This interview with Dan Casto, Principal Attorney at Offit Kurman, was conducted by Robin Suomi of Startup to Growth, LLC by email. Dan shares his Top 3 Tips for startups who want to build a strong business, and his Top 3 Mistakes to avoid.
Q: Dan, thanks for taking the time to talk with us about the legal side of small business ownership. Please start by telling us a little bit about your firm and yourself, and how you work with small business owners. And for fun, please include something few other people know about you.
Dan: Offit Kurman Attorneys At Law is a regional law firm that assists clients throughout the mid-Atlantic region, including Northern Virginia. I work as an adviser and partner to my clients to help with matters related to corporate and business law, securities issuances and disclosure requirements, commercial transactions, business and strategic planning, risk assessment, corporate governance, government contracting, taxation, financial regulatory, education regulatory, and government affairs.
One little known fact about me is that while with a former law firm I started the firm’s Bitcoin practice (note that I sold my one Bitcoin when it was only $70!).
Q: Dan, you mentioned your firm assists clients through the mid-Atlantic region. Does that mean that if one of our readers is looking for a small business attorney outside of Virginia, they could contact you and you would make the appropriate introduction to another member of your firm for them?
Dan: Yes, I’d be happy to. That is one of the advantages of working with a larger law firm. Our attorneys practice in many jurisdictions as well as in multiple legal practice areas. Some even have Bitcoin experience!
Q: Thanks, Dan. Now, please give me three words that best describe you and why. We want to know a bit more about you personally here.
I strive to provide my clients with sophisticated legal services on par with the world’s best law firms, all while being more efficient and cost effective. Clients deserve nothing less.
Q: Dan, this blog is to educate small business owners. Given that, I’d love to know why you enjoy working with small businesses.
Dan: I enjoy working with small businesses because of the excitement and drive they possess for their business to succeed. When a small business owner is involved, it becomes more personal for me to partner with them in order to protect their business and livelihoods.
Q: What is one entrepreneurial trait you like to see in clients you work with?
Dan: The drive to succeed – it’s contagious!
Q: I agree. Now, if you could give small business owners, specifically startups, your top three tips, what would they be?
- Build a team of professionals from the get-go. Having an accountant, attorney, and banker will more than pay for itself in the long-run.
- Invest in the resources you need to succeed, especially an accounting system that allows you to keep tabs on your revenue and costs.
- When something fails, learn from it, move on and move on quickly.
Q: Conversely, will you share the top three mistakes you have seen startups make? We’d like to help our readers avoid these.
- I’ve witnessed startups fail at something and keep trying to fix it, where they need to just move on from that one piece and try it from a different approach.
- I’ve seen startups over promise, and under achieve too often.
- I’ve seen startups fail to professionalize their operations when it became necessary.
Q: What is next for you and your company?
Dan: We will continue to do what we do best: provide sophisticated legal services to small and medium sized clients in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Q: What one book/blog would you recommend small business owners read?
Dan: The book Moneyball because it shows you can compete at the highest levels without having he most money.
Q: And that’s a great ending to this interview. By necessity many small businesses start out with fewer monetary resources and tons of drive and perseverance. Thank you again, Dan, for your time.
If our readers would like to get in touch with you, what is the best way to do that?
Dan: By email at [email protected] or by phone at 703-745-1820. Thank you, Robin.
About Robin Suomi, MBA, Founder of Startup to Growth, LLC. Success is rarely accidental. My passion is helping my small business clients move from concept through growth (many clients surpassing $1M in sales), unleashing their vitality, innovation and creativity as they launch or grow their successful and sustainable companies according to their vision. For over 10 years I have helped thousands of small business owners launch and grow their dreams through 1-1 and group small business coaching, technical small business consulting, mastermind groups, business plan classes, and other educational programs. As an adjunct professor, I taught Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management and Business 101 courses. Our services at Startup to Growth, LLC are delivered online and in-person.
We are launching How to Start A Business: Your Successful Launch, an online course, which will educate potential small business owners about starting their own business. It will be a refresher course for the rest of us.