Customers can access a team of attorneys on-call for legal advice in construction, collection and corporate matters at the state and federal level for a monthly flat fee!
Having been a CFO for more years than I can count, one of the most critical things I learned was the value of having a well-oiled collection machine. Not the “boiler-room” heavy-handed collection agencies badgering my important clients, but instead a tight process on sending out invoices, following up with Dunning letters, and having professionals working to collect overdue invoices promptly (as I found, after 60 days, memories fade, and unpaid invoices seem to get lost or forgotten).
Back before the recession in 2008, I remember talking with Mike DuPont, Partner at Wagner, Falconer and Judd about my accounts receivable. I had millions in AR, which I thought was great. The bank was giving us credit, and we were paying 5-7% interest to borrow from our line of credit. Mike gave me a nudge to print out our aging report to see how old some of the AR was, and to my surprise, there were invoices 120 to 180 days old, from companies with ample money to pay. Why was I paying interest to borrow money when I was owed millions from clients that we had delivered products and services to – in effect floating these large companies, saving them the 5-7% to borrow money!
My hesitation, as most CFO’s and owners have, was that I didn’t want to have my lawyer contact the client (especially on-going clients) and threaten to sue, nor did I want to pay 33-40% of the invoice as a contingent fee to our lawyers to collect! But Mike’s firm, and one of its business and construction divisions – myHRcounsel’s – offered my company “Ask Pro™” – an ondemand, unlimited corporate law firm offering unlimited access to their business attorneys for contract drafting and reviews, construction law, and collections, all for a flat monthly fee.
Instead of the hourly $500-700 an hour I was paying for my business attorney, and 33-40% to my collections firm, Mike’s firm – myHRcounsel – offered a flat fee per month to re-write our contracts, to provide provisions to make sure we could get paid. The firm has practiced construction law for 87 years, so their expertise in lien and bond and all construction laws was extremely helpful to make sure we “papered” all jobs, change orders, and any other legal documents to make sure we were appropriately credited for the work we had performed. And when a client refused, despite our strong contracts, myHRcounsel only charged 15% on a contingent fee basis with their corporate and construction offering – Ask Pro™.
What myHRcounsel also provided was a model whereby professionals would work seamlessly with internal staff, and present themselves with professionalism with your clients.
So we instituted Mike’s firms processes, submitting 90 day old invoices on day 91 to myHRcounsel. Our AR not only improved, but our relationships with our clients and our subcontractors improved, as they saw our professionalism as a strength to our business, making us more attractive to do business with!
But for great advice from Mike and the myHRcounsel business model, we would have landed in workout with the bank in 2008. Instead, the bank gave us the liquidity we needed to survive 2008, and prosper in 2009 and beyond! myHRcounsel’s Ask Pro™ is a must for all businesses small and large – and for those in the construction industry, a required tool in the tool box.