Monarch Solicitors are a niche practice that specialise in all aspects of corporate and commercial law, in particular Commercial Property, Commercial Litigation and Contract Law.
The legal practice is based in the former Daily Express newspaper headquarters in Manchester, a Grade II listed building now known as Express Networks.
Monarch Solicitors originally utilised the Hub’s Start Up service as a new business back in 2014.
Experiencing immediate success, Monarch Solicitors secured work from a number of commercial clients across different sectors including Oriental Developments Ltd and Artisan, one of the North’s leading independent property developers.
However Monarch returned to the Hub for further support which would allow the firm to propel the business to the next stage of growth.
Monarch’s founder, Shazda Ahmed, was referred to the Hub’s growth specialists and introduced to Sarah Ludford who identified some key areas for support, including business planning, financial planning and bespoke support with recruiting the right talent.
An underestimated benefit of working with the Hub’s advisors is that they provide an ongoing network of support with the personal side of running a business.
Sarah explains: “We’ve worked with Monarch Solicitors for some time now – most recently to provide advice around business planning, while acting as a sense checker for her operational and strategic plans.
“Shazda has great commercial acumen and is very outcome focused. But, as many new Directors experience, there are times when the demands of a new business growth cycle can be overwhelming and priorities need to be set.
“Shazda has used our meetings to map out her routes through periods of high volume demand and has given time to strategic planning, mapping out financial plans as well as creating solid cash flow forecasts and plotted her business future for the next three years.”
Recruitment in the legal sector is highly competitive, with hundreds of applicants applying for any given role, meaning it can be a challenge to select candidates that are the right match for a company’s employee culture.
A review of the practice’s policy, including the introduction of more in-depth recruitment days, led to the practice successfully hiring three new paralegal assistants.
Shazda explains: “Sarah has supported me through a period of growth where my business was no longer a start-up, but not a mature business either.
“During this period of growth I was presented with many new business management challenges which I sometimes found to be emotionally overwhelming. But the Hub’s specialists have provided me with both the commercial and emotional guidance required to get me through those tough times.
“I have come out the other end of those issues a much stronger individual and my business has benefited from the decisions made.”
Shazda was consequently referred by Sarah to the Hub’s digital specialists for marketing support, which included implementing UX improvements to the website and developing a digital acquisition plan.
As Chris Murphy, digital advisor at the Hub, explains: “We provided dedicated, hands-on digital marketing support that included training on Google Pay Per Click (PPC).
"Monarch’s new digital marketing strategy, incorporating PPC, will be implemented in 2017 post-website delivery.
“There’s now a defined business plan in place and a digital mechanism which will support business growth ambitions and improve the yield of client leads.”
In the last four months alone, Monarch has increased its turnover by £50,000 and forecasts a 100% increase in its annual turnover.
“It can sometimes be a lonely place at the top of your own business. The Business Growth Hub provides invaluable support and guidance to small businesses that, in essence, don’t have anywhere else to turn to,” added Shazda.