November 28, 2016
A Profitable Pivot
Ideas Tested: A Lesson Learned
My ideas about entrepreneurs’ demand for business formation legal services have dramatically changed since I first started Executive Legal Professionals, PLLC (“ExecutiveLP”) back in January of 2013. Back then, I thought entrepreneurs would immediately want to establish a long-term relationship with an attorney who could give them, along with the basic business formation documents required to legally establish their new business, strategic legal consulting and other basic business legal services. I thought the folks behind a start-up would want these services for a minimum of one year.
I still believe that’s what’s best for most businesses, but I have learned, over the last four years of operating ExecutiveLP, that what people probably should want and what they actually want are often two very different things.
What people actually tend to want is a shorter term of service. Business clients are often wary of long commitments. Entrepreneurs are sensitive to long-term risk, though they’re often willing to take short-term risks with the long view in mind. As a lawyer earns the trust of business decision-makers, then they tend to be more amenable to making longer commitments.
In this sense, hiring a General Counsel lawyer or an Outside General Counsel firm is kind-of like dating. You want to have a few low-risk, short-term encounters before you make a long commitment that will dramatically affect you for a significant period of time. This makes sense to me, because, ultimately, the legal business is a relationship-driven business. So, people tend to approach the start of new business relationships in much the same way as they approach new personal relationships.
The Pivot: Charting a New Course
Responding to the demand for shorter terms of service in 2015 and 2016, ExecutiveLP trimmed it’s year-long business formation legal service plans down to 90-day legal service plans. This had a dramatic, positive effect on the number of people who purchased business formation legal service plans from us.
In 2017, we’re going a step further, responding to the demand for even shorter terms of service. In 2017, business formation clients will be able to choose between a 30-day legal service plan and a 10-day legal service plan. We have already been quietly rolling out this change for prospective clients, though our public Menu of Services still reflects (and we still honor) the 2016 Menu of Services plans and pricing, if people want the longer 90-day term.
(If you would like a Summary Term Sheet for our 2017 business formation legal service plans, or if you would like to schedule a no-obligation initial consultation, you can e-mail us to request either or both of these, and we’ll be happy to provide them.)
A Perfect Pairing
One of my concerns about making the shift to shorter terms of service for business formation legal service plans has been related to my belief that every business needs ongoing preventive legal support. In creating legal service plans for the firm that were, initially, a year long, I had hoped to demonstrate to entrepreneurs and small businesses the benefits their businesses could obtain by having even a limited kind of Outside General Counsel.
With the shift to shorter terms of service in our business formation legal service plans, we have also started putting even more emphasis on the importance of Outside General Counsel. General Counsel legal services are an essential and vital tool businesses use to protect and add value to their business after the initial formation period.
We have also created several new 2017 Signet™ General Counsel legal service plans to replace the single option we had in 2016. (For more information on the ways our Signet™ General service is changing in 2017, click here.)
In 2017, our excellent Business Formation and Signet™ General Counsel legal service plans are more affordable than ever. We now offer a greater variety of service plans, a more scalable pricing formula for Signet™ General Counsel, and improved synergy between our Business Formation and Signet™ General Counsel legal service plans.
Best of all, our clients can expect to benefit from these refinements immediately, as we continue to provide the 2017 pricing options for the rest of 2016. Our new 2017 Menu of Services will be released on January 1, 2017, after which time the old 2016 legal service plans will no longer be available.
Our firm is committed to continuing to listen to our clients (and those who don’t ultimately hire us) to constantly improve the way our firm serves entrepreneurs and businesses. That is why these changes are very exciting for us and our clients. If you’re considering starting a new venture, or if you are interested in business legal services for your enterprise, please reach out to us, and schedule a no-obligation consultation, today.
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