The Need for Business Vision
My vision of the A-Z of IP rights under one roof changed when it became commonplace.
As I’d witnessed small businesses suffer due to their own, and their branding advisers’ lack of understanding of IP my vision became one of changing the way business is designed to foster greater business success.
But I couldn’t innovate in this way in 2015 when I formed this vision because my business was a regulated law firm. As such it was subject to a horrible Professional Indemnity insurance scene.
Insurers’ were obliged to offer a ‘gold plated’ insurance which made for steep premiums. There was no concept of a ‘no claims’ bonus. You suffered huge price hikes despite never having claimed on your policy. Some years an insurer would withdraw from the market leaving brokers scrambling to find alternative cover. Few insurers were willing to insure small law firms so that some failed to secure cover and had to close at short notice.
I had so little control over my own business. Overhead costs were spiralling, and the hike in premiums was worrying because as a law firm owner you were liable to pay ‘run off’ cover of 6 times your final PI premium when you closed your business or died.
The option to work as a non-practising solicitor wasn't appropriate because my clients wouldn’t have used my services if I’d given up my practising certificate. Another option was to find a larger law firm to merge with. But I didn't want to sell my client list or to work in another firm.
I didn't want to stop running my own business. There were market problems to solve, new services to offer, and I didn’t want to retire any time soon.
My only real option, was to wait till the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority further deregulated the market, which they did in 2019. Once they allowed practising solicitors to offer their services through ordinary companies I closed my law firm.
In 2015 I had 5 full-time employees working out of our Islington offices. We had office space and a large meeting room. So, I opted not to replace team members who left. I used consultant lawyers instead.
I also gradually gave up our office space getting employees to work from home. By the time the SRA rule changes took effect I no longer had any employees or office space.
Today I focus on a tighter niche: trademark and brand protection work.
My vision is for lawyers to offer a business design service. Once I’ve introduced the kind of branding service I believe the market needs, I intend to show other lawyers how to do the same, without having to go through the years of learning that I’ve had to put into it.
To offer a branding service, I created the Brand Tuned sub-brand and began working with clients who asked for support to identify a new name.
Now that I've developed my process, I’m introducing a new 1-2-1 service: Brand Tuned-Up.
It'll support small businesses to brand or rebrand in a holistic way combining marketing with IP.
More news coming later this week.