By Janelle M. Lewis, Attorney, Business & Legal Strategic Consultant

It’s a new year and a new decade. With all things associated with the new year, the most prominent is: “out with the old and in with the new.” Throwing out old clothes, books, furniture, and ideas, while making room for the new. While on a personal level, there are many traditions and rituals used to enter in the new year, what about on the business level? What new practices, ideas, and strategies are you employing to bring in the new year for your business?

Without a doubt, one “resolution” that I dare say every business owner, manager and executive has for their business in the new year is business growth. Increasing sales, market shares, financing and profits tops the lists of resolutions to grow one’s business in 2020 and beyond.

So where does the law come into play? How can the law foster business growth? The answer is, it already plays a role, just not a recognized role. You cannot have a business strategy without thinking about the laws and how they impact the growth of your business. It is an implicit part of every business strategy, but what would happen if it became an explicit part of growing your business? Could you imagine how much stronger your business growth strategy would be if you directly recognized the legal aspects of growing your business? Could you imagine how much stronger your competitive position would be in your industry, or how much you could improve your ability to predict the trends that are likely to impact your profit margins by taking a legal strategic approach to business strategy? If you are a foreign entity and thinking about entering the U.S. market, could you imagine how you might obtain an advantageous competitive position in the U.S. market – a market that is fiercely competitive – taking a legal strategic approach in your business strategy?

Could you imagine how much stronger your competitive position would be in your industry, or how much you could improve your ability to predict the trends that are likely to impact your profit margins by taking a legal strategic approach to business strategy?

Fortunately, the goal of this blog post is not to have you as a business owner, manager or executive imagine how the law can be used as a tool in your business strategy – it is to show you how. Here are two ways in which the law plays an important role in your business strategy that fosters your objectives of growth in 2020 and beyond. 

Building a Strong Competitive Advantage by Creating Barriers to Imitation

It is well understood that increased economic profits results in a stronger competitive advantage for your products and/or services. What role does the law play in this endeavor? The law is integral in this endeavor because it creates the basis for barriers to imitation of your products/services that differentiates your business from your competitors. There is no gain to be made if your competitors can do what you can do as well as you can do it. 

One way to ensure a strong competitive advantage is to give importance to Intellectual Property Law in your business strategy. Protecting not only patents, but trade secrets, copyrights and proper managing of your licenses create a barrier to imitation that sets your business apart from your competitors, ultimately allowing your business to grow its profits and market shares. 

One way to ensure a strong competitive advantage is to give importance to Intellectual Property Law in your business strategy.

Employment Law also strengthens the barrier to imitation through the use of Non-Disclosure Agreements and Non-Compete Contracts to ensure that when your employees leave your business, they don’t take your competitive advantages with them.

Employment Law also strengthens the barrier to imitation through the use of Non-Disclosure Agreements and Non-Compete Contracts to ensure that when your employees leave your business, they don’t take your competitive advantages with them.

Simply knowing these areas of law, however, does not itself create barriers to imitation. Having knowledge of how to use and develop these areas of laws into legal strategic tools for your business strategy is key in order to create valid barriers to imitation that yield a competitive advantage to foster your business growth goals and objectives. 

Having knowledge of how to use and develop these areas of laws into legal strategic tools for your business strategy is key in order to create valid barriers to imitation that yield a competitive advantage to foster your business growth goals and objectives. 

 

Focusing More on the Legal & Regulatory Trends that are Impacting the Industry your Business Operates

Having industry knowledge is a must for any business strategy. Often times, however, focus is placed on the demographic trends, socio-cultural influences, and (hopefully) technological developments (what business wants to be the next Kodak?). As important as the market and technology are for understanding the industry in which your business operates, focus on the legal and regulatory pressures are equally important to perform a trend analysis of the industry as to align that with your business strategy. Does your business operate in an industry that is vulnerable to regulatory scrutiny? Could new laws negatively affect your business’ ability to generate revenue? Could new interpretations of existing laws adversely affect your business practices resulting in a decrease in your market position? What if you operate in various markets with conflicting laws and regulations? How do you align your business practices with each market, while maintaining a unified core strategy that underlies the mission of your company? 

As important as the market and technology are for understanding the industry in which your business operates, focus on the legal and regulatory pressures are equally important to perform a trend analysis of the industry as to align that with your business strategy.

The questions are endless but the point is clear – failure to focus on the legal & regulatory trends that impact your business’ industry can adversely affect your business growth. 

Is That All?

Absolutely not! These are two of the countless ways that demonstrate the importance of the law in business strategy. As noted above, the purpose of this blog post is to shine light on the role of the law in business strategy and when used as a strategic tool, fosters the business growth objectives of business owners, managers and executives. My goal is to bring more awareness to the role the law plays in business strategy. With a new decade comes new ways of thinking and doing things to better achieve our goals. A new strategy for your business that incorporates the law as a strategic tool is a new opportunity to grow your business, increasing sales, market shares, profits and overall success. Look out for more ways to see the law as a strategic tool in your business strategy in blog posts to come.

Click here to learn more about Janelle, her background, and her professional services. 

 

bringing innovation to the law banner_LinkedIN