Against the odds

At a time when statistics are presenting high percentages of failed SMEs within their first five years, a small independent law firm has sailed the stormy seas of success into its 10th year – its director tells us how

Words by Kerry Smith

 

The office is hyped at BP Legal with celebrations afoot for the anniversary that will take the firm over 10 years in business.

After five years just four in ten small businesses will still be trading, Ormsby Street research suggests. Bhumika Parmar, director of BP Legal, has persevered through tough times and made it out the other side of the dreaded five-year sentence.

“Every morning I come into work and still pinch myself that I launched the business,” she told us. “Even after 10 years I still cannot believe I took the plunge to open BP Legal.” The legal practice was set up when Bhumika subsequently took voluntary redundancy from her previous employment after starting a family. She had a particular vision in mind.

“I wanted a modern approach to legal work and I wanted to instil the principal of doing right by what the client wants. It came to mind that if I was a client then I would want flexibility, so I opened my practice with the intention of avoiding 9-5 hours.

“I took away the whole ‘closed one hour for lunch’ thing as this is the prime-time clients wish to speak to us, and I adopted home visits after 5pm as well as opening on the weekends by appointment.”

In 2009 the 32-year-old started with very little. Just Bhumika and her computer in a small office was the opening chapter to her 10-year story. She now employs three solicitors, one trainee, two paralegals, and one receptionist.

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary, the office will be treated to a special gathering inviting all staff and clients, along with those who have supported the firm along the way. The team will also be jetting off for a weekend stay abroad in a surprise location.

On the reasons behind the success of BP Legal, Bhumika commented: “I have never told myself that I can’t do something. I instead ask myself ‘how can I do this?’ Where there is a will there is a way. I never give up and most importantly, the backbone of my success – my husband and children – have never given up on me either.

“My parents are my biggest inspiration to this day. My father always says to me ‘you can, you will, and you have.’ You need to believe in yourself. Be prepared for sleepless nights and hard work but it is so rewarding.

“It’s important that all businesses support each other. Working together is the way forward. This is how we grow our strength and community. I often have companies calling me for advice and I’m always happy to assist.”

In between anniversary festivities, Bhumika is producing plans to generate more jobs and become affiliated with more businesses taking BP Legal far beyond its 10-year mark.

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