Woman In Charge- Angela Brumpton

Angela Brumpton decided to be an employment lawyer and HR trainer in May last year.

She talks about how creating her own business has been a challenging but it comes with its rewards.

Name of business

Gunnercooke llp

Why did you decide to start?

Pay, opportunity and flexibility. I wasn’t making progress in my last role, I was commuting a couple of days a week (which isn’t ideal with young children), I was frazzled and I was underpaid. I felt I was compromising a lot for inadequate return. The moment I decided to leave was when I was given a poor pay review for yet another year. It dawned on me that I needed to take control of my own terms and conditions. If I waited for someone else to give me what I wanted, I would be waiting a long time!

Can it be hard to keep your own boss?

You have to be disciplined. Keeping to your own rules can be a challenge! I manage my time as carefully as I can, and I am stringent about certain things such as what I pay myself.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

I have larger, long term goals, but I set myself smaller, more achievable goals on a weekly basis. Challenging myself with mini targets keeps me going.

Are there any challenges owning your own business?

So far, the biggest challenge for me has been getting started. I have always been employed, so leaving the comfort blanket of a monthly salary and good benefits was terrifying.

I had to do things I have never done before, such as registering a company, managing finances and adjusting to a world where you can’t guarantee what money is coming through the door each month. It can feel overwhelming, but they are all just steps in a process, and I adjusted quickly.

Is there a right time to start a business?

The time is right when you are ready, and you have done your homework. Your idea may be great, but most of us have mortgages to pay.

Before jacking in the day job: test your idea and prepare,research the market, plan your finances and speak to others in that sector for insight or information. Most people are happy to talk to you if you ask. Source a good accountant, get your website ready and ideally have a financial cushion for a few months. Preparation is everything.

As your company expands, I guess it may feel overwhelming- how did you keep it together? Do you employ other people to support you or do you manage it all on your own?

In my case, I am part of a broader organisation of lawyers and support staff that I can tap into when I need. My advice would be whatever your field, build up as good a network as you can. It is amazing what help and support you can get from others in business around you.

Have you noticed any changes in the world of business ?

These days, practically nobody has job security. At the same time technology and social media have radically changed how we work, and opened up opportunities for building business. The “big boys” in business no longer have all the answers, and I think it has never been a better time to start something new.

What is the best thing about being your own boss?

There are so many things! It boils down to me building the life I want for myself. I can choose the work I do and who I work for. I no longer waste hours of my day doing a painful commute. I get to keep the fruits of my labour, rather than handing it over to someone else. I drop my children off at school every day (which I was never able to do before) and I haven’t missed a school assembly or sports day since I started.

What is your advice to any young woman who want to start a business ?

If you have done your research, and you have the enthusiasm and hard work to make it happen, then there is really nothing stopping you. Most employers don’t offer you loyalty, job security, flexibility, and a lot of them don’t even pay you fairly!

Get into the driving seat of your own career and build the life you want for yourself. I would also recommend getting a coach or a mentor to help keep you motivated and on track.

How does it feel to be a woman in charge?

Liberating. Building a business is hard work, and it has its own stresses, but it doesn’t compare to the stress you feel working in a job you don’t like, and to someone else’s rules and agenda.

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