Self-employed / Sole Trader of the Year Winner at FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards Scotland
Inksters won the Scottish Self-employed / Sole Trader of the Year Award at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Celebrating Small Business Awards in Edinburgh on Thursday.
The award recognises the “tenacity and drive that it takes to go it alone”.
Brian Inkster set up Inksters as a sole trader in 1999. 23 years later and Brian is still a sole trader. However, Inksters now has 9 employees and 18 other sole traders. Those sole traders all work under the Inksters brand from 10 offices throughout Scotland.
Plug & Play Law
Brian has developed ‘Plug & Play Law’ since 2013. This is a model where senior lawyers can work as a collective, with enhanced technology and back-office support. Where a hub-and-spoke model exists. There is a back office “hub” (the Inksterplex in Glasgow) and “spokes” elsewhere (currently in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Eigg, Forfar, Inverness, Lerwick, Portree, Thurso and Wick).
When Brian formally launched the model as Plug & Play Law in 2019 Scottish Business Insider labelled him a “maverick lawyer“.
Concentrating on the Consultancy Business Model
In 2021, Inksters fully replaced salaried solicitors with self-employed consultant solicitors and now just concentrate on the consultancy business model.
In the last two years, and all during the pandemic, Inksters added 6 new self-employed solicitors. At the same time, the employed support team increased by three.
Thus, Brian Inkster has created a law firm where self-employed / sole traders can flourish.
Welcoming the Self-employed / Sole Trader of the Year Award
Brian Inkster said:
I am honoured that Inksters has won this year’s Self-employed / Sole Trader of the Year Award, because this is something very close to my heart.
The pandemic affected businesses in a variety of ways, some very badly, others very well, but whatever the case, it made us all think hard about what we do.
Inksters was transformed by it, fully adopting the exciting new ‘plug and play’ business model where, rather than being partners or employees, all solicitors are self-employed consultants within the Inksters brand, receiving back-office help and support from our Inksterplex hub in Glasgow.
Our fee-sharing model is unusual too in Scotland, one that we have pioneered very successfully here.
Andy Aird, FSB’s Scotland chairman, said:
We’ve got many businesses here that found opportunities in the difficulties of the Covid crisis.
Others are using digital technologies to boost productivity and to find new customers.
Lastly, these winners exemplify responsible business either through action to help the environment or activity to help their local community.
Our award winners really demonstrate the strength and depth in Scotland’s small business community.
The small business campaign group had almost 400 entries to their awards from up and down Scotland.
Each of the winners have secured a spot in the prestigious UK final to be held in May in a bid to be crowned the ‘UK Small Business of the Year’.