10 Jan Five of the Many Reasons I Love Small Busineses
I love working with small business owners and those people who are looking to be small business owners. So many people have asked me why. So in the spirit of the re-branding that is on-going, I thought I would share with you some of the reasons why I like working with small business owners and prospective owners.
1. Overwhelmingly, small business owners are a positive group of people. Before launching my own firm, I worked exclusively in commercial litigation. Litigation is important work, and it serves a fantastic purpose and it can be a great place to work. But in six years of non-stop litigation, I never once met a client or prospective client having a good day. I admire lawyers who can handle the fact that each new client has either been sued and needs a lawyer or has been on the receiving end of a raw deal and needs a lawyer. After a while, that situation can be a bit of a downer.
Small business owners, on the other hand, have a positive outlook on life. They are wanting to build a business, provide a service, help people while helping themselves. They take on challenges with an end goal in mind. And frankly, now when I meet most new clients, they have a legal problem, but it is often something like “how do I go about buying a business?” or “How can I protect my business so I can grow?” “How can I avoid having to negotiate the contract offer so much?” While the business owner has problems, they tend to be a bit more forward looking. That difference in mindset absolutely vital.
2. Small business owners drive pretty much everything in our economy. If you talk to organizations like the local chambers of commerce or the National Federation of Independent Business, they will tell you that the overwhelming number of new jobs are created by small business owners. I whole-heartedly agree. The vast majority of our innovation in products and services starts with small businesses. I believe that the incremental improvements in our day to day lives come from a small business owners who are looking to make a buck or two and look for ways to make their lives and our lives a bit better. That is exciting to me, to be helping a small business owner start their business, grow their business and then start hiring employees. How can that not be exciting? Is it a challenge? Of course, but that is what makes it so fun.
3. Small business is personal. This may come as a shock to people, but I am actually something of an introvert. I don’t mean shy because I am not, but big groups drain me and I have learned I work best when I am working one-on-one with a client or a couple of business owners. When working with big businesses, I may not necessarily be talking to the ultimate decision makers all the time. To be sure, there is a place for corporate America and big business, but for me, nothing beats sitting across a table from a client and knowing that the person in front if me is the decision-maker, and that my advice is going straight from my head and mouth to the ear and head of the person who matters most. It is immediate, and that is what is so engaging.
4. Small businesses tend to get ignored in our legal system. Yeah, you read that right. A small business owner is usually not able to retain quality counsel on a regular basis because it is expensive. The poor among us usually qualify for pro bono counsel (as they should and I fully support those efforts). Of course the rich and big companies can afford counsel. But a small business owner is middle class and it is the middle class that have the hardest time retaining and maintaining access to quality legal counsel. I may not be able to change the economic reality in all parts of the country, but I can and will do my part in helping my community and the small business owners in my community.
5. Working with small business owners is never boring. When I was working in litigation, the cases may be different, but the procedure was the same and so many other entities had input on what was happening, the clients of course, but also the courts, opposing counsel, the partners, and others. Litigators become experts at process and I find that aspect of litigation practice a bit boring.
Sure, many small business owners will face the same kinds of challenges, employee problems, contract problems, regulatory burdens, customer problems, and the list goes on. It would seem that some matters get boring and routine, but they don’t because every business owner and business is unique. I work creative professionals and doctors, massage therapists and cleaning companies, accountants and software companies. I learn a lot about people, about different businesses and about how all those different parts of our vast economy all seem to work together. So while I may talk incessantly about topics such as sexual harassment or contracts, the fact that each time I do, I am doing it with someone with slightly different needs, so one size certainly does not fit all.
I am so very glad to have consciously decided to work exclusively with small business owners. I love celebrating their accomplishments and I take pride in maybe having some small role in their success. Over the next several months, I hope that some of my clients will come on here and talk about their success stories as business owners.
So, for my readers out there, tell me about your small business success story. If you had a dedicated lawyer, what would you want that lawyer to be doing for you? What can a lawyer do to help make 2017 better for your business and you?