Please introduce yourself and your Business
How did they start their business?
After earning my Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School, I spent one year working in high-net-worth individual tax planning law and then joined a prestigious New York law firm as a trial attorney. While working as a trial lawyer, I developed a reputation as a skilled and knowledgeable attorney who undertook the complex injury matters that other attorneys shied away from. Over time, I developed a large caseload and, in 1983, after winning a landmark $600,000 verdict against the now-defunct department store Gimbels for falsely detaining an elderly woman when an anti-theft device set off the alarm, I started my own practice which became The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks
\When starting a business, be prepared to take risks. In the beginning, you’ll need to put a lot of time and resources into the startup process and you’ll need to make peace that it may take a few years to see a return on your investment. Just know that without risk there’s no reward.
Quality and Consistency are Key to Building a Good Reputation
One of the most important keys to running a successful business is to build a good reputation by delivering quality services and consistent results. Part of this is not taking on more than you can handle. When you bite off more than you can chew, you’re overwhelmed and can’t dedicate the time and effort needed to provide individualized, superior service and reliability to your clients and their legal matters.
Invest in the Future of Your Business
While it is important to focus on providing excellent services and consistent results, it’s also just as equally important to invest in the future growth and sustainability of the business. Although it can be nerve-wracking to put capital into business development and marketing, it’s important to do so to maintain long-lasting and ever-present relationships with your target client base.
I grew the success of my law firm based on the achievement of great, consistent results for my clients. In my cases, it meant more often than not having to take matters to trial instead of settling for a lower amount. The more cases I undertook to trial successfully, the more I developed a reputation as a “go-to guy” for complex trial matters. Building this reputation took a lot of hard work, resources and time, but it was necessary for the success and growth of my practice.
What marketing methods did work with your Business?
When starting out, I received a lot of my cases as referrals from other lawyers. Later on, I sought out marketing practices to reach my potential client base directly. I opened a satellite office in a community where I felt potential clients resided. I placed targeted ads in targeted community newspapers and online. It’s important not to shy away from putting time and resources into marketing practices to grow your business.
What were the challenges you met during the process?
It’s difficult to run a business, manage staff, and grow your client base simultaneously. Often, it requires allocating your time effectively to address the most pertinent issues and delegate secondary responsibilities to other key management members. One of the most significant challenges is cash flow. It’s important to secure enough start-up capital to see you through the low flow times and allow you to provide consistent services. Big profits are great, but consistency wins the day. Also, it’s important to find a work-life balance. Just as putting time and effort into your business is necessary to secure good financial well-being, it’s equally as important to take time for friends and loved ones.
How did you manage to cope up with the challenges?
When I started my business, I made sure to have a small cash base on hand by securing a bank loan. I made sure that I took my cases to resolution so that clients were happy, and cash flow continued.
Who inspired you in this journey?
Prior to starting my own firm, I worked for another New York law practice as a trial attorney. There, I had a great mentor who I learned a lot from. I watched how he conducted his law practice and managed staff and developed my own version of it.
How much did you spend during the startup phase?
I started my practice in 1983 with a bank loan of $7,500. Early on, I settled a few cases that provided cash flow and allowed me to continue on. From there, the circle of undertaking cases, achieving results, and securing cash flow to run my business continued
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