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Posts Tagged ‘Law’

Best of… week of July 23

Barley is a major animal feed crop as well as supply for the beer and distilling industries.

Okey dokey… here’s my wrap up of what’s happening and “things you should know” from this past week in Small Business and the Craft Beer Business:

Small Business

Love this: “(Q) How many lawyer jokes are there? (A) Three – the rest are true stories.” I’ve been following Nina Kaufman the last couple of weeks and she has some great insight. Her book: How to Choose and Use Attorneys is a good reference for any company, especially startups. Check her out at http://askthebusinesslawyer.com/ and  http://askthebusinesslawyer.com/how-to-choose-and-use-attorneys

Running a small business is always smooth sailing, right? Especially at home, nothing ever goes wrong there. For the most part, we all have families or lives outside of our businesses, what happens when the s— hits the fan? 3 Tips for Leading Your Business During a Personal Crisis http://www.entrepreneur.com/blog/224022

Let’s say everything is running fine. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Right? Not always. Apple is the king of improving or changing an already winning strategy. Why? When to Change a Winning Strategy http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/07/when_to_change_a_winning_strat.html

Are you an S-Corp? Make sure that you periodically check in with a business attorney so that you stay that way! S Corporation Corner: Practitioners Should Schedule Periodic Check-ups http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/jdsupra-65136/?utm_source=jds&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=bizlaw

Since we’re talking tax implications, there are some changes on the horizon that you – at least – need to be aware of. The Fiscal Cliff: 3 Tax Changes You Need to Know Are Cominhttp://www.entrepreneur.com/blog/224051

We’ll segue from tax to other money matters. When is it (or is it not) worth your time/money to go after late payments from customers? here’s a short video (like 60 seconds) on when it’s a good idea. When to Take Legal Action Over Late-Paying Customers http://www.entrepreneur.com/video/223932 also browse around the rest of the website, there’s a ton of good information and I love these little 60 second clips on how-to, when-I-should, or other business tips from experts. And it’s free!

Moving on to intellectual property… here’s a great overview – again short and to the point – on intellectual property and when to use what. How To Make Sure Your Intellectual Property Is Protected http://alltopstartups.com/2012/07/24/how-to-make-sure-your-intellectual-property-is-protected/

I can’t let a week go by without something on Social Media. If you’re just starting up, here’s crash course on what you should be (i.e. “need to be”) doing for your business.  Social Media Lite: If You Do Nothing Else, Do This (Part I) http://openmindworks.com/social-media-lite-if-you-do-nothing-else-do-this/ and Social Media Lite Part II: If You Do Nothing Else, Do This for Your Brand http://openmindworks.com/social-media-lite-part-ii-if-you-do-nothing-else-do-this-for-your-brand/ Also, follow OpenMindWorks on twitter at @openmindworks_, a lot of great information and swell people.

Beer Business

I wrote a piece on whether a brewery could/should be a non-profit. Tonka Beer Co, takes it another route – donating all profits to charity. Tonka Beer Co. goes 100% nonprofit in effort to fight invasive species. http://beerpulse.com/2012/07/tonka-beer-co-goes-100-nonprofit-in-effort-to-fight-invasive-species/

Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) changes discussed by TTB. Good read to get some idea of what they’re going through also. TTB Addresses Label Approval Issues http://www.alcoholicbeverageslawblog.com/2012/07/articles/state-federal-beverage-license/ttb-addresses-label-approval-issues/

The midwestern US is taking a beating this summer in terms of weather. I haven’t heard of this having an effect (yet) on brewers, but it’s something (I think) to watch. Midwest drought worsens, food inflation to rise http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/25/us-usa-drought-idUSBRE86N1M120120725?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2Fenvironment+%28News+%2F+US+%2F+Environment%29

On the other end: Soggy Summer in North Europe Delays Grain for Region’s Beer http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-26/soggy-summer-in-north-europe-delays-grain-for-region-s-beer

This is an interesting one. AB-InBev started registering trademarks for airports and now ZIP codes. I don’t know if this is quite the way to capitalize on the “buy local” trend. But the boys at the Big Beer companies aren’t stupid (they may be a lot of things, but they’re not stupid). We’ll see where this goes.  Anheuser-Busch creates “zip code” beers http://www.nj.com/entertainment/dining/index.ssf/2012/07/anheuser-busch_creates_zip_cod.html

While we’re on intellectual property, one near and dear to my heart: trademark. PLEASE work with an attorney before you build a brand or name so this doesn’t happen to you. Coronado Brewing asked to stop using the name, “Stoopid” http://beerpulse.com/2012/07/coronado-brewing-asked-to-stop-using-the-name-stoopid/ By the way, love both beers!

Not strictly beer, but related:  there are less… obnoxious ways to deal with possible TM infringement or unauthorized use. Jack Daniel’s Sends the Most Polite Cease-and-Desist Letter Ever http://mashable.com/2012/07/22/jack-daniels-trademark-letter/

The Brewer’s Association always has great resources (especially for members), but here’s a special one – August Power Hour: Food & Drug Administration Brewery Inspections and Reporting Requirements. Free to members (of you’re not a member, it’s not free, but it may well be worth the price of admission) http://www.brewersassociation.org/pages/events/calendar/show?title=august-power-hour-food-drug-administration-brewery-inspections

Just for fun

For the science and math geeks out there, this is just AWESOME : http://www.kleinbottle.com/ I’d love to see a one of these labeled with a brewery logo!

Editorial Calendar: Mark 1

May 1, 2012 1 comment
Things (application)

I'll mark this off my "to do" list.

I have been writing about whatever strikes my fancy recently, but mostly of a legal sort. It occurs to me that doing so does drive home the passion, insight, (or discipline – quite frankly) of the writing and the topics.

A good friend suggested a simple way to address that particular problem is to put together an editorial calendar: what I’ll talk about and when. What a novel idea! It’ll seem like it was planned and everything!

So here is my shot at the editorial calendar moving forward (at least for a little while):

Week of

Topic
April 30 All Things Beer-y
May 7 Business  Law
May 14 Debtor/Creditor Law
May 21 Legal Basics (i.e. how the system works)
May 28 Wild-Card
Jun 4 All Things Beer-y
Jun 11 Business  Law
Jun 18 Debtor/Creditor Law
Jun 25 Legal Basics (i.e. how the system works)

I’ll try to use this as a basic outline over the next several weeks. Let’s see if we can get into a rhythm of covering information that’s useful, somewhat detailed, and – at times, at least – fun.

Let me know what you think? Is this the right schedule? Sound interesting?

The Death of “The Customer is Always Right?”

April 30, 2012 4 comments

I was thinking of titling this post “In Defense of Lawyers,” but I think the above is more appropriate because I think it’s not just lawyers that need defending.

So, here’s the thing, I have this client…. And every attorney as a story about a bad/crazy client (some of us have more than one, a lot more), but that’s not what this post is about. The client I’m talking about isn’t happy with how I’m pursuing her case. She wants a drooling, rabid, vicious, all-out, what-ever-it-takes, willing-to-make-any-argument lawyer. That’s not me. It is never going to be me. So why is she my client?

When she first engaged me, I told her precisely how I would work her case. As time has gone on, she’s insisting more and more “can’t we sue them for *something*?!” or “what if we went to the media or picketed them?” I have counseled her (repeatedly) that neither of those options are likely to help resolve her situation, in fact they may make it considerably worse and cost her a significant amount of money, etc.

But, I’m conflicted. I grew up and learned my customer relations skills with the motto “the customer is always right.” Lawyers are, inherently, a service industry. We serve at the client’s pleasure. I should work diligently to gain and keep my clients’ business. Otherwise, they can go just down the road [I should really update that euphemism to me “just down the information superhighway.”] and hire someone else. With the internet making a lawyer at the other end of the state just as accessible to a client as those in their own neighborhood, this is probably more true than ever.

But, the opposite is also true. I can now reach clients hundreds or thousands of miles away just as easy as those two blocks away from my office. So, can I – almost as easily – “ go just down the information superhighway” and get a new client? Almost.

Are we really saying that – as service professionals – it’s more important than ever that we match our clients and vice versa, rather than alter who we are or what we do, just to keep the business? Your thoughts?

Categories: Business Tags: , , , ,
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