The final installment of the Entrepreneur’s Edition of the Five by Five comes from Barry Moltz, author of You Need To Be A Little Crazy: The Truth About Starting and Growing Your Business who also blogs about entrepreneurism and his book. Barry’s finishes up the Five by Five with:
1. Don’t just keep track of the hours you spend with me, think value. There is nothing that gets me more angry than receiving an bill from an attorney for a tenth of an hour. When an attorney does this I think they are more interested in their time than the value they can bring to my business. I would rather have the attorney make their rate higher and not charge me for these short phone calls. Although I know all the attorney has to sell is their time, please disguise it a bit better. It makes me feel better.
2. Stop charging me for all those copies you make or faxes you send. There isn’t another business on earth that charges me to make copies of my documents at 5- 25 cents a page or send a fax at $1.00 to $5.00 a page. I always kid my best friend who is a personal injury attorney that if he wants to make some money today, all he has to do is take out a file and start copying! Maybe, I am just jealous and wish I could do this in my consulting business. Again, hide this in your hourly rate. To me, this just seems like you are piling on! These services are a cost of doing business. Treat it that way.
3. Insist that I have all the correct agreements and legal documents. Entrepreneurs are famous for being sloppy on operating and partner agreements. Be ruthless with them and help them think through ALL the issues that could happen. Insist that these are update and in place.
4. Act as a “Lovecat” and connect me to your other clients that may be able to help my business as a vendor or customer. Entrepreneurs need your help referring them to other people that can use their services or products. You can be a key conduit. Try to make it happen. Likewise, maybe you other businesses that can help them as a vendor. Make the call and connect your two clients.
5. Counsel them not to sue every person that angers them. Tell them how expensive it will be. Help them understand that trying to mediate through issues is much better than going to court. In the end, at the court, the only one that usually wins in an attorney.