Laura Dover is the operations director at Harrison Drury, an award-winning law firm with offices across the North West.
Her role as operations director for the firm involves a mix of both people and business development to ensure Harrison Drury’s ‘we make it possible’ culture is engrained in everything that Harrison Drury’s people do. The management of estates and facilities is also a priority of Laura’s senior position, ensuring that the whole organisation performs at its optimum level.
Here she shares her own inspirational Lancashire woman in business story.
What does your business do?
Harrison Drury provides a full range of legal services to commercial businesses, individuals and families and are specialists in a number of sectors. We have been recognised in the prestigious Legal 500 and have been named as one of the UK’s top employers by placing in the Top 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies to Work For list.
Why did you choose to work at Harrison Drury?
After working in the public sector for 10 years I took to decision to take my first management position in the private sector where I felt the pace and autonomy would present more of a challenge to allow me to develop my management skills. I couldn’t have asked for a better start. Harrison Drury was at the beginning of an exciting journey and had a culture which provided a safe environment to try out news ideas.
What has been your biggest business breakthrough?
I think the realisation that you can never overcommunicate. Having joined Harrison Drury in 2013 when the business had under 40 employees and just two offices, we now have over 150 people and eight offices which requires a very different communication style and strategy. Communication is dynamic, it certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all!
What has been your proudest achievement in your role?
Navigating the business and supporting our people through the Covid-19 pandemic was a roller coaster ride. I am extremely proud of how we achieved the transition from over 100 employees working in seven offices, to a home working environment with just 24 hours’ notice. I think the speed and effectiveness of this transition gave both our employees and clients confidence in our ability to navigate this very difficult period.
What is the most effective support or guidance you have received?
Trust your instincts and take time to reflect on you prior achievements to remind yourself what you are capable of. This often helps to quieten the self-doubt and nerves when faced with a new challenge.
What keeps you going when things are tough?
I am extremely fortunate to be part of fantastic team at Harrison Drury. I encourage everyone to be honest so that we can pool resources, knowledge and skills to help each other out when things get tough. Achievements are all the more enjoyable when gained through teamwork.
What are your best three tips for maintaining your wellbeing?
1. Make sure your personal values align to that of the company your work for, it makes for a more enjoyable working life.
2. Try to build a network of people in similar roles to you, it helps to know others face similar challenges and to share ideas and experiences.
3. Keep some perspective when facing big challenges, work is work. You must find time for fun, for yourself and for your family and friends.
What advice would you give to a female entrepreneur starting a business?
Equip yourself with the knowledge, do your research and access business support available to learn from others who have been on the journey.
Boost is helping Lancashire businesses thrive.
We have a range of funded support programmes and a team of business advisers you can talk to.
To speak to someone from the Growth Hub about business support, contact Boost online or call 0800 488 0057.