Meet Our Sponsors: Mitsumi Kawai, Mitsumi Kawai Law WorksPosted by Tracy Gaudet
New business owners often put off important legal considerations because they’re afraid of what it will cost. However, deferring things like setting up the best business structure for you, creating strong contracts for your clients and subcontractors, and ensuring you are following all employment regulations can cost you a lot more later.
Fortunately, there’s Mitsumi Kawai of MK Law Works. Her accessible, affordable legal services will make sure your company is set up to protect you from legal issues you might encounter in the future. She’ll save you a ton of money in the long run. Meet Mitsumi at Idea to Open on November 27 – get your ticket now before they’re all gone!
1. Who are you and what’s your company?
I’m Mitsumi Kawai and I’m a small business lawyer in Gastown, Vancouver. I started my own practice, Mitsumi Kawai Law Works, to focus on providing small business owners, entrepreneurs and creative freelancers, grounded legal advice and support to run awesome businesses. My goal is to make legal advice accessible and affordable to small business owners and strip away the barriers of hiring a lawyer.
2. How do you help small business owners who are just starting out?
I meet with new small business owners to consult on their business set-up options so that they can start their businesses on the right foundation. We typically discuss the advantages of incorporating a company to limit personal liability and tax planning, and I often help small business owners draft contracts to establish relationships with business partners, employees, contractors, clients, customers etc. I’m an advocate of having written contracts with clear definitions and expectations so all parties understand what they’re getting into and there are no surprises.
3. What do you most love about the work you do?
My absolute favourite aspect of running MKLW is being able to work with the creative and awesome small business owners. They’re so passionate and gutsy! It feels great knowing that I help alleviate my clients’ stresses by taking care of the legal aspect of running a business. It’s also fun being a non-traditional lawyer and running a legal practice that’s down-to-earth.
4. What is your best piece of advice for would-be entrepreneurs?
Speaking as a small business owner, I think it’s important to choose a niche and find a micro-market you want to connect with. It allows you to have focus that is hard to find when you’re overreaching. Along with that, I think it’s important to be your authentic self. You’re your own boss so do work that feels awesome to you.
As a lawyer, I would advise would-be entrepreneurs to ask a lot of questions. You play a lot of roles when you’re starting your own business and you can’t be the expert on everything. Talk to trusted professionals who are there to give you guidance and want to help you succeed.
5. What is your favourite little-known resource for entrepreneurs?
Other entrepreneurs are great source of information and advice, so get out there and talk to other fellow small business owners. It’s amazing how willing people are to share their stories and experiences. You don’t always have to take their advice, but it’s comforting to connect with people who understand the beauty and struggles of running a small business. I have also found that reading books/blogs written by people like Seth Godin are nuggets of inspiration that help you keep going.
As for legal resource, I hope people are getting useful information from reading my blog!
6. In your opinion, how important is planning to the success of a small business in its first year or two?
Everyone finds their own route to their small business ‘success’, but it’s the people with grit, those with resilience to get through the hard stretches, that are able to get through the roadblocks of starting a small business. It definitely helps to have a plan that marks your mini goals and your big dream goals that keep you on track. When you plan, you can celebrate each small success and feel like you are making progress while iterating your plan when strategies need to be revisited. Ultimately I think it’s the everyday experiences we’re after, not the final prize, so enjoy the ride!