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What is Your Professional New Year’s Resolution?

2020 is here and it’s pretty exciting! But this isn’t just any end of the year.  We’re entering a new decade!  Some view 2020 as pivotal and are starting to plan ahead for what 2020 will be.  In your “do better, be better” new year’s resolution planning, don’t forget to also consider your professional self.  What will 2020 mean for you professionally?  Froese Law is your ally for success.  Here’s a run down of what you may want to consider.

1. Is 2020 the year of your startup?  
Do you have a passion/hobby that you’re ready to fully commercialize?  Is your side hustle growing to the point that you’re ready for it to become your main hustle?  We hear you.  And we’ve got you on this.  In fact, a few months ago we wrote about the top legal considerations for start ups.  Take a read here.    

2. Is 2020 finally the year you’re going to dot your legal “i’s” and cross those “t’s”?
Some of you may be along your corporate journey and are well entrenched (or well in the trenches – depending on your perspective) in your business.  You may be operating as  a sole proprietor and are ready to incorporate.   You may be ready to properly codify all of your business relationships through written agreements.  You should probably take bigger steps to protect your competitive advantage.  You may be ready to invest in protecting your intellectual property.  We’ve said this time and again: law is not intuitive.  You may not know what legal issues are relevant to your business.  But, this doesn’t stop them from impacting your business or exposing you to liability and/or risk.  We can work with you to identify the gaps in your legal protection and create a hierarchy of the issues you need to address.  

3. Is 2020 the year you will grow your team?
There is something to the adage: “you’ve got to spend money to make money”.  There’s comes a point when you realize you can’t do it all.  You can’t be the creative, the marketer, the book keeper, the sales engine and the overall do’er.  If you dilute your efforts, guess what: your returns are diluted.  At some point, you need to build a team.  A business partner.  An investor.  An employee.  A freelancer.   A sales agent.  When you inevitably do, understand the implications and make sure that your legal arrangements with this individual are properly set up. 

4. Is 2020 the year you will make a big marketing push?
Is now the time for you to really expand your brand’s reach?  How will you activate this?  Through sponsorship?  Hiring a brand ambassador?  Creating an influencer marketing campaign?  Hosting a series of pop ups?  Pushing your digital marketing campaigns?  With each marketing push comes a different set of legal concerns: compliance with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, negotiated contracts, compliance with the Competition Act, abiding by social media platform rules, avoiding copyright and trademark infringement claims, staying onside of influencer marketing campaigns.  Let us help you navigate this web.  

5. Is 2020 the year you will expand?
We love Canada.  Truly.  But with a population of only 35 million or so, you can reach your full potential somewhat quickly.  Compare that with our neighbour south of the border, who has a population of about 325 million, and there’s a lot more opportunity for growth.  At Froese Law, we can assist with your business as it grows internationally.  We can directly provide US legal services and also manage global legal issues outside of North America, through our network of global law firms.  Also, don’t forget that there’s opportunities to expand market opportunities through robust licensing regimes.       

6. Is 2020 the year you will fully embrace corporate social responsibility?
Corporate social responsibility is a significant motivator for consumer purchasing behaviours and it’s unlikely to change.  In fact, a few months ago, we issued an article about Gen Z’s consumer behavior and CSR was a huge factor in their decision making.  Will you fully embrace CSR?  Have you created corporate policies that bring into account human rights and environmental concerns?  Will you bind your third parties to abide by these policies when they’re working for you?  Would you become B Corp Certified?  Do your manufacturing agreements bring into account sustainability, human rights and environmental issues?  Do you have an internal supplier diversity procurement system?  If not, you may want to factor these in.  We can help with that.

We’ve given you a lot to think about.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed or need context, we’ve included links to previous articles we’ve written on these topics.

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