This month we talk to Jerry Walsingham, Estate Planning Consultant from Honey Legal.
What was your mission at the outset?
The core philosophy of Honey Legal, that underpins everything we do is “Do the right thing”. Its the same approach I took in my own business – do right by the customer, no matter what. Our primary purpose is to help people protect their loved ones, themselves and their assets through effective end of life planning. Part of the mission is education, part to get the conversation going and part to put the protections in place. We take out buildings and contents insurance to protect our bricks and mortar against the unforeseen, but do not treat ourselves and our family with the same diligence.
What services do you offer?
Honey Legal are a specialist Estate Planning company. We do 5 things only. They are Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Trusts, Funeral Plans and Probate Services. Thats all we do.
How do you advertise your business?
As a self employed consultant I am responsible for finding my own clients. I am tackling this on several fronts – talks, Linked In, events, leaflets, Facebook ads, networking and referrals. Referrals will become the major source I suspect as my client base grows. Honey Legal also take national ads in the Times, Telegraph and Mirror.
Do you work locally or nationally?
I am focussed on Somerset and Wiltshire although Honey Legal consultants are not territory based. If you referred me to a family member or friend in say, Cornwall or B’rum, I would go and see them as the personal connection is very important to me.
With over 200 consultants Honey Legal cover England and Wales.
What is unique about your business?
In an unregulated industry, Honey Legal are voluntarily regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (who also cover Probate Lawyers) and each of our solicitors is individually registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority. They triple check that we always do the right thing. Honey Legal offer all the services above including Trusts. Not all solicitors or will writers can offer the full range of requirements for estate planning.
Does your company help the community where it is located?
Yes indeed. Honey Legal give a % of their profits to charity each year, such as Help For Heroes, Cancer Research UK and When You Wish Upon a Star amongst others. Honey Legal facilitate over £12m pa to charities and good causes through Will Legacy Donations. I personally support Business Against Poverty, Mencap and Breast Cancer UK.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Persist and you will win. Most give up when the going gets tough. If you believe in your product/service and have a good business plan in place, persistence is the key quality you need to succeed.
What made you choose this type of business?
I wanted to do something with a greater sense of purpose. Helping people protect themselves, their loved ones and the assets they have worked so hard to build fulfils that for me. When you read the stories of grief and financial hardship caused by the lack of estate planning, helping families avoid such situations is very worthwhile. 2 in 3 have no will, 9 in 10 have no Powers of Attorney in place. There is a lot to do.
What are your responsibilities as the business owner?
Firstly to “do the right thing” for each and every client. Secondly to make people aware of the possible consequences of not putting wills and LPA’s in place. Thirdly getting “that” conversation going early enough. Helping people realise they can take control of their situation benefits both them and their families.