Mike Buckworth came into the huddled office to share his business insights and what he loves most about working in Manchester.
Mike Buckworth – Buckworths
What’s your name, position and where do you work?
Hi. I’m Mike Buckworth. I’m the founder of Buckworths. We’re a firm that specialises in start-ups and high growth technology businesses.
Describe your business in one sentence.
Coming from a lawyer, it’s probably a weird thing to say but, you know, cool, innovative and really fun to work with.
What separates you from the competition?
Buckworths is very much not like a standard law firm. We look at things differently because of our client base and the fact that we work with start-ups and some really cool innovative businesses, we tend to have a much broader approach to the advice that we give. So, yes, we do the technical legal work that you’d expect from a law firm but we also do lots of strategy stuff and helping clients with issues they face with their business.
What have been the highlights of your company so far?
I guess there have been lots of highlights. I set this business up 5-6, years ago, originally in London. There were huge challenges in doing that and we’re so lucky to have a really great business down in London at the moment. Probably the highlight to be honest is actually moving up to Manchester. It’s such a cool, diverse city, there’s so many awesome businesses up here that, you know, we’re really, really excited to be in the market and helping start-ups and creative businesses.
What qualities are needed to succeed in your industry?
I think the legal profession is changing a lot. You know, lawyers 5-10 years ago used to be very much based on just the legal work and giving quite technical advice and particularly the sector that we work with you have to be much broader, you have to have an understanding of client’s businesses and the needs that they have. I think the key thing from my perspective is that I was a start-up once, I set up this business from scratch. I get the issues, I know the worries about, you know, paying staff at the end of the month and all the need to comply with regulations and that sort of stuff. So really, from my perspective, the key quality is understanding client’s businesses and being able to sympathise and empathise with them.
Why do new businesses choose Manchester?
Manchester’s awesome. It’s a really cool city and there’s some really great stuff going on up here. Obviously when you compare to London and the big cities around the world, Manchester has cost-benefits – things are cheaper up here. But I think far more importantly, there’s some really great skills up here, some great developers, there’s people with some really fantastic ideas and I think the key thing for Manchester going forwards is to make sure that people recognise what the city has to offer and are incentivised to stay up here.
Who are some local companies you would recommend?
We work with all sorts of people up here whether it’s accountants, developers, people who operate workspaces. I think I would say that the fun businesses up here are people in the start-up sector and obviously, we’re really enthusiastic about that.
Who do you think are the most influential people in the local business scene?
Well we found Pro Manchester and Midas which is an investment body really really helpful. They’ve been fantastic in providing us with contacts and ideas as we set up up here. We’ve also found that Digital Manchester, who specialise in tech and digital have got a really great network and are really enthusiastic about growing the ecosystem up here.
Do you have any advice for new businesses in Manchester?
Go for it! There’s nothing like running your own start-up and being an entrepreneur. It’s a huge step for people to take but actually, it’s really worth while and I think the greatest thing is you don’t need to be afraid of it not working. Some of the best entrepreneurs are people who have had previous start-ups that failed.
What’s the main benefit of working in Manchester?
Well, obviously other than the fantastic people up here, everyone’s good looking and cool and fun, there’s also the fact that it’s a great place to be, some really great networks with the Northern Powerhouse concept sort of kicking off up here now, there’s some great opportunities up here. Clearly it must be great, we’re setting up a business up here.
Where are your favourite places to eat and drink in Manchester?
I’m a coffee addict so Costa – always Costa, always Costa! Drinks-wise, I really like Living Room, it’s a pretty cool place I’ve been to a couple of times. And from a food perspective, I keep getting taken to Hawksmoor which, to be honest it pretty cool – their steaks are amazing!
Any final words?
We really try to give as much information and help and guidance to start-ups and growth business as we can. I would suggest that if people want more information they can come to our free events and those are accessible through our website. We also have videos and tutorials on different areas of law, also accessible through the website. Finally, if people want a high level overview, we have a print and digital version of it, it’s called Introduction to Start-up Law and we’re always happy to send that across to people if they need it.
I’m Mike Buckworth from Buckworths and this was huddled.