Why your Small Business Needs a Lawyer

HIRING A SMALL BUSINESS LAWYER FOR YOUR CONSULTING BUSINESS

As a small businesHeadshot of attorney with caption why you should hire a lawyers lawyer, I am so thrilled and honored to be the featured guest blogger this week on Leah Roman’s blog! Thank you, Leah Roman, MPH, MCHES, for this opportunity. I hope everyone will understand the benefits of hiring a lawyer for your public health consulting business after reading this. Though the piece appears on a blog for public health consultants, it is good advice for any small enterprise.

In this piece, you will find out how much money I recommend to budget for attorney fees, and strategies to find attorneys with reasonable rates. You will also learn about the “red flags” business lawyers are trained to find in your consulting contracts. For the full piece, please check out Leah’s blog on her site, Roman Public Health Consulting LLC.

Here’s a snippet from the post:

“Engaging a lawyer at the outset that will get to know you personally has two benefits. First of all, they will learn about you and your business and will therefore be able to craft a document that is specific to you. Attorneys are also trained to read legal documents with a more critical eye to what is best for you. The attorney becomes your advocate. Secondly, you begin to establish a relationship with your attorney that will build on itself and hopefully last a long time.

Offering legal services through Greater Good Legal!

Logo of Greater Good Legal Services

Now providing legal services through Greater Good Legal

Hello everyone! I have such big news. I am now a member of the Greater Good Legal team! This means that I will be focusing more on providing legal services and am so pleased to add this to my bio.

Greater good provides affordable and accessible legal services to nonprofits, small businesses, and entrepreneurs. I am beyond thrilled to become a part of this inspiring group of people. Check out the Greater Good Legal website to learn more about the firm and the lawyers behind the practice. Also, you can read up on the profiles for all of us who are a part of this team and learn about our motivations for joining this group.

By joining the Greater Good Legal team, I will be able to use my background in healthcare law and nonprofits more effectively. My goal is to help them enhance their representation of nonprofit organizations and expand their healthcare law offerings. Moreover, this will help them increase their ability to support charitable healthcare institutions.

About Greater Good Legal LLC

Greater Good provides legal counsel that builds communities. They specialize in delivering legal services to not-for-profits, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and disabled individuals and their families. Attorney Mark Aurand founded the firm in 2018. Greater Good is a for-profit firm that uses technology and streamlined processes to deliver efficient and cost-effective services throughout Pennsylvania.

Contracts and Risk Management Presentation

I will be presenting on the topic of contracts and risk management at the April 9th NCN Philly Meeting.  We will discuss my presentation on “10 Easy Contract Clauses to Protect Non-profit Consultants and Freelance Grant Writers

Here are a few of the things you will learn at this risk management presentation:

  • why you need to specify your status as in independent contractor,
  • why you should never base your compensation on a percentage of the grant award,
  • how to limit your liability in case a problem arises, and
  • how to handle a potential conflict of interest

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn this critical information.

Don’t Pay Consultants A Percentage (Repost)

Stop sign to indicate stop paying consultants a percentage of awardNever pay consultants for grant writing work with a percentage of the grant award!  It is inappropriate, even unethical, to do so.  This article from The Grantsmanship Center gives an excellent explanation as to why paying consultants this way is wrong.   It still surprises me that people ask me about this quite often.  Clearly, a lot of confusion remains out there on this topic.  I discussed this in my course on Consultant Grant Writing Contracts that is featured on Nonprofit.Courses site, but this article goes into more depth.  For anyone who still has questions about using a contingency fee for grant writing work, this article will help you.  It also has some good guidelines for consultants to use to set their fees.

Contract Terms for Nonprofit Consultants

My course on Nonprofit Consultant Contract Terms is up and live!

I am very pleased to announce that my course on contract terms for nonprofit consultants is up!   “10 Easy Contract Clauses to Protect Non-profit Consultants and Freelance Grant Writers” is now live on the nonprofit.courses website!   Here are a few of the things you will learn in this course:

  • why you need to specify your status as in independent contractor,
  • why you should never base your compensation on a percentage of the grant award,
  • how to limit your liability in case a problem arises, and
  • how to handle a potential conflict of interest

Consultant Contract Signature Page and Pen

My aim is to ensure that nonprofit consultants and organizations know how to protect themselves legally when they work together.  A clear, inclusive (but not overly burdensome) contract is vital to establishing a great relationship at the outset.  As a lawyer and a grant writer who has worked with nonprofit organizations over the years, I have developed an understanding of what these contracts should look like.  This course can serve as a checklist that any consultant or organization can use to protect yourself legally.  So, if you would like any help with your legal contracts, please contact me.  I would be happy to help!  Moreover, the first half hour of a consultation by phone is free.

Many thanks to Matt Hugg for his time and help with this project.  For anyone who works in the nonprofit industry, you need to check out his nonprofit.courses site!  There is an abundance of very useful information there.  No matter whether you work for a nonprofit, are a consultant to nonprofits, or even a volunteer,  there is likely a relevant course for you.  Added bonus – many of the courses there are absolutely free!  This means you have absolutely nothing to lose by taking a look.

Why Your Professional Bio is the Most Important Piece You Will Ever Write

Quote Know First Who You AreYour professional bio is the most important piece of writing that you will ever have to prepare.

It may be bold to say that your professional bio is the most important thing you will ever have to write. But I stand by that statement. Here’s why:

1. We all need a professional bio to get jobs, to get clients, to get business, or to get noticed.

2. We all use them on social media, for business, on our websites, and even for personal interests or volunteer work.

3. Businesses, organizations, and potential clients of every kind and size look at them. They use them to get an idea of who you are on a more personal level than the list of jobs you write down on a resume.

Professional bios are the best way to explain to others who you are and what you do.

Simply put, professional bios are necessary for any public platform where we have to explain to others who we are and what we do. This applies no matter whether you are self- employed, part of a large corporation, or volunteer for a non-profit organization. It is even a great idea to prepare one for your personal and volunteer work. Chances are that you are doing something where you are putting yourself out there on the world wide web.

This is why it is imperative that you present a professional, approachable appearance both visually and in writing. I’m a great example of this as I am a self-employed, “solopreneur, yet I have worked on my professional bio regularly. I constantly tweak it and update it as necessary, to make sure it is succinct, compelling, current, and professional looking.

But I already have a resume so why do I need a professional bio?

I know some of you may be thinking, “But I already have a resume that lists all my work experience. Why do I need a professional bio?”

A professional bio is very different from a resume and has a different purpose.

For sure, a bio will include some of your relevant experience that highlights why you are an expert in your field. However, a bio is your chance to make your personality really shine. Rather than a dry listing of your jobs and educational experience, a professional bio can show a fun, more human side to yourself. It is a great way to connect with others on an emotional level. By engaging people this way, they will want to find out more information about you. You can then direct them to your resume, website, or your social media page to learn more about who you really are.

There is a saying out there in the business world that “people do business with people they know, like, and trust.” (I have no idea who said this first, but I know I have heard some version of this statement often in my business endeavors). Your professional bio is your chance to build that trust and likeability with the reader.

Misspoken or mispronounced words or phrases

I came across this article about common misspoken or mispronounced words the other day in GrammarBook.com.

The first thing that struck me about it was the suggestion that the word “forte” to mean strength or area that one excels at, should be pronounced fort, not for-tay.  I always thought it was for-tay and have never heard it pronounced any other way.  I did not even know there was a debate about how that word should be pronounced.  So, that was enlightening for me.  However, the article does suggest that for-tay is an acceptable alternative pronunciation.  I am glad to hear that because I feel more comfortable with that pronunciation.  If I hear the word “fort” I would think that the person is referring to the military structure, not one’s personal strengths.

The list of other commonly misspoken or mispronounced words is also interesting.  It’s a good list and it got me thinking about what words I would add to it.  One of my personal pet peeves is when someone uses the word “supposably” instead of “supposedly”.”  I hear this often from people in my area, so I would add that word to the list.  I don’t know if this is a regional thing or not because I never heard this where I grew up in New York.  Do you agree with this list?  What word or phrase would you add, if any?

Do these kinds of mispronunciations confuse you?  If so, you might want to consider using a proofreader for help with your writing.  Feel free to contact me to learn more about the proofreading services I offer.

Misspoken or mispronounced words