What’s Your Lawyer Done for Your Business Lately?
We all know great lawyer jokes. The lawyer always ends up associated with the sharks. I don’t know about you but sometimes I want a shark on my side.
As business owners, we don’t need a shark. We need lawyers who will stop us from stepping in it. But if I talk to a lawyer (actually, I think all we get is a letter, not a conversation) once per year to update our corporate record book, I have no idea if what we’re doing is going to dump us into the deep end of the ocean.
What We Don’t About Know Lurking Under the Water
And that’s what we all do – we continue on our merry way, not knowing what we don’t know, proud we are doing it all ourselves. Hmmmm… what’s wrong with this picture?
Did you hear the one about the business owner who had a buyer all ready to go for their business but hadn’t looked at their distribution agreements lately? They were not transferrable. Suddenly the buyer backed off the deal and the value of that company dropped over night.
Or how about the business partners that had written their own employment agreements and shareholder agreements way back when. Now one of them wants to leave and be bought out. The partners are arguing about how to do it.
The shareholder agreement didn’t spell it out in any way that could easily be actionable. Now they are barely talking to each other.
He’s quit twice. If that knowledge walks out the door, without any succession planning, then the company is at risk. The fact that the partner is sporadically showing up at work is already ringing alarm bells for employees.
This is an open letter to lawyers and business owners. There’s a bonus at the end of the letter you will only get if you read the whole letter.
Here is my rant:
Dear Business owners:
“Not paying attention to what you don’t know that you don’t know is a recipe for business failure!! You need to be talking to a law firm that understands business strategy as much as the law who cares about your future and how to protect everyone’s interests.”
“A letter once per year to renew the corporate record book means you don’t know what you don’t know about how to help your client stay out of business failure. What kind of care and feeding is that? If nothing else, lawyers, you are leaving money on the table not finding out what fresh landmines lurk in your clients’ businesses.”
That’s a million dollar idea, Lawyers.
You can thank us now by telling us how you’re going to change your game plan this year to truly be of service.
Leave your comments, horror stories and what you do that’s better, different for your clients, below.
Business owners, want more from your law firm?
We know the lawyers who care… meaning they value their clients’ business as much as their own:
In the US:
Roger Glovsky and John Koenig at Indigo Venture Law Officesin Boston, MA and Boulder, CO
“Speaking with lawyers is somewhat of a scary ordeal, however Roger Glovsky breaks the mold by making everything manageable and easy to comprehend. He has a groundbreaking approach to finding what is most important to protect in your business, which is unparalleled to any lawyer or legal system that I have encountered thus far. I now have a clear picture of what I need to do in order to protect my business, which is very empowering, and I suggest that any business looking to protect its ‘Secret Sauce’ should make an appointment ASAP.” Trevor M.
In Canada, we like:
Ken Burnett of Miller Thomson in Vancouver, BC