Many lawyers believe that developing, refining, articulating and presenting a marketable corporate image has little or nothing to do with the practice of law. In our view, this is one of the most important functions of a good small company lawyer. With literally thousands of small companies attempting to access a limited pool of third-party capital, the factors that determine whether a company makes it through the screening process are, more often than not, content presentation, aesthetics and image.
The fact is that the founders of small companies must sell themselves and their ideas; frequently to cynical, hostile or overworked audiences. Without a well-developed, well-organized and clearly articulated vision, the odds of successfully penetrating the third-party capital markets are almost nonexistent. In an old series of Canon Camera commercials, Andre Agassi said "Image is Everything." We won’t go that far, but we believe image ranks right up there with Oxygen.
During the pre-engagement interview process, and for several weeks after an engagement begins, we ask an endless series of questions designed to give us an understanding of the client's business that is second only to the client himself. This interrogation, or some might say inquisition, includes executive officers, technical staff and operating personnel, and it doesn't end until we’re satisfied that we truly understand where the company has been and where management believes it should go from here.
After we understand our client's business and the overall goals that management hopes to achieve, we work with management to rethink the goals, analyze the intermediate steps, consider the alternatives and consider the best way to present an integrated vision. Only then does a consensus begin to emerge about the optimal strategic plan and the steps required for successful implementation of that plan.
Once the preliminary strategic plan has been developed, refined and approved by all interested parties, we work with management to weave the plan into a seamless and cohesive story that explains the past, present and future of the client in a credible and understandable manner. As the plan is condensed further, and reduced to a written document, graphics, charts, projections and other visual aids are developed as appropriate. Thereafter, the plan is updated and revised on a regular basis to incorporate new developments and changes in strategic focus, thereby insuring that the plan will always reflect management's current view of the client's future.