Your Legal Resource
Fall is a
great time for new beginnings. The kids are back to school,
networking groups are in full swing, and many businesses launch new
products or services.
issue we will feature
business launches you may not be aware of.
your stories. What great ideas have you come up with late at night,
or driving home, or in the shower...? Did you put any of those
ideas into action? We'd love to hear your best and worst ideas and
what became of them. Maybe we'll feature your story in a future
issue, with your permission of course!
As part of
our "dream team" services, Your Legal Resource works with
entrepreneurs who have a great idea and we help them launch that idea
into the market place with the assistance of other professionals.
These professionals often include attorneys, CPA's, contract CFO's,
business managers, business consultants, business plan writers, marketing
professionals, and various funding sources.
successful entrepreneur built a significant business entirely
alone. Most will agree it is a long journey, and one which
requires skilled "traveling companions". Most
startups encounter the "chicken or egg" dilemma.
Which comes first: funding to hire the necessary experts, or the
necessary experts to add value to the business plan/business model in
order to secure funding? The companies and individuals we've worked
with found the latter to be true.
Let us know
if you need additional contacts or resources to get your "great
idea" off the ground. We'd love to help!
Smart Women Have Landed!
With a successful launch this summer, memberships to Smart
Women's Cafe are increasing, and there is plenty of value for the
members, including free tele classes to support women in their personal
lives and careers, plus a panel of experts, a library full of resources,
one on one coaching, and more!
business owners, women entrepreneurs, or women thinking about a business
of their own, check out the Idea Lab at the Cafe.
few upcoming FREE teleclasses offered by Experts of the Idea Lab:
September 26, 2007, 7pm ET: Brainstorming Ideas for your Business
action steps for your Business Ideas
7pm ET: Brainstorm marketing ideas for your
business in 2008
7pm ET: Year-end
reflection: share what you've learned in '07 and envision for '08
Free Classes are for Cafe Members. To join for only
$19/mo, click on this link or copy to browser:
Other News for Cafe Members:
Starting in September, you can participate in a contest called Find Your
Purpose-Find Your Passion, which will award lifestyle
and business 'makeovers' to the winners, such as financial makeover,
de-stress makeover, inside out personal branding makeover, how to
reinvent your life through writing, reinventing your internet
Contest details can be found on the website, www.smartwomenscoaching.com,
September. Prizes will be awarded in January to contest
winners. Good luck!
Events You Don't Want To Miss!
Momference: A Meeting Of The Moms!
Global Telphone Summit October 1-7, 2007 devoted to
Educating Moms, Empowering Women, Celebrating YOU!
Too busy for travel, but need some support as a mom
entrepreneur or at home mom?
Then join others just like you in the first-ever
Mom-focused event conducted 100% via telephone.
Choose from over 40 nationally renowned experts who will address
challenges you face as a mom and woman.
Tele-Conference Offers powerful and actionable
strategies on topics such as:
Guilt-Free Self Renewal
Juggling Work and Family
Organizing your home, your
work and your kids
This will be one Life-Changing Experience!
It's time to Invest in Yourself to benefit both you and your
family. For details and sign up, click on link or paste into your
This week-long event gives you access to experts in
parenting, career, relationships, home, self-care and more without the
hassle of parking, commuting or getting a babysitter! Listen live on your
telephone, or download the audio and listen when you're in your car or
after the kids are in bed. Register now and get access to all the great
Momference extras like articles, contests and bonus prizes! Click here or
paste into your browser:
Results Of August Newsletter Contest
Top 5 Ways Our Readers Generate New Business:
Business Development Manager of Synergy Plus Solutions, says: "I've
found joining an association and then getting involved by joining one of their
committeess to be a good referral generator. I've gotten new
relationships and business both from fellow committee members and from
attendees at events the committee puts on."
In a similar vein, Beverly
Cornell, Director of Corp Sales for Iterotext, says: "Belong
to a networking group that generates business for you. Don't just
join a group because you like the people. Liking people is good,
but make sure that you are connecting with the ones who are great
business referral partners for you. The best group may be one that
you create for yourself. I am in the process of starting my own
International Business Group so that I connect with people who understand
my business and my clients."
2) Do your
homework! Then Ask For Help
Coach Preston True, of Accomplishment Coaching, prefers
making requests for introductions. He says, "I
find this to be one of the most basic, effective and MOST overlooked or
avoided business generating idea around. Here's how I do it: 'Hi
Lori, its Preston. Would you be open to introducing me to Bob
Smith? He may or may not be interested in what I have to offer, but
he owns a law firm that I'm interested in working with.' All I've
done is do some research, learn that Lori knows Bob, and then make the
request. I've gotten 90% of my clients this way."
Similarly, Beverly Cornell, Director of Corp Sales for
Iterotext, does her 'homework' on linkedin.com. She says, "Sign
up and use LinkedIn, and I do mean use it. Don't just
sign up and expect people to come to you. Spend 10 minutes a day
exploring connections and inviting your trusted clients and referral
3) Position Yourself As An Expert
Coach Preston True, of Accomplishment Coaching, says:
of your knowledge through writing articles and public speaking.
These two methods make up the other 10% of my clients. This does
take a bit longer than making requests, but when you write an article or
speak on a specific topic you have a captive audience and you position
yourself as an expert. People get to have an EXPERIENCE of you on
their own terms and then choose to follow up with you. So when they
do and you learn they read your article or heard you speak, you know
they're at least highly interested. A final thought on this, don't
hold back with regard to sharing your stuff. There seems to be a fear
that "if I share too much information, they'll take it and run
without paying me for it". Perhaps that will happen with about
2% of the population. The other 98% will NEVER implement your ideas
even though they love them. Sharing more creates a more powerful
experience for your prospects."
4) Search Engine Optimization/Driving Traffic To
Your Business On The Web
Susan Harter, Partner In CS Concierge Services, says: "Understanding
how to get your website listed on the first or second page of search
engines is critical. 99% of our business and
business inquiries are generated from our website. I
finally understand the "Keyword" concept and other
generators that get my webpage listed. Additionally, I have learned
how to list my business through as many "free" listings as
possible (such as Local,com, MichiganBusiness.com, Yellow Pages on-line)
associating with Affiliates, and "pay per click" (even though I
did not want to pay), there is no way around it in order to get a higher
listing for people outside of your community radius to "find"
5) Get Your Name Out There!
Elaine Simpson, owner of Buckingham Real Estate and Senior
Options & Solutions, says: "I
suggest that one takes every opportunity to talk about their business,
especially if it is unique. Making more people aware of what you do
and how much you enjoy it, whether it is at lunch, in line at the coffee
shop at your son's football game, whatever the location or event, be
ready to bring it up and talk positively about it."
Barb Delozier, Executive Assistant at Magna International,
"networking and keeping yourself out there and mixing with
people is the best way to get business. You never know when you
will meet someone who will give you the big break."
We even had some comments on the worst way to
generate new business.
-Chris Lakatos, Co-Owner of Network Pods, had
this to say: "I was asked, 'do you
have your checkbook on you? I have a blank proposal in the car (mind you
I was in his office), would you like me to get it so you can sign it?' I
thought to myself, ' WHAT is going on' ?"
Favorite Reads Of Our Readers:
1) Personality Plus, by Florence Littauer
CPA Cheryl Bida says: "What
a way to laugh and learn. Learning what the temperaments are will
help you understand yourself and others, including family and business
associates. Knowing why people are the way they are can help you to
better understand their way of thinking or looking at situations.
2) Moloka'i, by Alan Brennert
Karen Gutman, owner of Signed Sealed Delivered, says:
"If one is looking for an end of summer escape, this is a wonderful
book! It's an historical fictional saga beginning in the 1890's ,
about a girl sent to spend most of her life on the island of Moloka'i in
Hawaii in what we all call a leper colony. The character development,
scenery, plot, and history is all amazing! You
won't want it to end!
3) A Gift of Valor, by Michael Philips
T. Paul Anderson, accounting consultant and non-active duty
Marine, says: "A Gift of Valor" is an
absoultely tremendous read that gives a clear shapshot of the quality of
men and women who understand the importance, that I learned (during
Vietnam) just as our fathers did during WWII, of the rights and freedoms
we now enjoy. It also relates the true feelings and desires of the Iraqi
people (as opposed to what our media feeds us). More people need a
clearer perspective of why it should also be important to them."
4) The Dip, by Seth Godin
Beverly Cornell, Director of Cor Sales for Iterotext, says:
"This book helped me, a 'type A' personality, understand it is
important to put all my energy into my passion, and that it is ok not to
waste my time on the activities that are not working for me. I was
raised to give 110% all the time and I want to be the best in the things
that bring me happiness. I often times get caught up in activities
that do not generate revenue or that do not bring me joy. I learned
NOT to spread myself thin in so many areas. Focus in business is
very important and the key to true success. I highly recommend
anything written by Seth Godin."
5) The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne
Coach Preston True, of Accomplisment Coaching, says: "
What you put out is what you get. Boy was this book a
lesson for me."
6) The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and
Do, by Ken Blanchard
Coach Preston True, of Accomplisment Coaching, says: " This is one of the best "how to" books
with regard to servant leadership. Want to be an effective
leader? Stop bossing people around and start serving them."
7) Get Out of
That Pit: Straight Talk about God's Deliverance
Susan Harter, Partner in CS Concierge Services, says: "Regardless
of a person's religious affiliation, it is a great book concering how to
get "unstuck." So many of us get to a point both
personally and professionally where we feel like we are in some kind of
"pit" and we cannot navigate our way out. Beth Moore does
an excellent job of letting us know that all of us are in pits throughout
our lives at some point; however, we need to understand how we got there,
how to get out, and how to avoid them in the future. It is a great
read for the principles to apply to our business lives as well as our
8) Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John
Barb Delozier, Executive Assistant at Magna International,
says: "I'm not a history buff
whatsoever, but this narrative about this man's life in the Peace Corps
and how underhanded our government truly is was eye-opening to say the
least. Upon my recommendation, I had lots of people read it and
they felt the same way. What made it especially interesting was
that he intertwined his personal life with historical facts which made it
all the more interesting--some intrigue, suspense, romance--what a
By: Guest Spotlight Columnist Greg George,
Managing Partner of GTI Risk Management
I thank Lori for this opportunity to share a few thoughts
and experiences where our firm has helped clients. My desire is to
create awareness for others by illuminating mistakes that might have
been avoided with a little planning and guidance. The overall theme in these real life
case histories is: "don't be these guys".
What can go wrong in Your
A lot, if you don't think about a few basics to start
outsource? What mandates do you
have in your contracts? Do you require vendors to screen their employees
using your criteria?
software developer lost a $500K contract and is still fighting litigation
on two fronts, from his former client and against the staffing company he
hired. The staffing company brought on for support supplied four
engineers; the sole intent of the [foreign national] engineers was to
appropriate Intellectual Property and send it offshore - they succeeded. A simple Social Security Number trace
used to verify identity might have avoided this; the numbers the
engineers provided to the staffing company belonged to other people, as
we discovered in the first step of our internal
investigation. Through computer forensics and other tracing we were able
to help identify a sophisticated offshore distribution channel for
pirated products and other technology, but the damage is done.
and balances on financial controls
A partner in a small construction firm emptied all four
general accounts amounting to more than $877K, loaded up two trucks full
of equipment and along with an accomplice (his wife) left the area,
moving several hundred miles away.
Since there was confusion about who actually owned what among the
partners, law enforcement took little interest. An operating
agreement or other documentation establishing who owned what share of
anything was virtually non-existent.
The other two partners did sue and successfully received judgments
against the former partner.
Through various asset tracking methods we were able to identify
key transactions and locations where "new" accounts were now
When working financial investigations, a powerful
intelligence tool is a subpoena.
Once you know where only a few of the records are located and
obtain them, with a little forensic accounting help you can begin pulling
together other information leading to where else you need to go. We were able to assist the plaintiff
partners with recovering a good chunk of the money taken, since the absconding
partner sold off all the equipment. However, the time lost and
expense of this effort shut the business down for several months. As a starter to help avoid a situation
like this, establish policies requiring a minimum of two signatures on
all checks beyond $5K, along with similar limits on credit and debit
cards where practical. I'm sure
your accounting firm has several more ideas.
Another planning tool which may have helped prevent
this scenario is an operating agreement with a trigger clause. Trouble
had been brewing between this partner and the others, however when the
company was formed the partners neglected to include, or later add, a
trigger clause in the LLC operating agreement to allow a majority of the
"Partners" to buy out another partner for any reason by
paying him his share of the company plus 10%, or other similar
arrangement. Not unlike marriages,
business partnerships come with no guarantees. The rule here, ALWAYS use experienced
legal counsel with expertise practicing in the area of your
special needs. You'll never regret
Misconduct and Sabotage
This victim is a small
but growing company with only 18 full time employees and makes this
experience all that more important to others in a similar status. An IT employee, also part of the
employers' internal compliance auditing team, learned he was to be fired
a few weeks before the event took place; he also harbored a lot of ill
feelings regarding two managers as we later learned. After hearing a few rumors, during a
routine audit of email backup systems, he came upon several emails
between management and the HR person discussing his termination. Not only did he start copying
everything he thought important from the company's servers sending it
offsite, including sensitive information regarding other employees and
customers, as there is a huge black market for selling stolen
identities; He is also believed to have planted a time delayed
Trojan [we can't prove it, but the timing was dead on]. IT meltdown hit a month after he was
fired, shutting down all systems.
This also hampered computer forensic analysis, but we were able to
pull together enough to show most of the data he accessed and when. The incident was expensive and took a
good amount of time to restore everything.
The company did not want
this to become public for obvious reasons. The case is nearly two years
old now and occurred before the onslaught of new data breach laws came
into play in many states, so they have limited options. Through negotiations with the former
employee and his attorney, he agreed to make restitution for the damage
including restoring systems costs and company down time, and return data
taken in exchange for the employer not involving law enforcement or
taking civil action. If the data ever surfaces anywhere, he will be
prosecuted and he knows that now. He honestly thought he would
never be caught. Rule: never,
under any circumstances, use employees for audits or other oversight
analysis and reporting. Bring in objective, independent outside
experts that report only to the CEO. Regarding policy, inform all
employees that the company conducts periodic audits. However if the
matter is an ongoing investigation, keep the information confidential
between you and legal counsel. Installing a threat
intelligence assessment and analysis tool behind the firewall to monitor
and report all port communications through a dashboard console is also an
excellent practice, and very cost effective. This company didn't have such protections
and it could have stopped/identified the Trojan plant, any hacking
attempts and other unauthorized data gathering from the inside -
shows and conferences, a haven for corporate espionage.Has your hard
drive been downloaded? Who else
read your email this morning?
At a recent conference in
San Francisco, we provided security oversight and close executive
protection for C-level officers of two client companies and several of
their board members attending.
Much goes in to this type of mission, including identifying
security breaches that may affect our client's business and personal
safety, managed from a command and control center we establish on site -
inside the vendor display area, 30,000 square feet was occupied by 827
booths and other activity areas.
The engineer on our team pulled out a PDA and other small gadget
tools that intercept wireless communications, and do other things. 37 laptop IP addresses came up along
with the company name of each, split about evenly between buyers and
suppliers, and several were large buyers and suppliers along with a few
defense contractors, and our clients were among them.
We could have accessed
and downloaded any information we wanted to from these laptops. We were also able to monitor any
wireless phone discussion at will, and use any cell phone to eaves drop
on a conversation, even if the phone was turned off. Rule number 1: assume ALL wireless
communications can be monitored or hacked, and without much
effort. Rule number 2: assume everyone wants to know
everything they can about you and what you're doing, especially in this
environment. We can share many horror stories ranging from
competing reps attempting to steal customer data from others, to outright
corporate espionage to gain information on new products debuting at a
tradeshow or technology and other proprietary information that is still
under development. Engineers are a
specific and complex breed of professionals, but they love to talk. And it doesn't take much social
engineering and well-planned baiting from those seeking the information
to get the ball rolling.
What is your policy
regarding laptop and cell phone use away from the office? One suggestion is to remove cell phone
batteries while in all general venues of a conference and when in
meetings. Back at the office, use a hard line for calls - and have
those lines checked, it's not a difficult process.
My intent was to
share a few general examples illustrating risks that can be easily
mitigated or avoided all together with a bit of prior planning,
awareness, and strong policies. If
you have any questions regarding your company's specific operations, give
me a call any time.
Also check out this
valuable resource for more scarey stories, sad but true: www.csoonline.com; explore articles on piracy, fraud,
insider threats [the biggest weakness in any enterprise] and many other
threats that are watching you and your company from the dark side,
the author and GTI:
has directed many intelligence, security management and tactical
operations while assigned to the National Security Agency and other
departments within the intelligence community and government services at
the command level; including the White House, Central Intelligence Agency
and State Department under three administrations. Greg also adds international experience
as director of investigations with task force responsibilities assigned
outside of the United States.
Serving private industry, Greg assists decision makers with
assessing risk, identifying threats, internal investigations, fraud and
managing complex commercial litigation.
A noted speaker, Greg has provided many programs to law
enforcement, corporate staff, insurance industry risk managers, law firms
and professional associations, also teaching as an adjunct professor at
Humber College Center for Justice Studies, Essex College, and Lake
Superior State University.
has been Managing Partner of GTI Risk Management since 2004, a risk consulting
firm providing a world class team of intelligence analysts, risk advisors
and security architect engineers.
Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, GTI has a company history extending
back to 1962. For more
information about GTI, please visit www.gtiriskmanagement.com
"Great Ideas Put Into Action!"
Here's What A
Few Local Entrepreneurs
We've worked with many entrepreneurs and startup companies
the past few years, by providing legal resources, or funding
resources, or "dream team" services to help advance their
business along the journey from idea to marketplace. Some are
already in business, but launching something new; while others
are new startups.
In this issue, we are previewing 3 companies in growth or
start-up mode. For confidentiality reasons we cannot disclose
any privileged information or financial projections in this newsletter,
but can provide appropriate documentation to qualified interested parties
upon request. If you have an interest as a
prospective investor or consultant for any of these businesses, contact
MANUFACTURING SOFTWARE: Accounting Software For The Manufacturing
Everest Manufacturing Software
is an established software company that specializes in automating key
business processes for small and medium sized
manufacturers. There are currently dozens of manufacturers using Everest Manufacturing Software. The software is currently sold and
supported directly by Everest and through a small network of resellers. The product and company have been noted in the industry for
Senior management plans to
change the way the software is delivered by converting it to an ASP or
on-line based system that is accessed through the Internet. By doing so, the software can be "rented" or
subscribed to by the customers, eliminating the need for the customer to
pay large upfront licensing and equipment fees. This delivery model
reduces barriers to entry for the customer and creates a steady flow of
recurring revenue for the company. Delivery and implementation of the
software will be substantially easier
because of the on-line model and because the software is centrally
located at a local data center.
Everest Manufacturing Software
has drawn the interest of the leading on-line accounting software vendor
and plans to attend and display the software at their annual convention
Funding is needed to underwrite
the conversion of the software to the new platform, to take the new
version to market and for infrastructure.
GENCO INDUSTRIES: Hand Held Traffic Control
Genco Industries is a start-up
company with a mission to develop and market high-quality new
products. Our first product is a
Hand Held Traffic Control Light for police officers, law enforcement
agencies, first responders, and traffic control personnel. This traffic light would allow police
officers to restore traffic flow at an accident, incident, or traffic
light failure. We have a working
prototype, business plan, and financial plan. We have several letters of support,
including one from the Michigan State Police. Recently, the National Institute of
Justice was seeking concept papers on officer deployable traffic control
devices, so the market need is clearly there.
This traffic light could save
lives, reduce injuries, save vehicle fuel, and reduce law enforcement
agency operating cost. We received
an utility patent and a second patent is pending for the traffic
light. Genco's owner and
proprietor, Eugene Stephens, has over thirty years of business experience
and devotes his full time efforts to the traffic light project. Genco is seeking start-up funding and
multiple rounds of investment.
Gympulse is the 'ipod' of
exercise equipment. Our company, Novo Fitness Products, specializes in
compact, portable and inexpensive fitness equipment and offers stunning
design and function.
Working the entire body with over 40
exercises and weighing less than 5 lbs. Gympulse can literally be used
anywhere, anytime. Research shows that there is a huge trend
emerging toward consumers exercising in the privacy of their own homes,
apartments, offices or hotel rooms. Studies show that most people that
purchase annual gym memberships pay more per VISIT on average than the
cost of Gympulse! Additionally, traditional 'home' exercise equipment is
expensive and space hogging. Gympulse is neither.
It's inventor and company
founder is a 3 time Stanley Cup winning trainer
experience and marketability. He has worked with such names as Eminem,
Anna Kournakova, Kid Rock and Cuba Gooding Jr.
Our executive and advisory
boards have experience in manufacturing,
distribution, marketing and advertising. Gympulse is functionally
prototyped, provisionally patented, costed for manufacturing, and we have
identified multiple distribution channels, including e-commerce,
major hotel chains, retail, direct marketing, and even the US Military!
Negotiations with investors are pending and we expect a 2008 product rollout.
To learn more about these and additional startup
businesses we're working with, contact [email protected].
Your Legal Resource
provides more than legal services. We connect the
right client with the right professional in many
industries. Our referral partners all come from relationships we've
developed over the years, so we know them as people of integrity who will
treat you fairly and they have the experience and professionalism you
deserve. We've either hired them ourselves, or served on
committees together, or worked together in the business or legal
community, and from that we developed a business relationship and
Let OUR people be
YOUR people the next time you need a professional resource.
For more information,
Williams, Attorney and President
Williams, PC--Your Legal Resource