Before we talk about how we might be able to work together, I want you to know a little bit about me, my practice, and how I came to focus on serving and supporting business owners, high-achieving entrepreneurial women, and families.
I began my legal career in Washington, DC at one of the big 4 accounting firms as a business and tax law consultant. Soon after starting, I was unhappy because there was a huge disconnect between what I had dreamed about when I went to law school and the reality of being a business tax lawyer. I had dreamed about graduating from law school and making a difference, not only in the business world but also in the lives of business owners. In reality, practice in the firm was totally transactional and didn’t truly serve our clients.
Here’s what I mean…
Everything was billed by the hour, and it was all about saving the big corporations money on their taxes. While I enjoyed the complexity and challenge of the work, I didn’t feel a real connection to it. If I would try to get to know business owners on a personal level, I could tell they were tallying up that for every 15 minutes we talked, they were going to get a bill for $100. So, my relationship with business owners was more transactional than relational. I really didn’t feel I was making a big difference in any individual’s life.
I left the big accounting firm and began representing individuals and family business owners by joining a law firm in the Virgin Islands, where my father lives, in an attempt to get more personal and direct with my clients. But, this law firm did the same thing that the big accounting firm did and billed me out at $500 per hour as an associate. As a result, my clients didn’t really want me doing more than the bare minimum. So, I handled just the basic things they needed, like incorporation or a contract review. As you can imagine, doing just the basics does not really help anyone.
But, this law firm did the same thing that the big accounting firm did and billed me out at $500 per hour as an associate. As a result, my clients didn’t really want me doing more than the bare minimum. So, I handled just the basic things they needed, like incorporation or a contract review. As you can imagine, doing just the basics does not really help anyone.
This leads to my second point, in that due to my high billable rates, my business owner clients did not call until there was a problem. And a problem meant it was probably too late for me to do anything proactive to help them, and now I had to get into reactive mode, and that was always really expensive. As a tax lawyer, I was constantly defending my clients before the IRS and local tax authorities at the point in time when it was too late to avoid the conflict. Going to court cost my clients tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars that I knew could have been completely avoided. So, at The Hyndman Group, we use a holistic, proactive approach in advising our clients to keep them out of conflict and out of court.
Third and most important, I couldn’t be as responsive to my clients as I wanted to be, both because I had to travel a significant amount of the time and because there was no mechanism for short conversations – every interaction required a cost-prohibitive retainer.
In short, I wasn’t able to help business owners holistically. I couldn’t be the type of business partner that could help them make decisions, avoid tax issues, and generally serve as a resource. I got tired of existing in the difficult position of only interacting with clients when something went really wrong.
I knew there had to be something better. I researched alternative business models and figured out a way that my new firm could fill a really big hole in the market. As a business owner, you need a trusted advisor, who’s not just going to look at one small piece, like a specific contract or trademark or an employment matter, but understand your hopes and dreams and why you are in the business you’re in, in the first place. How it’s earning its revenue now, where you’d like to see it go in the future, whether you have the right insurance structures and systems in place, the right financial systems to be able to track your growth and plan for your growth properly. And, of course, the right tax systems and strategies to see if you’re paying too much on your taxes.
I started my law firm with the intention of having a more connected, proactive, and service-oriented practice with the business owners I serve. We do things differently here.
First and foremost, nothing we do is billed on an hourly basis. Everything is agreed to in advance, with a flat fee so there are never any surprises. For example, in our first strategy meeting we’ll be focused on me understanding you and your business and where you are now and where you can see you want to go, and then creating a plan to help you get there by looking at where there are holes in your current plan and then filling those gaps. If we decide to work together going forward, you’ll know exactly what it will cost, even choosing your own fee for that work.
Next, I work totally virtually so you don’t have to travel to see me, and I use the best of technology tools to support you and your team. I’m able to meet you where you are now and evolve with you as you grow.
If you have a quick question, we’re not going to play phone tag going back and forth wasting your time and mine reading and answering emails and texts. Instead, I have established specific office hours every day (3 PM EST – 4:30 PM EST) where I am available to take phone calls and emails that come in, when you need a quick question answered, you can call during that time. You can also email me or text me.
Finally, I’m not just looking at the legal parts of your business, or how and where you are incorporated, but instead we provide a holistic approach where we assess and identify the support you need in legal, financial, and tax solutions to improve on the growth of your business. That begins with you getting at least a basic understanding of what’s needed and then identifying where there are holes in your existing structures based on where you are now and where you want to go in the future. And then you being empowered to use me for the parts that really do require my support, so you can stay focused on what matters.
After I get to know you, your business, where you are now and where you want to go, and that’s what we are going to do during our first strategy meeting, we can then discuss the best options to get you educated, to fill in any gaps in your own knowledge structures, and then help you make the right choices for our next steps together. Identifying what you can do yourself and what you really want me to do for you, because it’s simply a better investment of your resources for you to stay focused on the parts of your business that only you can do and have me focused on the parts of your business that I can do.
On a personal note, I’m not just a lawyer, but I’m also a business owner. I’ve traveled around the country supporting small businesses, seeing the huge number of mistakes that small business owners make that they could have avoided if they had an advisor that helped them understand the impact of not having a holistic approach to the sustainability and growth of their business. And I am guessing that we’re meeting because you do want to set up your business to support you in creating a life worth living, and a legacy worth leaving, as I also desire with my businesses.
So, before we talk about your life and your legacy and your vision for your business, do you have any questions for me about anything I have stated, or didn’t state or anything else at all? Schedule an appointment so we can protect your legacy.