Just because you are an attorney does not automatically means that you can establish a successful law firm. Managing a Law Firm is way different than being an attorney. Although, you may have an edge on getting your firm registered that is pretty much where the advantage ends. But, getting inspired from entrepreneurs who are establishing their own businesses and making a successful law firm of your own, is something which lots of attorneys thing about.
So, we got in touch with Sonia F. Lakhany the founder of lakhanylaw.com and asked her about the journey and the process she had to go through to establish her own Law Firm.
We would be honored to conduct an interview for our piece on small businesses. We believe that there is an inspirational story just waiting to be told.
You have had such a successful career. Was establishing your own practice a natural step in the process?
Thank you! It did feel very natural. I have spent years in my career advising companies so in a way I felt acclimated to the process. Since I am a trademark attorney, my clients are usually business owners and entrepreneurs who have built their own brands and created a business. I have always felt inspired by seeing their successes and that eventually helped me have faith that I could do it as well.
Did you face any difficulty in running the setup at the beginning? How did you overcome it?
The main challenge for me at the very beginning was prioritizing and getting organized. There are so many things to decide when starting a law practice – the name of the company, of course, along with malpractice insurance, website design, business cards, and accounting software, to name a few – all in conjunction with building a clientele. I joke that I got very little sleep those first few months, but eventually it leveled out and I created internal systems and routines to ensure things flowed smoothly. Now I am happier than ever owning my firm, even on those days that are a bit stressful.
Most entrepreneurs are not very conscious of getting their name trademarked, what message do you have for them?
My experience has been that many small business owners don’t think their brand is at a stage for trademark protection because they think it is something only for global companies like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. That couldn’t be further from the truth. As a small business owner, it is imperative to ensure that the name you have chosen for your company isn’t taken by someone else. Consulting with a trademark attorney to perform what are called “clearance searches” are helpful to uncover who is using the same or similar name and for what type of business. This allows the entrepreneurs to have peace of mind knowing the brand will not receive a cease and desist letter someday from a company they never knew existed.
Lastly, there are many entrepreneurs out there who have difficulty in bringing their products/services to the market. If you were to give them one piece of advice, what would it be?
My best advice would be to focus efforts on marketing and sales. I have rarely met a successful entrepreneur who was not a good salesperson. You have to be able to sell your product or service to customers, clients, investors, etc., and that begins with selling yourself. Having a sense of confidence in your brand and knowledge about what makes you different helps quite a bit. Many of my clients have learned from watching shows like Shark Tank and The Profit to get a better idea of what works when it comes to the sales process.