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Digital Readiness


Prioritising new business development

Yash Dehal business development
Yash Dubal is using a quieter trading environment to focus on innovation

Yash Dubal, founder of A Y & J Solicitors, has chosen to seize the moment and come out fighting with exciting new business development and a marketing push.

What Yash is doing won’t be right for every business leader. However, for some, it could be just the impetus they need to grab the coronavirus bull by the horns.

Yash and his six-strong team are specialists in immigration law, and – like many companies – saw business slow down mid-March. Instead of drowning his sorrows in an empty home office, however, he rapidly set about creating a business development plan of action.

“My mindset is positive,” Yash explained. “I don’t watch the news, I’m not looking at the death rates, and I believe all of this shall pass in time. I know we are now in a slow period, so I am putting into place a number of things that will help us as we go forward.”

The first thing Yash did was to lean on his IT team to set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) so that he and all of his colleagues could work from home. There was no charge for this as he made sure it was all covered by the company’s existing retainer.

Perfect time to prioritise future tech

Next, he decided to prioritise the development of a “robo-lawyer” that he is working on in partnership with the University of Bradford. Yash is injecting funds into this AI-based system, and believes that in the long-term it will help to boost profits.

To ensure the business stays afloat, he has a careful eye on cash flow. Luckily, the firm is relatively cash stable, but that hasn’t stopped him applying for a six-figure loan – having shopped around for the best deal – and also contacting all of his suppliers to try and negotiate better terms.

“About half of them agreed,” he said. “The other half couldn’t afford it, which is fine, but the ones that did have agreed to lower their fees by 50 per cent for three months. There was no hard sell – I have a good relationship with them and I think that, where they could, they were happy to lend a hand during this difficult time.”

Less “noise” means a marketing opportunity

Yash’s final business development strategy is to increase his marketing budget. “People think that because it’s a crisis they need to cut their marketing budget,” he commented. “What that does is create some space for people like me who want to invest in marketing. If you don’t have leads or inquiries coming in, you eventually don’t have a business, so I’m of the opinion that you have to keep spending and building up your pipeline of inquiries.”

In fact, he added, rather than taking it easy as work slows down, he is “a big believer of keeping busy and working ten times harder than required.”

Post-coronavirus, he believes, his business should hopefully be in a strong position. With luck there will be new, revenue-generating tech on the way, a number of new clients ready to do business and a leaner team well versed in working from home. This, he says, may even lead to him being able to end his lease on the office he rents in central London – a huge saving.

“My advice is to keep calm, don’t read too much news, give yourself time to think and then reflect on how you can come out of this,” he said.

Three top coronavirus tips from Yash

  1. Think of yourself
    Take time out to unwind and step away from work before you burn out. Exercise for 30 minutes and meditate, and limit news consumption for 10 minutes a day.
  2. Take quick action now
    Stop wasting cash and cut unnecessary expenses. Take action and avoid procrastination
  3. Think of your team
    They’re likely going through hell, so support them as best you can.

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