Leah Molatsedi shares why she started a legal company that provides easy and accessible legal services
What sparked the idea to start Lenoma Legal?
I had always had the idea of starting my own business but started actively making decisions that would lead me to it since 2013. I learned everything I could while I was employed. In 2015 I got the push I needed to resign in December of that year. I then officially started Lenoma Legal in July 2016 and we launched South Africa’s first legal eCommerce website with instant download capability on 25 January 2017 this year.
Have you always been entrepreneurial? If not what inspired you to be a business woman?
Yes, I have always been entrepreneurial, growing up would sell juice with my dad at the mall, when he worked at a dairy job in Bloemfontein. I continued this journey and started a nanny recruiting agency in 2011, but it failed in 2013 when I started a more demanding job.
Why did you branch into the legal space?
I think I watched too much TV growing up, I genuinely just wanted to be like Ally McBeal, be like those American lawyers in Law and Order, Boston Legal and The Practice. I saw how much society respected attorneys even in my community so for me I think it was about that. Even as a young girl I had always imagined myself in a court gown walking down court steps. I practiced for a while and the entrepreneurial bug bit me so badly, I had to start doing my own thing.
What sets your services apart from other legal firms?
Unlike your traditional law firms, I am actually a law company. Lenoma Legal is part of the school of thought that believes in easy, accessible legal services. We do not litigate, we offer advisory, training and drafting of legal documents. Law needs to be accessible. Our biggest core differentiator is that we fall under what we call Legal Tech, where we use technology to make law more easily accessible. To further this we offer services such as:
- #LenomaLegalFLASH which is basically a service that allows for a person to have access to legal assistance on the go via text or WhatsApp. In essence you pay a monthly subscription, in order to subscribe and if your legal issue is small enough to fit into a text, we will be able to assist during the same mode of access.
- #LawOnline is a service which allows us to consult with our clients via Google Hangout and Skype, in essence, you do not even need to be intimated by law offices, you can have access to legal assistance anywhere you are in the country.
- Our website is SA’s first Legal eCommerce website which allows clients to be able to have access to up- to- date and valid legal documents on the go. A first in the country.
How has the business been since your launch?
Business has been challenging but rewarding. Much like any startups, there are ups and downs, but the reception to our services has been amazing. Our clients are amazing.
What have been your highlights and challenges?
Our biggest highlight has to be the launch of the website and our latest 2-page feature in the Entrepreneur Magazine that will be out in the June 2017 issue. Our biggest challenge has been getting enough exposure and a lack of understanding of our services from the market.
Who should use your services?
Any Business owner who wants to improve their business and be legally compliant. We focus on commercial and labour matters as such our legal documents speak to such. We offer documents such as employment agreements, joint venture agreements, non-disclosure agreements and workplace policies to name a few.
From your experience, does South Africa provide a favourable environment for business owners? If not, what should be done?
Not necessarily, the legal aspects around businesses often cripple small businesses; this comes from my own experience through trying to assist our clients. We need to have more user-friendly avenues and access to business funds and mentorship.
What is your advice to young people who want to start and run successful businesses?
My biggest advice has to learn, learn, learn. Be a sponge to business people around you. You can learn the simplest and basic of business principles from the guy who sells vegetables on the street. Constantly learn, if you are reading this blog, you have access to the internet. If you cannot attend school, take free online business courses, learn. I believe in failing fast and forward. You are bound to fail, but you just need to find a way to see how you can work towards running a successful business. Never give up.
How can people get hold of you?
Twitter: @mamaroala I @lenomalegal
Facebook: Leah Molatseli I www.facebook.com/lenomalegal