Life as a Sole Practitioner
Everyone is experiencing life slightly differently, and yesterday the Prime Minister announced the roadmap out of lockdown 3.0, there is a glimmer of hope that life will begin to resemble normality, as we once knew it.
But what has been the impact of the pandemic? How has it made people change the way they think about and see things? Nicola Combe, Director of Morecambe Bay Wills and Estates Limited, took some time to share her experience of what the first two months (almost) of 2021 have looked like for her.
It’s been non-stop since the New Year. We’ve had 50 new enquiries and booked in over 30 new clients, as well as those who had booked in before Christmas for after the break. That’s a lot for a very small company. But it’s great that people are getting their families protected, and not just with Wills – lots of these enquiries are for Powers of Attorney.
It’s interesting to think about why that is …
Firstly I think the 3rd lockdown really has focused people’s minds and they are feeling vulnerable. We never want to think about it but the awful scenes played out in the media make getting ill or losing a loved one much more obvious to people. I’ve had so many people mention “we just decided that really we should do it. We’ve known for a long time we should and everything that’s going on made us realise the time is right”. I had one couple who initially made enquiries about LPAs back in January 2020 – and over a year later just came back out of the blue and booked in!
It feels like even though we are in lockdown, clients are motivated to “get things done” and whereas they may have been willing to wait for a face to face meeting, the majority are now accepting a video call as an acceptable way of doing our initial fact find and instructions discussion. I even had a video call with an 80 year old gentleman via Zoom – it was his first one and he thought it was fantastic!
We also did a couple of charitable things that got a lot of local press. We were featured by our local CancerCare team, sharing how we raised over £1300 for them last year through the donations we make from every invoice raised. And we also provided a facility for local parents to get homework printed for their children now that home schooling is back, which led to quite a number of enquiries and good will. I think being seen as providing a service to our local community helps people to know that we are there, and we care!
I also like to think we’ve now established a good reputation. Many of the enquiries are from friends and family of previous customers. It’s great when we get recommended – that’s the best way we want to grow. And we have built solid relationships with other local financial services companies who now refer their clients to us too. So all our hard work is paying off! So much so that we have just added another member of the team. Andrea Bentham is completing her training with the Society of Will Writers and will be a welcome addition to help with all these extra clients who have asked us to provide our services.
Long may this continue – I would love EVERYONE to come and get the right documents in place to protect themselves and those they love.