lady startup

How Nicola built her own lady startup to help rural businesses get their legal stuff right.

Nicola Grummitt was born to be a business owner.

One of her earliest memories is of earning pocket money by digging up weeds from her family home’s lawn, turning them into bales of “horse feed” and selling them back to her dad.

Nicola now runs a small legal service for rural Australian business owners – mostly women.

Here, she chats to Mamamia about running a business with a four and two-year-old in tow.

Tell us about Grevillea Law… What is it?

Grevillea Law is a micro law firm set up to offer regional and rural Australian business owners (mostly rad boss ladies) flexible, no bullsh*t legal services.

What were you doing before you went into business for yourself?

I’ve been in business for the last five years with my husband, running a contract fencing business (G-Fence). I was also working part-time at a local regional law firm. Oh, and looking after our daughters aged four and two.

What made you want to start your own business?

Ever since I can remember I’ve loved business and making money. One of my earlier memories is earning pocket money by digging up clover from our lawn. After collecting a pile of weeds, I fashioned them into a “bale” and sold them back to my dad as horse feed. Cha-ching!

My entrepreneurial spirit continued right through my schooling and culminated in the businesses we run today.

How did you come up with the name?

I wanted a name that was different to other law firms (e.g. Smith & Jones; Brown & Associates). I also didn’t want to use my name, to make it easier to bring in partners or sell. Grevillea spoke to me, as I love gardening and it reminds me of rural and regional Australia. I also liked that it lined up with our existing business: G.Law & G-Fence.

What’s the single best piece of advice you got?

Just do it! There will never be a right time.

What’s the one bit of advice you would give yourself if you were starting again?

Take your own advice and get the specialist to do the specialist work. I am not an IP specialist lawyer. I tried to do my own trademark registrations. I stuffed them up. I should have asked my friend, the IP specialist to do the work for me. Cutting costs is not always cost saving.

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At Mamamia, we have an expression “flearning” – failing and learning. What have been your biggest flearnings since you have started your business?

1) See my previous answer. 2) Missing a critical legal practice requirement (thankfully have that sorted now). 3) Not paying myself a “wage” straight up. No point in running a business that isn’t paying the personal bills.

What do you do when you’re feeling like you’re in a hole emotionally (or financially)?

Deep breath and blow through your lips (think “horse” noise). Hilarious and also scientifically proven to reduce stress! Then I make a plan and because I’m an extrovert, I usually go and talk to someone about how I’m feeling or how we can solve the problem. Where there is a will, there’s a way.

How many hours a day do you work on your business? Has this changed?

I spend three days a week (8am to 3.30pm) doing work. I spend another couple of hours during the week catching up. My plan is to cut back on social media time. It’s all consuming, everywhere you go and not great for mindfulness. Still working on this goal. Using Postfity to schedule socials, which is helping.

The biggest change is that I don’t resent the time anymore. I crave it. Running my own business is so much fun!

What’s the biggest misconception you had about starting your business?

That I would be alone. I’ve created my own team of specialists (website designer, graphic designer, business coach, accountant, etc). I’ve also joined some great online groups that are incredibly supportive… like Lady Startup!

Tell us about your proudest moment.

When a client tells me I’ve really helped them and dealing with me has been hassle free.

What can you recommend to women who might want to get their own hustle going?

Get a plan. Find your tribe and support team. Get your financials and legals right from the start. Go for it!

Interested in becoming a Lady Startup yourself or know someone ready to chase their own business dreams? You’re invited to join us! Enrolments open from 21 January 2019. Find out all about The Lady Startup Activation Plan here.

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