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Managing Your Business When Displaced

“You don’t have to live like a refugee.” — Tom Petty

Welcome back, folks. Is thing on?

Many of you might be wondering, “where the heck is Joshua?” Some of you are just wondering what I am wearing. The answer to the first is: here, there, and everywhere. Since Tax Day, the firm has been retained to handle a flurry of activity in and out of the courtroom. It seems like everyone’s suing each other lately; we’re handling class actions, derivative lawsuits, and Securities and Exchange Commission matters on top of our normal commercial formations and transactions.

To the second question – you need a hobby.

To top it all off, we were forced to evacuate our location of eight years – the first real office for Brinen & Associates. Preparing to relocate forced us to get clean, lean and smarter, and all small business owners can learn a lot from this experience.

The Wrecking Ball Is Here

Our former building was preparing for demolition and we were given a 90-day notice to evacuate. Hindsight being 20/20, we should have negotiated a demolition clause of at least six months. We instead played the hand we were dealt and began cleaning, tossing, shredding and digitizing all sorts of documents and items.

Here’s what we learned:

  • No matter how lean your operation, you will accumulate too much stuff, which will convert into junk. “What the heck is this?”-caliber junk.
  • Establish an organization/filing system immediately upon relocating, to mitigate the amount of junk you’ll accumulate.
  • This is a chance to say goodbye to more than just things. Bad habits and processes can go, too.

There was some sentimentality to our purge and exit and I know a lot of small business owners and employees experience these emotions when relocating. What truly matters are the people you work with. If workers leave in a crisis then they might carry that over to the new place. We used the relocation experience as an opportunity to grow; reviewing the past and preparing for the future.

The New Front Door

We’re a small firm and even for us, our new space is a little cramped. It is, however, forcing us to stay focused and get more work done on behalf of the aforementioned clients. So ultimately I guess size does not matter, especially if it’s helping us serve our clients.

Your business will have high and low points, and not always in the way of income. If you have to take a step back, then do it; that’s not retreat, that’s your chance to reload.

Contact Brinen & Associates with your legal, commercial and tax matters.



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Given the goings-on since our last post, we need to discuss the importance of disaster preparedness for small businesses. According to, almost 40 percent of small businesses never reopen following a disaster because just a few inches of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. I find that unacceptable, especially because it can be prevented in many cases.

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Revisiting Roots In Tight Quarters

In our last post we discussed how to manage your business when you’re displaced. That caught us up to the present; Brinen & Associates is still in a temporary work space. We’ve right-sized our office, for now, and it’s forced me to reevaluate things and ask myself a question that all business owners should consider:

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