Success Amplified: Interview with Saper Law
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Amptopia have partnered together to feature one company each month and share key lessons and practices that have contributed to its growth. Saper Law Offices has been selected as the May feature business. The interview is available on the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce website and reprinted below:
This month, Amptopia spoke with Saper Law Offices, a Chicago-based intellectual property, business, and media law firm that has built a strong reputation for counseling creative entrepreneurs and innovative business organizations. Daliah Saper, the firm’s Principal Attorney, founded the firm in 2005. Since then the firm has handled a number of high profile cases (including one before the Illinois Supreme Court); and has emerged as one of the nation’s leading intellectual property and internet law firms. News outlets, including Fox News, CNBC, ABC, NPR, and the Chicago Tribune, regularly call on Saper Law for legal commentary on Facebook, Twitter, Cyber-bullying, Privacy and other online issues.
Our discussion focused not only on the challenges Saper Law faced during its start-up phase, but also reflected on what has helped the firm continue its year over year growth.
1. Please describe your business. Who are your target customers?
The firm focuses on IP, media and business law. This includes tackling traditional business issues such as drafting contracts and setting up corporate entities, as well as legal services catering more specifically to media entrepreneurs and innovative business, such as negotiating software licensing, drafting film production agreements and counseling on Internet regulation.
The firm has grown up alongside the start-ups of the tech & social media industry. When I first established my practice, I had an immediate rapport with these young entrepreneurs due to the similarity in our ages and our similar approaches to business. While the firm expanded its client base to include companies from a variety of industries—from retail to musicians—these tech start-ups continue to make up a core of its clientele.
2. What is one of the greatest marketing and/or sales challenge you had to address in your start-up phase?
Like other start-ups, we lacked resources. When we started out we had to get creative and focus on low-cost/no cost mediums, and social media fit that bill. However, we also made it a point to gain exposure and build our credibility through speaking engagements and authoring articles or blogs for a variety of publications. The firm’s prolific publishing output has been a boon to our SEO. With links to over 500 pieces of editorial content published over the last 8 years, the firm’s website maintains a first-page presence and, in many cases, a top search ranking in just about every query relevant to our practice. However, while this marketing strategy did eventually bear fruit, it has taken a tremendous amount of time and dedicated commitment to make it successful.
3. From a revenue generation perspective, what is the one thing you would do differently if you could do it all over again?
Trying to attend every networking event available can be a substantial commitment of time with very little monetary benefit. Over time, we’ve learned as a firm to thoroughly research the events we attend and to be selective, targeting events that attract the types of companies and contacts that may have a need for our services.
4. What is one thing you would recommend to another business to control expenses?
Take close inventory of the expenses that are absolutely critical to running your business. We were fortunate; all it really takes to run a law firm is a computer and a brain. Analyze what you need, and cut the rest.
5. What has been your greatest success in driving revenue and sales?
The firm stays true to its core competencies rather than trying to be everything to everyone. Over time, we’ve built up a reputation within our niche, and that allows us to stand out.
6. Is there any general advice you would like to share with your fellow small businesses and start-ups?
Slow and easy wins the race. You can’t expect to hang a sign one day and achieve $1M in revenue the same year. It just doesn’t work that way. There’s absolutely no replacement for hard work and time to build both your business and reputation.
This series is a collaborative effort supported by www.amptopia.com, a valued chamber member and software technology company, dedicated to empowering businesses with a simplified platform to increase their marketing revenue while minimizing expenses