IP for entrepreneurs and what that may look like in a post-COVID-19 world. Everyone has been affected by COVID-19 including us. I took some time to think over what advice to provide my clients and friends post COVID-19 and realized it hasn’t changed much. If you run or manage an emerging business, the world has definitely changed, but effective legal strategies haven’t. I digress:
- Entrepreneurs generally never had cash to burn. COVID-19 doesn’t change that. We have and will continue to focus on low-cost, highly personalized legal services that maximize IP and business protection at a minimum price.
- Entrepreneurs succeed when they are focused. COVID-19 has made that need to focus even more important. In times of crisis, consumers and businesses are not looking for a nice to have, it is more of a need to have. There has never been a better time to refine and distinguish your brand. We definitely took the time to sharpen our mission and figure out how we can stay focused, using a combination of (relatively) low overhead, entrepreneurial experience, technology, empathy, and common sense, we can provide what we consider a must-have trademark, general IP and business services our clients need at a value-added price point. We do not want to do legal work that our clients don’t need. Instead, we are focusing on our processes to determine what our clients need and deliver exceptional work products in an effective manner.
- Entrepreneurs have to be nimble. Many of our clients are in ecommerce, beauty, or software companies. International supply and contractor chains have been disrupted, and the ability to fix these issues quickly is the issue of the day. Maybe because attorneys are generally on the front line in dealing with e.g. issues with manufacturers in China, this is not new news. Many things can happen when you are sourcing goods or services from others, especially if it is overseas. Accordingly, we always counsel our clients to have a Plan B and even have helped them find it.
- Entrepreneurs need to see the opportunity uncertain COVID-19 world. No one knows the way commerce will be transacted in the next month let alone the next several years. Talking to a bank or financier is most likely next to impossible right now. However, there are still millions and millions of people out there who have needs. The sun rises and sets every day, and you should use this opportunity to create opportunity. I was never a sound sleeper and that has not changed post-COVID-19. However, I am attempting to practice what I preach on this point.
WHY I AM THINKING POSITIVE ABOUT YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL ENDEAVORS POST COVID-19
I learned how to be an attorney first by going to law school and then gaining courtroom experience and a lot of life experience being a criminal prosecutor in Miami and then an attorney for a Fortune 50 company.
Then I got this idea… I conducted extensive due diligence, secured the intellectual property through a major research university, came up with a company name and tag, wrote an extensive business plan, created a product, designed a logo, and raised the most basic of friends and family money to finance the beginnings of a company.
For the next 8 years, I learned more about life and business than I ever imagined. I created hundreds of business development relationships. I drafted over seven subsequent business plans, secured and re-secured various IP dozens of times, raised more capital during the Great Recession, and rewrote organizational charts. I drafted and redrafted employment agreements, structured partnership agreements, and ultimately negotiated my exit. Like most entrepreneurs, I had days of extreme joy and days of extraordinary sorrow.
The business grew year over year and then it didn’t. But I did, and after a few months of mourning, I wrote down on a spreadsheet what skills I learned from my legal and business experiences, and started EmergeCounsel.
I am relatively confident that there is an opportunity for anyone who stays focused and tries hard, even in times that arguably may be more difficult than the Great Recession I endured. Regardless, while I acknowledge that business failure is a big )*(* deal, if that happens, the sun will rise the next day, and your life experience and skills are still there.