This week, Oven-Ready HR returns to the SME and start-up market. Professional services such as legal advice are notoriously expensive and impenetrable for most businesses. How are small or start-up firms expected to navigate the increasingly complex and ever more regulated business of employing and managing people without it costing the earth?
Is it therefore that surprising that SME and start-up firms often find themselves in hot water as they’ve cobbled together contracts and policies from the internet in an attempt to keep the costs down?
Well change is afoot! Merlie Calvert is founder and CEO of Farillio and a former top London competition lawyer. Merlie has created an ecosystem of on-demand services such as legal advice for the SME community and has made it her mission to democratise professional services by using tech to change the way professional services such as legal advice are offered and consumed.
Farillio’s mission is simple: no small business owner should struggle because they can’t get access to the information, materials or expert help they need, on a basis they can afford.
In this interview, Merlie covers a lot of ground including:
- The moment when she realised that streaming wasn’t just for music and actually, you could stream services such as legal help in much the same way;
- How the legal profession has certainly innovated during the last few years but much of that innovation is internal and hardly focused on the client experience;
- How Merlie considered ‘Deliveroo’ as her inspiration and touchstone for delivering her legal platform;
- How she overcame scepticism from colleagues in the legal profession;
- The likely impact of AI on professional services and whether this is keeping lawyers awake at night
- What employment law areas provide the greatest demand from SME clients:
- Is there too much regulation and red-tape to succeed as an SME and is this stifling innovation and the role of entrepreneurs?
- Do investors with their demands for bigger returns fuel the ‘bro culture’ that is often found in SME and startups?
- The importance of a good culture for many investors and resources such as glass door in terms of employees and clients – good culture is here to stay!
- The importance of the hybrid woking model.
A fascinating interview looking at the journey of SME and start-ups as they navigate hiring and managing employees whilst building a business fit for investment.