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Want to launch your own start-up in the UK one day? - Part 2

Want to launch your own start-up in the UK one day? - Part 2

Monday 1st August 2022
Liliya Scott & Ivan Zhiznevsky

This is part 2 of their discussion. You can read part 1 here. You can watch the full episode here. In this blog post, we share their thoughts, experiences and top pieces of advice.

  • Workplace culture post-COVID in a Fintech Startup
  • VS workplace culture at a Legal Practice
  • Business regrets
  • Why networking will be your secret weapon for doing business in the UK!

Workplace culture post-COVID in a Fintech Startup

"At 3smoney I think that the workplace culture really sells because clients see how we work and who's behind the business"

At 3smoney, we are always happy to show the face, and have it attached to the product, and the clients start believing in it. I think that the key to success here is to trust your own people, that they do the right thing and to trust them to do it in the way they do - you may call it the laid-back approach. Because everyone is different, and I really believe in diversity.

Here at 3smoney, we have people that speak more than 40 different languages. It's a very diverse culture, a very diverse company, and everyone can bring their own understanding of customer success. There shouldn't be a unified way to customer success. Everyone can contribute by doing it in their own way, how they feel they do it. That's why I think it's very important.

At the same time, it is important to have a framework, rules and everything else, but every single employee has to have room and freedom to make their own choices and their own judgment calls.

"To be honest, I don't believe in working from home"

To be honest, I don't believe in working from home, we've been through COVID and lockdowns, and it was extremely hard to train new people. If you continue hiring, training, remote training is very different from what you have at the office.

You can use the same materials. You can use the same practices you used before, yet nothing can compare with face-to-face communication, especially given that well, there's a new person. It's much easier to ask the person next to you instead of dialling the phone and calling them. The new employee may not want to ask.

VS workplace culture at a Legal Practice

At LS Legal we've got mixed working culture at the moment. Half of my staff are in the office and the other half work from home. And I was surprised, that the combined approach works extremely well in what we do. I go to the office because I meet with clients and as the face of the company I've got to. I love it, I must say. And it's always nice to get out and see the people and not to just stay at home.

There is no "you must stay at home" or "you have to come to work". I would have never thought it would work for us. I think due to the nature of the legal sector it is that we do a majority of our work in writing.

A lot of my clients start outside of the UK, and we communicate with them over all the devices that we have and then once they arrive in the UK, then we give the support here, in person.

"We've got this rule where we go out together"

What I also wanted to mention today is I think it's really important to socialise within the company. We've got this rule where we go out together, we drink together, we talk together and we don't talk about work (sometimes we gossip just a little bit).

We celebrate everyone's birthday. I was mentioning this morning to a colleague of yours that we've got this tradition that if someone has a birthday, we go to try out a new place. We have a little diary, like a black book where we write things down, places we have been to and the review we gave.

Do you have any business regrets, Liliya?

I would have started my business earlier. However, I first qualified as a Lawyer in Ukraine and then when I moved to the UK, it was a long route. I had to start almost from the beginning, not from zero, but it still was a difficult journey for me. And I think the way I worked for other companies also helped me to become who I am today and gave me some kind of confidence at the same time, as I wasn't sure of myself in the beginning.

"It was still a difficult journey for me... at the time I wasn't sure of myself in the beginning"

In the beginning, I'd be honest with you, I was happy just to run my own practice by myself. I didn't see, I didn't have a big picture. I didn't want to have a bigger company with different directions. I would deal with business immigration and some civil litigation matters, some divorces, all by myself.

And I thought that would be enough, however, it was never enough because I saw the opportunity to help my clients better by having a bigger team.

Why networking is your secret weapon for doing business in the UK.

Liliya can tell you all about that:

I am a member of many communities and have been a speaker at some of the conferences. I also believe that for someone who's coming to the UK from a different country with a different background, education, all they need is an opportunity and then it's all up to them. It's all up to you - if there is a will there is a way! Go for it. Don't think twice, because I think the UK, is the country that really helps you and supports you. I think this country is exactly where it should be because it even pushes you through it.

"It's all up to you - if there is a will there is a way!"

The connections that you make, the people that you meet here as well, every one of them, they bring you a little bit of something new, something innovative. The United Kingdom loves innovators. We even have a category of the visa where you come with an innovative business and get the visa, move your family, and start the business running. We have dedicated visa routes to innovators and entrepreneurs such as the Innovator Visa, The Start-Up Visa & The Global Talent Visa.

"It's not easy, but you have to enjoy the hard work."

These visa routes are brilliant for anyone who really wants it. At the same time, I also admit that you've got to work hard for it. Don't think that the UK gives you everything for free, or it's easy. It's not easy, but you have to enjoy the hard work.

Ivan also agrees.

The UK was very friendly, and I really love that entrepreneurial spirit here in the city of London, everything can be done quickly and everyone is very supportive - that's for sure!

Everyone is very open to networking in London because the cost of living is so high. You should get to know as many people as you can. To make money and to do your business better!

Contact us.

If you are interested in starting a business in the UK or relocating your family, LS Legal is here to support you through this. We have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs secure their visas, finalise their business ideas and take off in the UK markets. .

Watch the full conversation via the link and check our blog for the second part where Liliya and Ivan discuss workplace culture, business regrets and the power of networking.