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Cornerstones for Successful Michigan Businesses
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Cornerstones for Successful Michigan Businesses

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Michael James, a senior attorney at Fraser Trebilcock, provides representation and counseling related to all facets of business enterprise and healthcare matters. This presentation was originally......

Michael James, a senior attorney at Fraser Trebilcock, provides representation and counseling related to all facets of business enterprise and healthcare matters. This presentation was originally given to the University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit in February 2012. To contact Michael James directly, email him at mjames@fraserlawfirm.com or call him directly at 517-377-0823.

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  • A fellow had just been hired as the new CEO of a large high tech corporation. The CEO who was stepping down met with him privately and presented him with three numbered envelopes. "Open these if you run up against a problem you don't think you can solve," he said. Well, things went along pretty smoothly, but six months later, sales took a downturn and he was really catching a lot of heat. About at his wit's end, he remembered the envelopes. He went to his drawer and took out the first envelope. The message read, "Blame your predecessor." The new CEO called a press conference and tactfully laid the blame at the feet of the previous CEO. Satisfied with his comments, the press -- and Wall Street -- responded positively, sales began to pick up and the problem was soon behind him. About a year later, the company was again experiencing a slight dip in sales, combined with serious product problems. Having learned from his previous experience, the CEO quickly opened the second envelope. The message read, "Reorganize." This he did, and the company quickly rebounded. After several consecutive profitable quarters, the company once again fell on difficult times. The CEO went to his office, closed the door and opened the third envelope. The message said, "Prepare three envelopes."
  • A fellow had just been hired as the new CEO of a large high tech corporation. The CEO who was stepping down met with him privately and presented him with three numbered envelopes. "Open these if you run up against a problem you don't think you can solve," he said. Well, things went along pretty smoothly, but six months later, sales took a downturn and he was really catching a lot of heat. About at his wit's end, he remembered the envelopes. He went to his drawer and took out the first envelope. The message read, "Blame your predecessor." The new CEO called a press conference and tactfully laid the blame at the feet of the previous CEO. Satisfied with his comments, the press -- and Wall Street -- responded positively, sales began to pick up and the problem was soon behind him. About a year later, the company was again experiencing a slight dip in sales, combined with serious product problems. Having learned from his previous experience, the CEO quickly opened the second envelope. The message read, "Reorganize." This he did, and the company quickly rebounded. After several consecutive profitable quarters, the company once again fell on difficult times. The CEO went to his office, closed the door and opened the third envelope. The message said, "Prepare three envelopes."
  • Feasibility Analysis and Business Planning
  • Flywheel
  • You have put the time into developing a business plan, let the plan see itself out.
  • Custom v. canned
  • Custom v. canned

Transcript

  • 1. CORNERSTONES FORSUCCESSFUL MICHIGANBUSINESSESBY: MICHAEL P. JAMES, J.D., M.B.A., CSSGB© 2013 Fraser Trebilcock Davis &Dunlap, P.C.
  • 2. My Background University of Michigan (A2) Bachelor of Arts with Distinction, 2002 History & Political Science University of Miami School of Law (FL) Juris Doctor, 2005 Commercial/Business Law & International law Michigan State University (EL) Master of Business Administration, 2010 Human Resources, Leadership & Change Mgmt. University of Michigan (A2) Six Sigma, Healthcare, 2012
  • 3. My Background
  • 4. Jack & the 3Envelopes
  • 5. “Blame YourPredecessor”“Reorganize”“Prepare 3Envelopes”Jack & the 3Envelopes
  • 6. What can We Learn from Jack?• Jack never examined the causeof the company’s difficulties ordeveloped a plan to fix them.• Jack never evaluated outcomesto see if solutions actuallyworked.• Jack wanted “quick fixes”.• Jack was satisfied with“envelope solutions”. He did notcraft solutions that were uniqueto the situation.
  • 7. What Are Your BusinessAspirations?Entrepreneur:Bring your ideas andinventions to life.Small Business Owner:Maintain successful andsustainable niche in market.Business Professional:Add value to your companyand lead strategic andinnovative initiatives.Retiree:Begin retirement careercontinuing to do what youknow and love, but on ourown terms.
  • 8. BusinessCornerstonesClarityFocusPatienceAdaptability
  • 9. Cornerstone 1:Clarity• Must be able to clearlyarticulate idea or plan.• Clarity can take time.• Elevator Speech.
  • 10. Cornerstone 2:Focus• Must stay focused onyour goal.• Stay focused on whatyou are good at.• Give yourself extra timeand start small.• Milestones.
  • 11. Cornerstone 3:Patience• Most importantcornerstone.• You have to let yourplan have time to work.
  • 12. Cornerstone 4:Adaptability• Be ready to adapt.• Unexpected change willhappen.• Surround yourself withthe right people.
  • 13. Legal CornerstonesEntity FormationDefiningRelationshipsInternal Contracts
  • 14. Cornerstone 1:Entity Formation• Set-up Process.• Taxation.• Liability.• Management & Control.
  • 15. Cornerstone 2:Defining Relationships• Corporations:• Articles ofIncorporation.• Directors & Officers.• Bylaws, Resolutions, Law.• Limited LiabilityCompanies:• Articles ofOrganization.• Members & Managers.• Operating Agreement.
  • 16. Cornerstone 3:Internal Contracts• Employment Contracts:• At-will Employee.• Respective Duties.• Confidentiality.• Non-Compete.• Employee Handbooks:• Anti-Harassment• E-mail & Social Media
  • 17. © 2013 Fraser Trebilcock Davis &Dunlap, P.C.Fraser Trebilcock Davis & Dunlap, P.C.124 W. Allegan Street, Suite 1000Lansing, Michigan 48933www.fraserlawfirm.comPhone: (517) 482-5800Fax: (517) 482-0887Fraser Trebilcock Davis & Dunlap, P.C.One Woodward Avenue, Suite 1550Detroit, Michigan 48226www.fraserlawfirm.comPhone: (313) 237-7300Fax: (313) 961-1651Michael P. James, J.D., M.B.A., CSSGBPhone: (517) 377-0823(313) 965-9038Email: mjames@fraserlawfirm.comwww.linkedin.com/in/MichaelJamesLawHow the Law Today Shapes Business Tomorrow. ℠