Last week I threw my support behind a coffee roaster who won free advertising during the Super Bowl. As I re-read it and received your comments, it reminded me why I’m drawn to handling the tax and legal matters for small businesses.
The reason is actually pretty simple — the work is interesting, and I get it.
I love small businesses. I run one. I grew up in one. I am fourth-generation entrepreneur. I am fourth-generation “bad employee.” That it’s a law firm doesn’t make it any more or less special than a fresh food caterer or solar panel installer. In many ways we’re all in the smaller pond and making the best of it.
I advise a very small business operating out of kitchen-sized space in Manhattan. A few fellows with deep roots and contacts in their industry came together to provide social media and engagement services to new and old clients. It’s an uphill battle, for sure. The internet was in its infancy when these guys entered the workforce. But they have a good collective reputation and are people you can hang with, and are still hungry for the work. And Dos Toros.
I’m rooting for them — it’s hard not to. That’s why a film like “The Last Starfighter” spoke to me so much — it’s literally about being outnumbered and forging ahead. I see a reflection of my clients and me, taking on the empire. Of course, I don’t have a killer Gunstar (equipped with a mean little gizmo like Death Blossom – the weapon of last resort), but I do have a Martha. A true weapon of last resort.
Defending small businesses is the reason I expanded my tax practice to include small business litigation. The basics of starting a business have some universal elements — contracts, office space, raising capital — and I take my own experiences and provide clients with solid ground to start with.
Starting from the ground up is as difficult as it is exciting. It’s very similar to raising a family — you do it because you want to create something special with your own name (or brand) that you want to watch grow and succeed.
It’s always inspiring when a small group of like-minded people get together to create a business or product that may impact the world in some way. Like anyone, when I’m inspired, I do my best work.
Another client came by referral and had an idea for a virtual gallery. I won’t charge a whole lot of money but I still set her up properly and provided the legal framework so she could hang the virtual frames.
She called me immediately after she signed her first big artist. I can’t say I knew of a virtual art gallery before this experience, which makes it all the more special. That excited phone call reinforces why I wanted to work with small businesses.
When the work you do matters to the one or few people you help, you fuel their passion and they hopefully accomplish what they set out to do. Even if you need special glasses to see it.
Next week we’ll discuss the other side of the small business coin; it ain’t as rosy.
Feel free to leave a comment as to why you counsel or entered the small business arena.