Some small business owners tend to avoid lawyers and business consultants in an effort to save on the costs of hiring them. However, when you have great lawyers who are skilled in the legalities of setting up and running a small business, whether you are an electrical contractor or a retail shop owner you will save on costs in the long run, simply because they will know how to save your business money. And keeping them on after the business is all set up will help you avoid all kinds of costly problems.
Here are 5 tips for choosing the best lawyer for your small business: –
- If you have a negative mindset about the reputation of lawyers, drop it. Of course, there are ‘bad’ lawyers out there who overcharge or have nefarious dealings, but most of them are honest and hardworking. Some even go the second mile, working nights and weekends to help in times of trouble or at short notice. Your relationships with your lawyer should be a positive one.
- Be proactive in finding a lawyer who can help you. Not all lawyers have skills in small business dealings. Their website should tell you if they have experience with the kind of business yours is. A lawyer who acts on their own has set up their own small business, so they should know a lot about what is needed for yours.
- Speak and listen. Be open about your business goals. The first consultation is usually a free one; this is the time to tell them all about you and your business, your goals for the future and anything else you think they should know about the business. You also need to speak to them candidly about the help you need. Then you need to listen to what they say and take it to heart. Be guided by them and don’t be afraid to ask questions so you fully understand what they are saying.
- Think value rather than costs. You are accessing the kind of expertise you alone could never provide for your business. A good lawyer is rather like a business partner who offers the kind of skills you don’t have. It is their job to solve problems and ease your stress. That said, you can and should ask them about their fees and whether they work on an hourly basis or by commission. Some charge reduced rates that can increase as your business expands if you keep them on. But they should never ask for a percentage of your business.
- Build a good working relationship with your lawyer but don’t waste their time by asking for information that is readily available online or elsewhere. And keep phone conversations to a minimum unless or their bill will be higher than you expect.