LEGAL HELP FOR SMALL TO MID-SIZE BUSINESSES
Most small to mid-size businesses don’t have in-house counsel but still need to review contracts, tweak their own contracts to avoid recurring problems, get advice on the many issues that arise with customers, contracting problems, and a host of other issues. Now, with the Pandemic, many need help with debt negotiation. We focus getting issue resolved affordably as well as preventing problems. We try to do this in a way that allows you to maximize your time focusing on your business.
Best Options for a Small to Mid-Size Business
We offer a wide range of services including dealing with debt (owed to you or managing debt of your own), reviewing agreements, advising you in the midst of complex negotiations for a proposed deal and dealing with threats like litigation. We work as your retained counsel or by consulting on a pay as you go basis but either way, we do cost-benefit analysis with you on legal costs and budget with you accordingly. For example, you can for review of documents and advice via email with a working budget of three hours. We do this because all businesses need to consider their overhead and how they’re allocating money from month to month. Counsel who can help you estimate potential costs is important. So is estimating potential costs for different legal options relative to your priorities.
Best Uses of an Attorney
One example is the challenge of the customer who’s not paying. Sure, there’s the option of suing them but the question is whether this has been a good customer in the past, what their situation is as to ability to pay and whether there is a genuine dispute over services. In some cases, a well worded letter will get you a payment plan that functions till the bill is paid and the customer may continue to use your company because the issue was economics or a resolvable dispute. In other cases, it’s simply bad faith and it’s critical to look at how likely it is you can collect since sensible attorneys are well aware there are two important questions: 1) liability (do you have a good case to prove they owe the money and haven’t any basis not to pay the bill) and 2) damages (which is both that there’s enough money at stake to be worth the legal cost of pursuing it and that the customer has the funds to pay the bill. Based on those two critical points, the attorney can advise on best options that are affordable.
Likewise, attorneys can be helpful in a more proactive way. Are your contracts drafted in a way that’s understandable to both sides, does it cover all the points necessary for a functional relationship and is the contract enforceable if there’s trouble? I’ve reviewed far too many that are missing important terms. These terms can be drafted in a way that aren’t off-putting to new customers but help to make sure any new relationship works the way you want it to and provides you some insurance for the occasional customer where there’s a problem. Likewise, if you’re being given a contract by a larger company, you want to be certain it works for you.
Finally, running a business means dealing with someone on the team makes an error, unexpected problems, or there are simply changes as time goes on that create trouble. At those times, bringing an attorney when you are getting uneasy or when there are danger signs is a better option than trying to locate one when the situation has exploded. Establishing a relationship with a friendly attorney who likes small to mid-size businesses means you have someone to call who has a pretty good understanding of your business and can jump in quickly when you need advice.
Affordability and Fit for Your Business
Our firm works better for small firms because large firms are frequently geared around bigger businesses or high-end clients. I understand and sympathize with your concerns because I also have a business and share many of the same problems. Occasionally, specialized practices are better because they have the expertise a general practice like mind doesn’t. In cases where I’m more affordable and the overlap with my other areas of practice are helpful, this saves a client money and is beneficial. But if your legal problem is highly specialized, then I refer your case to a specialist because it is a necessary expense. Our rates are in the middle; because I’ve been in practice for more than 28 years, I’m not at the lower hourly rate as a new attorney would be but I can likely resolve your problem faster and more reliably than they can because of my experience in practice. I’m not a the high end as a specialist would be or one in a large firm. To see if I fit your needs, I provide a free consult to review the specific issue or question. I also do this because it’s critical you pick an attorney you like, trust and feel you can call with the expectation I’ll get back to you promptly with the best, most affordable option. It’s also critical that we are on the same page as to how we do business since there’s a lot of variation out there, but my practice is one that is focussed on what is ethical and what works and I want clients who are similarly inclined.