients about your new office, reports the London Times. In addition to having press releases at the ready, as soon as his firm launched, Kemp also sent out more than 500 letters.

Renting an office in a location with some cachet may be well worth the additional cost, he continues. Good luck also played a role in his own success—Kemp happened to set up shop just as the dot-com industry was exploding.

At the same time, be prepared for some difficulties. After an initial boom in his fledgling firm’s business, “January was very quiet,” he recounts. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘Oh dear.’ What kept me calm at that point, and during other difficult times, was knowing that I hadn’t gambled more than I could afford to lose and that I could always go back to my previous job.”

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