We are firm believers that all Small Businesses should create a private “board of advisors” to help you build a more robust system for achieving success. One of the most important people on that board is your attorney. Today we are excited to be joined by Scott Reib, an attorney with over 20-years of experience. Scott is going to share with us ways to “shatterproof” your business and discuss why having an ongoing relationship with your attorney is so important.
Dave Hamilton 0:00
We all know that we need an attorney. None of us want to pay an attorney. None of us are happy when we have to pick up the phone and call our attorney because we know it’s going to cost us usually, you know, in the the one sixth of an hour, right? 10 minute increments, right. And, Shannon, today we have a guest that has sort of broken that mold in his legal practice. Yeah, yeah, really unique way to bring legal services to small business owners that I think is really valuable. And
I think for all of you is PDF pen and PDF pen pro version 12 of these great utilities are out now. And they are our sponsor for this episode. pdf pen is the ultimate tool for editing PDFs on the Mac. And they’ve added some great features in PDF pen and PDF pen pro 12 that are out now. They’ve now got stationery built in with like new paper colors along with line and grid options. For custom page designs. They’ve got a magnifier window that allows you to zoom in on wherever your mouse pointer is in a document and even move between other open documents without any mouse clicks. So you can just you know you’re looking at those like big things like contracts or, you know, orders or whatever and you just need to move around. The magnifier goes with you, which is very cool. PDFs, we’re all dealing with them these days. The size of them can get pretty big but sometimes you
You want you know your images to look good. In fact, you always want your images to look good. And sometimes you’ve got big images in your PDF. Well now, PDF pen and PDF pen pro have customizable compression settings so that you can really pick how small you want things in relation to how you want your PDFs to look when other people are taking a look. And we all know that we’re using things to sign documents remotely DocuSign is a big big one that people are using and PDF pen pro 12 users get built in DocuSign support for digitally signing PDFs. So you’ve got to go check this out PDF pen for Mac supports Mac OS Catalina and then PDF pen for iPad and iPhone supports iOS 13 and even the Apple Pencil check it all out at smile software.com slash podcast. Yes, it’s a generic thing. They will ask you where you heard about it and you know the answer so go check it out smile software.com slash podcast or thanks to smile
Scott Reib 4:18
Sure, yeah, the concept of shatterproof it kind of comes from the glass that’s, you know, all around us. Every time you get in your car, you’re surrounded by the shatterproof glass. And the idea is that when a rock hits it, and as we’re going down the highway, the glass isn’t going to shatter and come through and cut you. Right It marks the glass or it made the whole thing may crack up, but it doesn’t come through and hurt you. And so we want the windshields of our business to be like that shatterproof glass. And so as you’re going down the road of business, in your business vehicle, when things happen that you didn’t want to happen, I mean things happen in life and in business. In the market market. We see it and then we can deal with it in a proactive way. If we set
Shannon Jean 5:32
So everybody that listens to this show knows that Dave and I are firm believers that you should create a private board of advisors for your business to help you build a better system. To achieve success. One of the most important people on the board is your attorney. Today we’re excited to be joined by Scott Reed, an attorney with over 20 years of experience Scott is going to share with us ways to shatterproof your business and discuss why having an ongoing relationship with your attorney
there’s a ton of great stuff to learn on this episode for every small business owner, because there’s always gonna be legal stuff you have to deal with. And after hearing Scott, read, there’s a better way to do it.
Dave Hamilton 0:51
There’s a better way. Yeah. And maybe, you know, like, we got to the end of the episode and you’ll hear us you’ll hear our reactions, but, you know, we tell our Guests, look, you can’t just come on and pitch your your business or service or your product, whatever it is, you can tell us about it. But really, we want to know your story. And sure, as you know, listening, that’s what we always do. And that’s what you’re about to hear with Scott rebe. In telling his story, though, it’s such a compelling thing that he offers that, you know, I’m sold on the concept and and I’m either gonna try and convince my attorney to do it, or I’m just gonna, I’m just gonna hire Scott. So you know, there you go.
Shannon Jean 1:31
Yep, totally makes sense.
Dave Hamilton 1:32
It totally does. It fits into our whole board of advisors thing, like it’s great. It’s, it’s efficient, it’s predictable. It’s all of those things that that you know, that you want in your in your business life, you know, is in fact it’s
Shannon Jean 1:49
its own thing. It’s just really valuable. Yeah, in so many ways. Yeah,
Dave Hamilton 1:54
totally. The another thing that’s extremely valuable is for me, and I
PDF pen for sponsoring this episode. Shannon, do you have anything else before we get rolling here?
Shannon Jean 4:05
I’m ready to go man. Let’s get legal. Let’s get
Dave Hamilton 4:07
legal. He’s legally Shannon Jean. I’m legally Dave Hamilton and legally This is the Small Business Show Episode 280
Scott Reib 5:00
business in the right way. If we have the right structures and systems and documentation in place, then that’s not a big deal. when something comes up, we can deal with it. It’s minor. We don’t have a lot of exposure. We’ve done the right things to protect our business and personal assets. And that’s what I call being shatterproof.
Shannon Jean 6:00
is so important. Scott, thanks so much for being here today.
Scott Reib 6:03
It’s great to be here.
Shannon Jean 6:04
Yeah, we really appreciate it. So, talk a little bit about your background, how you came to focus on business law. And also, you know how read law is different than most law firms?
Scott Reib 6:19
Great. that’s a that’s a long question.
Shannon Jean 6:23
We’ve got time we have time.
Scott Reib 6:25
I started out as a business major at Southwest Baptist University and wanted to do marketing and advertising really loved it, and graduated in 91. And there were really no jobs. The they thought marketing jobs were selling copiers, selling phones selling computers. And so I got my first sales job. I was selling phone systems for at&t, which was okay, but it wasn’t what I really wanted to do. But I’ve found I was pretty good at it and actually found some ways to sell there. They’re extended warranties that they had not figured out. They had a computer system that would allow you to download 60 days in advance their expiring warranties, create contracts or proposals, send those out in the mail to the customers, I found that about 50% of them came back in the mail signed, and then I can follow up with the other 50% and get another 20% in and it was just became mailbox money for me really easy. And then I could go do the add on sales. And I had the whole Tulsa, Oklahoma metro area, which isn’t huge, but it was a good market for phone systems. And they decided to bring in someone else to take over the system I created that was making minimum wage and breached my contract and sent me to southeast Oklahoma. Now if you’re from southeast Oklahoma, it’s a great place. They just in 91 didn’t really have a real need for business folks. And so they kind of sent me there to die. And I went you were
Dave Hamilton 7:57
you were making too much commission. Yeah, exactly.
Scott Reib 8:00
Yeah, it was a it was a great system for me and not so much for them. And so they breached that agreement. I went to a lawyer and they said, Yeah, you could win if you could afford to litigate, but you can’t. And so I did what every other American would do. I decided to go to law school.
Shannon Jean 8:18
I love awesome. That’s great. You,
Dave Hamilton 8:19
you joke about that, but that’s like, I like there have been times in my career where it’s like, maybe I just need to be my own lawyer. Like I get that mindset. You actually ran with it. That’s awesome.
Scott Reib 8:31
That’s great. Yeah, so I applied to law school at the University of Oklahoma. And Baylor decided Oklahoma College of Law Oklahoma was about $100 an hour cheaper. So I went there and and loved my time in Norman love law school. Anyone that tells you that school isn’t better than work is crazy. It is you get to go to class, go play basketball with the guys. Go home eat dinner and study. It was really was a fun time for three years and I was married. My wife taught school and you know We lived on like $714, every two weeks for three years. But it was a great three years. And I learned a ton. And then got out and started doing litigation at a commercial litigation firm, and found that that was really boring. I didn’t feel like I was helping anyone. And, you know, I’m sitting on these phone calls with engineers on these patent, these big patent infringement cases, just bored to death, not not delivering any value. And so I had to make some changes. And so I started working on some smaller cases for smaller businesses, for individuals. And then eventually that kind of morphed into me, we’re doing small business litigation, a lot of it I was doing on contingency where someone had been had taken advantage of them, and we would go try to recover that money for them. And so over the years, I’ve litigated about, about everything that you could litigate, and just and it’s a necessary thing, sometimes you have to go to court, but it really should Shouldn’t shouldn’t be a last resort and most business owners should be able to avoid some of those confrontations in court, if they have what you talked about, at the first of every show that if they had a board of advisors with an attorney on it, and so seven years ago, we decided to fix that problem. Because what would happen here is we would get a case for someone will call in and they’d made some really stupid mistake, because they didn’t know better. They just flipped the coin and made the decision or googled it, and it was a bad decision and they get sued. And so we, they come to us, we fix the problem, but it’s really expensive. So at the end, they’re unhappy, right? They’re not thrilled because they won, but it cost them too much. So then they don’t come back. They just flip the coin again, make another bad decision, and then they’re in crisis mode. Their house was burning down. Oh, Scott, you know, come help us again. And again, they’re upset about it costing so much. So I hired my first business coach in 2012 to help me create a subscription model for small business owners. To have the kind of access that fortune 500 companies have to a lawyer so that they can get this on demand access and access to questions. You know, they’re happening in real time where you’re in a meeting and something comes up and you don’t know whether to go left or right and need to ask someone if there are legal ramifications. And so we created the access plan where now they can do that. They can send the text, they can email me, they can call me and my team and say, Hey, I need to know if I can do this. And what’s gonna happen if I do?
Dave Hamilton 11:30
That’s brilliant, man like that. Because you’re right. That is as business owners, that’s what we need is is a relationship with an attorney where we feel like, yeah, I can just like shoot a text like you said, Yeah. All right. Well, you you hit on one of our favorite topics in there. And in fact, you hit on it exactly the way that I was thinking before the show, I want to make sure we ask you this. We love mistakes. And a little bit later, we’re going to ask you about some of your own. However, you identified that what you see our clients that Coming to you that have made some mistake, and now they need an attorney. And if only they hadn’t made that mistake, if they had had access ahead of time, then they could have avoided You know, this whole thing. What is either the most common mistake or one of your favorite mistakes that you see clients make, that maybe some of our listeners could avoid?
Scott Reib 12:20
The most common mistake that I still see 23 years into this is people doing business without a legal entity around them. Right. They’re sole proprietors, or they’re a general partnership, but they have no corporation or limited liability company, covering around them. So there’s no separation between them and their business. And how how that manifests in my office or my world as they come in and say, Hey, I just got sued or I got this demand letter that they say they’re going to sue me and I asked them well, when did you file your corporation and they look at me with a deer in the headlights look at I’m like, Oh, no, everything they have is exposed. And then we start talking about the different assets they have. And they’ve been successful. So they bought, you know, five or 10 rental properties. They have paid cash for all their vehicles, and they have several. And so their whole life is exposed to this one mistake that they’ve made in their business, where if they had this corporate cover around them or shield, then the company might be in trouble. But right, they’re not and they’re not going to have everything at risk. But they they just don’t. They don’t see the importance in it or the urgency of it. And so people skip that step. You know, Gerber, Gerber talks about people having an entrepreneurial seizure. And I think that really does happen that people get excited about whatever opportunity they see in the market, and they jump on it to take advantage of it and then they just never take a breath to come back and, and kind of shore that up until it’s too late.
Dave Hamilton 13:58
Yeah, makes perfect sense. I Like that term seizure? I’ve definitely had a few of those myself. Yeah, yeah, you just run with it, which is great. Except you need to make sure you got some structure. Thanks.
Shannon Jean 14:10
So yeah. And I’ve, I’ve made this, you know, mistake myself where you forget running for a while and you’re like, everything’s working great. I don’t even you know, maybe my attorney left in the firm, or I didn’t keep in touch with them. And then you’re, you’re kind of stuck, you don’t have anything. You don’t have an advisor until you have a problem. And, I mean, so your solution to that with with read law is they’ve kind of got an attorney in their pocket, if you will, where they can get, you know, quick access and, you know, get support ongoing support as they need it. Is that like a monthly service or an annual fee that they pay you How does it work?
Scott Reib 14:49
It’s a monthly a monthly subscription, and so they pay us a monthly fee. And then part of part of that is that we do monthly phone calls with all of our clients, so that we can keep up with them. Pulse for the other business where What are they doing? We’re asking, asking lots of questions, listening actively to see if we can hear things that maybe they’re not doing correctly. It’s where we can kind of help them the most, the more they talk to us and tell us the more transparent and naked they get with your advisors, the more help we can be. And so by having those monthly calls, we do that. And then they have their SOS calls where there’s just something that comes up they can call any time I do I have a lot of texts running with different clients about different things that they’re they’re working on. It’s just by having that on demand access, they can be proactive, with their legal situations, rather than reactive and, you know, 99% of the business world, at least a small business world is reactive from a legal perspective, because they don’t really think they have a choice. They think that they can’t, they can’t afford legal counsel. And so we we created a plan that For, for less than 7000 a year, a small business owner can have on demand legal counsel to form LLC for them on the fly. If they want to try a new venture, right, they have a seizure procedure and want to start something new, a new virtual business, that they can form the LLC around it have that protection, and all they do is pay whatever state filing fee they want, where they want to file that LLC. It’s all done right for them, all the steps are followed, and then they know they have the protection. But without that, booked in advance, it’s very hard to do that. You can do it online. I know there’s lots of different ways that you can form those entities, but you’re just never sure you’ve done it right. And with us, you know, you’ve done it right. It’s our responsibility to do it. And you get to be very, very nimble as an entrepreneur because you’ve got that support behind you. Without it. You’re you are kind of reactive, you have to call and make an appointment possibly for a consultation fee, maybe a retainer for you. never get anything done by that time, the opportunity may be gone.
Dave Hamilton 17:04
Yeah, right. No and Exactly, yeah,
Shannon Jean 17:06
yeah, you’ll often spend more money to because if you have to ramp up every time and educate someone on what you’re trying to do, and you know, and I’ve done this where they’re like, Okay, give me all this background, and it may take hours and hours to really get them to dig in. It’s very, very expensive.
Unknown Speaker 17:24
Shannon Jean 17:26
I mean, it sounds like such a no brainer to me. Why isn’t it more? Why don’t I hear about it more? Why aren’t more firms doing that? Is it just they’re not designed that way or that is like a legacy system that they’re using this crazy hourly billing and all this kind of stuff? what’s what’s going on in the law field,
Scott Reib 17:44
you know, somewhere back in the 1960s, the hourly billing started, and it’s a it’s a machine right? And they make so much money doing that and all the firm’s are built around time, right? They bring in these young associates and they just run them to death and build them a really high failure rate that the customers will tolerate. So they make a ton of money. And so that model is really good for making money, but it’s really bad for relationships. People do business with those with people that they know, like and trust. How can you really like and trust the person that only makes money? If they spend time on you? Yeah, right there. Somewhere in the back of your mind, this person, this person supposed to be your most trusted adviser, they’re taking care of something really important for you? And they make more money if they spend 10 more minutes on your case. I’m not saying that they’re all dishonest. But
Dave Hamilton 18:45
yeah, the system is is set up in a way that that every every, you know, bit of time that someone spends could be put under the microscope. You’re right. I mean, there’s attorneys out there that are that are under that model that are doing the right thing for their clients. But the model is not set up for customer service at all.
Scott Reib 19:03
No. And it’s, it’s, I think that there’s a conflict between the client and the attorney with that relationship and the way, but the way we’re billing people for projects, there is no conflict because I have to do business just like they do. I have to do a an estimate upfront for what it’s going to cost. And if I’m wrong, and it cost me more to produce that legal service, then I lose. And if I can do it more efficiently, I win. And it should be that way. I should be in the same type of type of business there.
Dave Hamilton 19:33
Yeah, that makes perfect sense.
Scott Reib 19:34
Yeah. I love it. I love the concept. But no, sometimes
like the risk.
Dave Hamilton 19:38
Yeah, well, that’s the thing. You’re taking the risk.
Shannon Jean 19:41
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I’m sure you I mean, you may be surprised to know that attorneys are sometimes not the most popular people in the world. And and I, I’m you I think you hit the nail on the head. It’s like somebody you don’t want to call because you’re in this, you know, stressful situation and you know, it’s gonna cost you a lot of money. And I love the concept of turning it into just another service that you you know you’re subscribing to. That’s going to help you out. I think it’s really cool.
Scott Reib 20:07
Yeah. And it’s all about relationship. I’ll spend a lot of time on the phone with clients talking about things that have nothing to do with their, with the legal part of their business, maybe not even with their business. I mean, my call before we, we came on to do this podcast, while we were talking about the, you know, the Coronavirus, talking about the different vaccines, this person happened to be a veterinarian. And so they had some interesting perspectives. And we talked about how they felt about it. And there’s what’s going on with their family and had nothing to do with the law, but they’re comfortable talking to me, and the relationship is valuable to them. So they want to talk to me, so they call me if they miss if I’m not showing up for a call. They’re upset because they want they want to make sure that they’re staying connected. And five years ago, that wasn’t the case. My clients, not they didn’t like me, but they didn’t want to talk to me because they knew it would cost them money.
Shannon Jean 20:59
Yeah, yeah. Like it. Yeah. So since you brought up the whole Coronavirus, the COVID thing has that, you know, I mean, it’s impacted everyone but has it impacted your your business and or the way you’re advising your your clients, what type of impact has had on you,
Scott Reib 21:18
it’s definitely added kind of added a layer of things we’re now talking about and some documentation we had to create, especially early on. And now there’s some new things kind of that we’re having to deal with. Like we created a Facebook group for access clients so that they could ask questions that all of the other business owners in the in the, in the access could see. And then I could answer those questions once so that everyone can kind of learn from other people’s issues because it was all there’s all these common things we’re dealing with. And then we would create common templates that they could all actually all use and implement in their business and that’s one change that we’ve made. And then our business has grown. we’ve, we’ve grown during the crisis, especially the First 60 days of it. We’re adding clients because they had questions they’ve never had before, and didn’t have anyone to go to. Now, I’m not a COVID-19 expert, there’s not one. But I do have the ability to, to help to get them answers. If I know that I have a team that can work on it and get them the best possible answer so that they can move forward with confidence. That’s kind of the problem everyone has. It’s just the unknown. And so we were able to give them some sense of confidence on what to do be an advisor for them and help them make the best possible decisions. And then yeah, we’ll see a few a few years from now, whether we all made the right decisions with some of the lawsuits they’re already starting to come out with, with employees suing employers and that sort of thing.
Shannon Jean 22:47
Yeah, it’s a fascinating, you know, time and like you said, so many unknowns, we own a bunch of vacation rentals, and we’re just getting back and there’s all these new things that okay, you You know, what are we responsible for? What’s our liability? How do we protect ourselves everything from the, you know, the way you put the sheets on the bed to the way you wash every single thing in the house? And I, you know, getting that guidance, I think is is invaluable. When you don’t, then like you said, Nobody really knows.
Scott Reib 23:19
Yeah, one of the things I’ve been teaching our clients is that if you create the set of guidelines for your business on how you’re going to deal with the COVID-19, as we open back up, and then follow your guidelines, if you’re not going to follow them, then don’t create them, because that’s going to create that’s going to cause you more problems in the future is that if you’re not following them, that’s going to be the negligence, right? I created this set of guidelines, and then I couldn’t even I couldn’t even meet my standard.
Dave Hamilton 23:44
Yeah, that makes sense.
Shannon Jean 23:47
Yeah. That’s crazy. So I want to talk about looking at information and doing little background. You know, one of the things I see that comes up as your in your press information you’re described as the official zigzag A small business lawyer. So for those who aren’t familiar, talk about Zig Ziglar what that program is and how you got that title.
Scott Reib 24:08
You know, Zig was probably the top motivational speaker and sales guru in the 70s 80s and 90s. My dad was in sales, and would go to Ziggs conferences. And I ran into the Ziggler group about five years ago, as I was starting really down this journey of wanting to be be really effective and have influence on the world and not just be helping one person at a time to be able to help more people. And so I started working with speakers, trainers and coaches, because by helping them then my effect is exponential. And so and around here in Texas, the the the company that does that is the Ziggler company. And so I went to a conference for the Ziegler group got to meet tom tom Ziegler. Back in 2013, and ended up he took me on to the airport that night. And so we got to talk for about an hour and Houston traffic. And then a few months later they came on as clients. I’m now a Ziegler, legacy certified trainer, and have been representing the company now for about four years. And then do speaking for them when they have conferences and things to try to help the small business owners, shatterproof their businesses.
Shannon Jean 25:27
Yeah, that’s great. So on this, that’s another thing that really stuck out on your website information. Is this concept of shatter proofing your business. And is that what your your program does? Is there more you can describe about that?
Scott Reib 25:43
Sure. Yeah. The concept of shatterproof it kind of comes from the glass that’s, you know, all around us. You know, every time you get in your car, you’re surrounded by the shatterproof glass and the idea is that when a rock hits it as we’re going down the highway, the glass isn’t gonna shatter and come through and cut you right it marks the glass Last, or it made, the whole thing may crack up, but it doesn’t come through and hurt you. And so we want the windshields of our business to be like that shatterproof glass. And so as you’re going down the road of business in your business vehicle, when things happen that you didn’t want to happen, I mean things happen in life and then business, then they’ll Mark market we see it, and then we can deal with it in a proactive way. If we set up our business in the right way, if we have the right structures and systems and documentation in place, then that’s not a big deal. when something comes up, we can deal with it. It’s minor, we don’t have a lot of exposure. We’ve done the right things to protect our business and personal assets. And that’s what I call being shatterproof.
Shannon Jean 26:42
Nice, I love it. So somebody who’s a subscriber to your service. They, you know, make some decisions or getting advice and everything looks great. And then it turns out they have a bigger problem either, you know, someone’s doing something that shouldn’t be and they’re gonna have to file a complaint or trying to collect some funds. Different things. Do. Does Reed law offer then the next level of Okay, we this is your advisory portion of the services. Now, we’re going to go out and represent you. Is that a separate type of thing that you offer? Or is it included?
Scott Reib 27:15
It’s a separate relationship as far as litigation, and we do litigate for our clients. It’s my preference that we not end up there. Yeah. But we do occasionally. And sometimes I’ll send it out to outside counsel, if I’ve been so involved in maybe the transaction that I’m I become a witness in the case. And so I’ll find someone else to actually manage the litigation and then I’ll kind of quarterback it for the client. But yeah, if they need litigation, then we’ll we’ll definitely take that for them. And the great thing about being an access client is pre litigation as part of your package. So if someone sends a demand letter to you, then we can involved and help you negotiate it and resolve it without you having to go pay a retainer and start getting billed by the hour for someone to settle your case because that’s not really likely to happen. If you go hire lawyers working by the hour, they’re gonna make some money before they settle your case. So we’re able to just eliminate that because we’re already involved in it, we already know what’s going on, and we can help resolve it. If we can’t, then we can get involved and litigate it. And then the other way, if that there’s something that maybe you need to send the demand letter out, those are included in the package, and then we can resolve that as well. So we’re equipped to take it to that next level if we if we need to, but the idea really is jump on it fast. Try to resolve it. lawsuits are only good for lawyers. The
Dave Hamilton 28:39
so you really you’ve listened to the show before.
Scott Reib 28:43
You’ve got to try to resolve your disputes. There’s very few. There are very few business disputes that really need to be in the courtroom. It’s just too costly. You know, the average contract breach of contract case is 80,000. In attorneys fees, you just can’t afford to spend that you need to find a way to resolve it. Maybe swallow some pride and move on.
Shannon Jean 29:03
Yeah. And so and your description so you know, responding to demand letters, these kinds of things. You also do the other side where, okay, we need to this person owes owes us $50,000 hasn’t paid, you know, you help with those types of things as well.
Scott Reib 29:17
You bet. Yeah, we’ve got quite a handful of those right now.
Shannon Jean 29:20
Yeah, of course. And, you know, I can always tell a good attorney is when they make that statement is like, you know, the last place you want to wind up is is in court. I mean, it is such a nightmare.
Dave Hamilton 29:32
So justice is rarely served. I mean, that like you said, it’s, it’s all about who can outspend and who can strategize and And oftentimes, I’m one of the few people that has been through a lawsuit and actually found justice at the end. It was because the other party ignored the judge, but hey, I’ll take it, you know, but that you can’t go in expecting that in fact, I still am sort of surprised it worked out but but the rest Have them haven’t So, you know? Yeah. Yeah.
Shannon Jean 30:03
So as Dave alluded to earlier in the show, we’re, you know, we’re big fans of mistakes. You know, we just wrote a book called mistakes, and now they’re the foundation of your small business. Thinking back, you’ve been doing this for a long time had a lot of success. You know, what would you say is is one of your best mistakes, the one that really stuck with you and taught you a valuable lesson as you build your business?
Scott Reib 30:27
Okay, it’s kind of there’s multiple things in this mistake. Back in 2014, we were a little bit bigger. We have multiple lawyers, about six people full time staff. And I had delegated almost everything except for building the access plan. To the point where I didn’t know where the passwords were for email for how to get into the credit card processing. I didn’t know where any of that stuff was, and I went on a vacation with One of my attorneys a little bit disgruntled, I guess, and didn’t have my finger on that pulse. And so I get it. I get an email halfway through a vacation. We’re at Universal Studios in Orlando, on the last day of May 2014. And there’s an email from him resigning with a attachment. That is the list of all the cases he’s taking with him and clients and also the other other other resignation from a staff member that’s leaving with him. And I had to make a decision then do I end my vacation with my 14 year old and 11 year old and my wife and fly back to, you know, get to kind of fight for fight for that? Or do I find a way to stay enjoy the rest of the vacation, and then come back and pick up the pieces. I very quickly figured out how to hire a Virtual Receptionist. The phones forwarded to them and stayed in Florida came back. And then when I, when I on that Monday when I called the office, we had a really young receptionist at the time, she was 18. She was gone, I guess she showed up. And whenever I was there, she got spooked and left and never came back. So when we returned that on June 2, June 4 of 214 2014, I walked into 2500 square foot office, and it was just me. And I did not know how to literally I did not know how to change the passwords. I didn’t know how to run a credit card. I didn’t know anything. And so I’m so excited. I said it was kind of a compilation of mistakes. It’s not wrong to delegate, but I had really just given everything away and had not built a system for how to do it. So I was really at a really, really bad spot and had to you know, start over Only like trying to keep the clients that were coming out the door, but trying to figure out how to take payments from the ones that want to stay and try to recruit new staff. And so it was a real learning experience. I had to get become a better leader, and then and start building more systems as an operator. And so it was a real learning. Learning.
Shannon Jean 33:20
Yeah, thank you for sharing that and being so transparent and authentic, because that is a powerful lesson right there. I mean, you know, and I would say, many business owners have found themselves in this in similar situations where as as things exponentially grow, you kind of lose your your fingers, not on the pulse anymore. Maybe there’s no centralized spot where all that data and information is kept. And I’m very glad that you’re here today that you were able to, you know, turn things around and learn from that. That’s a great mistake to share with us. Let’s go on to the next book. Dave.
Dave Hamilton 33:55
No, no, it’s great. We Well, we you know, we often talk about you know, you get to Write your own story. And when you’re in those moments, you decide what the end of its gonna look like. And then you write your way out of it. And and you write it your way out of it. That’s and that’s, you know, that’s, and I mean that write it ri ght Ed, you know, like you You set the ship correct and got it back on course. And that’s the key in those.
Scott Reib 34:20
The benefit to losing your entire staff is your payroll goes away. Yeah,
Dave Hamilton 34:25
yeah, no, I’ve been there.
Scott Reib 34:26
Yeah. Yeah. And with recurring since I had the recurring revenue model already started, I had revenue coming in. And my payroll went down. It was well, I said it went to zero. And so I, that really helped me. And so I, one of the things I really preached to all of our legal coaching clients is that you need to find something in your business, that can be a recurring revenue model, a subscription model, so that when things happen like COVID-19, some part of your business, you know, you can count on at least you know, now 90% of it day in day out to come in every month, it just makes a huge difference in your ability to plan for your business.
Dave Hamilton 35:07
Shannon Jean 35:09
Yeah. Great advice. That’s great. So, I mean, you’ve worked with so many small businesses over the years. I mean, do you see the same kind of legal situations just coming up over and over? Or, you know, or is everything unique depending on you know, the different type of business?
Scott Reib 35:26
No, it’s really pretty much the same.
I really kind of specialize in what I would call the low the low hanging fruit. It’s the it’s not really not the big, the big complicated things that people are messing up. It’s the, it’s the easy things. It’s the we’re not they’re not they don’t have contracts, or if they have a contract doesn’t have some of the standard things that should have in it. And so it’s a real easy fix, or they don’t have a corporation or an LLC at all, or they only have one and they’re running five business. is out of it. And so you can separate those out real quickly and fix that. Or they’ve got a lot of assets, like heavy equipment that they’re using to run a construction company, and they have it all in their operating company, not in a holding company. It’s real simple things like that, that can be tweaked very easily. And then it’s just the things that come up day to day, how do I, this employee did this? What do I do? Or I want to fire this employee? How do I do it? And make sure that they don’t come back on me? It’s that kind of stuff. It’s not hard stuff. It’s just the day to day stuff.
Dave Hamilton 36:34
No, but that like those are those you know, like you said, firing someone the right way that can bite you if you if you don’t get it right. So having someone like you that they can just quickly call and say, Alright, look, I’m in this scenario, I’m doing this in, you know, 30 minutes, coach me, and that’s hugely valuable. That’s
Scott Reib 36:54
great. And I’ve even done it for clients where they’re like, I just, I just, I can’t do it. And so I’ve driven to their business walked in, said have them in the conference room, I’ve fired them. The client, the employee that just got fired, walks out, hugs their hugs the business owner and leaves. Because they were just they emotionally couldn’t do it. So I just went and took care of it. It’s not fun. But there’s a very simple system to doing it and some personality types, it can be difficult.
Shannon Jean 37:24
Yeah, we talk a lot about hiring and firing and how difficult it is, especially as a small business owner, because you have the relationships with them. And it’s, it’s really tough. Well, you know, there’s so many good pieces of advice here today on the show, and I really applaud your your business model, one of the things that I wanted to ask you about too, we’ve been talking a lot about LinkedIn. So before we go, you know, looking at your LinkedIn profile, it looks like you have like, you know, over 5000 followers and from a business perspective, can you can you explain why that’s important for your business to have that kind of thing. presence on LinkedIn.
Scott Reib 38:04
I decided to just work
Shannon Jean 38:05
out that way that everybody wants to be able to follow you.
Scott Reib 38:09
I’m just really popular. Now. In 2015, I decided that it was important for me to have a presence on the social media platform for small business, if I was going to try to be be America’s legal coach, and I needed to have a platform where I could publish information, and people would see it where they could interact with me on a free basis. And to do that I had to get I had to have, I had to have at least 1000 people that followed me. And so that became a goal in 2015 to get to 1000. Then once you kind of get past that number, then it just kind of starts to to grow. I’ve got a lot more followers than that on Facebook. It’s, I think, easier to add, add people to your pages there. But LinkedIn is it’s it’s where if you’re marketing is the CEO of a small business on business, then that’s if you need to talk to that’s who’s on LinkedIn. They’re not on Facebook, right? So it’s really hard to get your ideas across to someone. Most advertising is disruptive. And you’re not gonna be able to disrupt a CEO on Facebook, because they’re not they’re on LinkedIn, maybe if your headline is good enough, they might watch your video, they might read a little bit of your article. And if they see them enough, then there’s some chance that they could reach out to you and in kind of an organic way. And so that’s why I’ve chosen to make that a big platform. And we also do, you know, organic outreach, using LinkedIn as why.
Shannon Jean 39:42
That’s great. That’s awesome, Scott. You know, thank you again, for coming on. Spend some time with us today. You know, I’ve learned a ton I always say that I learned the most and I’ve definitely learned the most on this one. What’s the best way for our listeners to connect with you and to learn more about reblock
Scott Reib 39:59
Well, We’re gonna set up a special webpage for your listeners and so it will be reblog calm Rei B la w comm forward slash business show. And if they’ll go to that page they can book a later legal coaching session with me. It won’t be it will it will be me and we can talk about your business and you will get some value out of that and then you can also download my my ebook five proven strategies to shatterproof your business all for free for just for these for the listeners of your show. And so that’s the best way I’m easy to find other places if you just type in the the Scott rebe on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram or Twitter, you can find me.
Shannon Jean 40:41
That’s great. Thank you again. We really appreciate your time today. Really awesome stuff.
Scott Reib 40:45
It was great. Thanks, guys.
Dave Hamilton 40:47
Man. Well, I feel like I’m gonna sign up with him before before we publish the show just to make sure his client roster doesn’t fill up. No, I’ve really liked you know, he’s in Texas. I got three companies organized in Texas. Right, this is the like, this is what people like you and me and all of our listeners need is something. Exactly.
Shannon Jean 41:06
Yeah. I mean, I was the first thing when we came off when we say goodbye to Scott that both of us are like, Hey, I think I need you to sign up for this guy. And, you know, it just seems like so useful in all the types of decisions that come up day after day after day, from how to light, you know, how do I do this? And how do I manage this situation? And just that that advisory service? Well, that that proactive
Dave Hamilton 41:29
part where you’re forced to meet with him once a month? I mean, you know, I’ll be honest, sometimes when I sit down with my attorney or my accountant, like, I need to tell them about things that I know or they’re gonna yell at me about
Shannon Jean 41:42
like you to do that, especially Yeah, why did you Why did you do it?
Dave Hamilton 41:46
Why did you do it that way? Like, oh, you know, but but it those conversations are important. You don’t just want to stick your head in the sand, right? So you’re being essentially forced to have those, you know, whatever you want to call it. advisory. coaching, you know, just brain picking brain meld, it’s a mind meld once a month, so that when you call him in the middle of the month and say, I need help, he’s already up to speed other than the stupid mistake I made yesterday, you know, and that’s what I got to tell him out. But he knows which Yeah,
Shannon Jean 42:17
and I like the fact that did sounds like you get connected to kind of a, you know, a mastermind community, if you will of other small business owners that may, you know, be able to chime in and offer some some feedback as well, which is really cool. Yeah, powerful, man. Yeah. I love it.
Dave Hamilton 42:33
No, I love the I love the idea. He seems I mean, he’s the right guy clearly to be doing this because otherwise he wouldn’t be doing it. But yeah, and yeah, yeah.
Shannon Jean 42:43
Very cool. Yeah. I like to always ask us at the end of the show, what what does it cost for our listeners to hear this show, Dave?
Dave Hamilton 42:49
Well, the the cost is, it doesn’t cost you anything financially. We asked that you listen to us talk about our sponsors. So for this episode, as you know That’s PDF pen at smile software comm slash podcast. And and we ask that you visit their URLs, right that’s, that’s one of the costs, whether you buy something or not, that’s up to you, that’s you mean you in them, it’s our job to introduce you to them and and you guys take it from there so, so that that’s that’s one of the cause
Shannon Jean 43:20
that’s great. The other thing we’d love to have you do, which just takes a little bit of your time, probably less than 90 seconds is go leave us a review on whatever platform you’re listening to the show on, you know, the apple podcast directory, you know, Google Play, wherever you hear our voice, go Leave us a five star review, and then share it with us and we’ll read it on the show and, you know, love to send some exposure your way if you’re a small business owner as well. Yeah. Appreciate your ongoing support. Yeah,
Dave Hamilton 43:46
cool. Well, that’s what I got. We already told everybody about our books. So you know, you already know if you haven’t yet to go by mistakes are the foundation of your small business and we’ll go and that links already in the show notes for you. So That’s all we got. Thanks for. Thanks for listening. Thanks for thanks to Scott Reid for coming on the show. Thanks to you folks for the reviews and all that stuff. Keep moving that charm. Bye
- 00:00:00 Small Business Show #280 for Wednesday, June 10, 2020
- 00:01:57 SPONSOR: PDFpen and PDFpenPro is your ultimate PDF viewing and editing app for the Mac.
- Scott Reib from Reib Law
- Access: Have an attorney in your pocket for a monthly subscriptions
- Be cognizant of the Entrepreneurial Seizure
- The legal business is all about time
- Shatterproof the windshield of your business
- Mistakes are the Foundation of Your Small Business
- Be careful not to lose control of your business
- Scott Reib on LinkedIn
- ReibLaw.com/BusinessShow – Book a legal coaching session with Scott!
- Leave us a review – make the world a better place