My Biggest Priority in 2019 Is ...

With 2018 coming to an end and 2019 already in sight, it’s time to start thinking about the lessons learned this year and how to make the new year even more successful. Here’s how COSE Board member Alex Gertsburg, CEO of the Gertsburg Law Firm and CoverMySix, is thinking through his firm’s strategy for next year.

As we enter the final month of 2018, it’s easy to start looking ahead to the new year and how to make 2019 an even more successful year for your business. It’s a question that the staff at the Gertsburg Law Firm Co. LPA, which helps clients navigate a range of topics including business litigation and transactions, compliance audits, estate and probate, and real estate issues, have been pondering as well.

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    We sat down recently with Alex Gertsburg, the CEO of the firm that has offices in Chagrin Falls and Cleveland, to ask them how they’ve been thinking through their planning for 2019. Here’s what he had to say:

    MYB: What is your firm’s biggest priority in 2019?

    Gertsburg: Our priority next year is to focus on the fastest growing part of our firm, Cover My Six, and to give it an even bigger boost than we had this year. Cover My Six is a legal audit of the six areas where a business is most likely to get sued. We had 40% growth in our firm this year; next year we want to have exponentially higher growth and Cover My Six is how we’re doing it. I want it to be the biggest disruptor to hit the legal business since Legal Zoom.

    MYB: What strategies have you used to grow this part of your business?

    Gertsburg: We’ve had a lot of good testimonials and messaging. I have this product that every business needs to know about, but how do I show them that? I have other people show them. The best way I know how to do it is to have other people tell my story, so we’ve used testimonials and a social media campaign to do it.

    MYB: How do you judge whether this marketing campaign for Cover My Six is a success or not?

    Gertsburg: We’re benchmarking it in terms of revenue, the total number of orders placed and the total number of simultaneous audits taking place.

    MYB: What’s the biggest challenge you’re trying to solve for 2019?

    Gertsburg: Our biggest challenge in 2018 was capacity. We had so much business coming in the door that our attorneys would often get bogged down. We solved that problem by becoming more efficient.

    MYB: What have you done to become more efficient?

    Gertsburg: Every single time we do a Cover My Six audit, we get better at it. After each order, we ask ourselves, how could we have been more efficient? And the process gets faster. We squeeze out waste each time we do an order. It’s a never-ending cycle of improvement.

    MYB: And now for a shameless plug on our part, how has COSE and the Greater Cleveland Partnership helped you achieve your business goals?

    Gertsburg: It’s really simple: The organization has surrounded me with other business owners. And these business owners are going through the same buckets of issues and problems we are. I benefit by networking with them or attending board meetings and being surrounded by these owners who deal with cash flow issues and culture issues and other problems small and mid-sized businesses all have. By hearing what they are going through, I get better at resolving my own challenges and I am able to help them, too, which makes me feel good. A rising tide lifts all ships. And by solving problems, we strengthen our relationship and that’s the biggest way COSE and the Greater Cleveland Partnership have helped me.

    Alex and the attorneys of The Gertsburg Law Firm now offer Cover My Six, a one-stop legal audit for your business, led by award-winning litigators and in-house counsel. CM6 minimizes your exposure to lawsuits, investigations, disgruntled employees and customers, and all the damage that comes with them. Visit www.covermysix.com to learn more about how to protect your business from lawsuits with this brand-new service.

    Learn more about the benefits of being a COSE Member by clicking here. Or, contact our Membership Team directly via email at memberservices@cose.org or by phone at 216-592-2355.


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    Next up: National Regulatory Budget Act Introduced in Both U.S. Senate and House

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    Rules and regulations can be challenging for small business owners to understand and comply with, and they are not always top of mind for employers until they are directly impacted by them.  Thankfully, there are some institutions and processes in place that can help, and there’s federal legislation that aims to address this common small business pain point even further.  

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    U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced a bill, the National Regulatory Budget Act (S. 2153), in March 2014 that has been referred to U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Government Affairs.  Our friends at the National Small Business Association (NSBA) played a vital role in crafting this legislation. If enacted, it would provide the following:

    • Strict, enforceable constraints on the ability of the federal government to impose regulatory costs on the public by requiring regulators to assign a cost to all regulations as well as staying within a Congressionally determined “regulatory budget”
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    • The ORA director would be nominated by the President for a four-year term, subject to the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate.

    On July 24, U.S. Representatives Steve Scalise (R-La) and Doug Collins (R-Ga) cast their support for this concept by introducing a companion bill, H.R. 5184, on the House side.  COSE and NSBA appreciate both representatives for their leadership roles in introducing this language.

    COSE has been highly active at the state level promoting regulatory reform and fairness. As long time supporters of Senate Bill 3 (legislation that further ensures small businesses are included in the rule-making process), which was signed into law this past June, COSE has worked in conjunction with the Lieutenant Governor’s office and the work of Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative (CSI) as it aims to ensure that all current and future state rules and regulations are fair and equitable, and don’t cause undue burdens for small businesses. In fact, CSI is led by a Small Business Advisory Council in which two Northeast Ohio COSE members are part of.   The panel is made up of nine small business representatives that are committed to providing direction and expertise throughout small business reviews of state rules and regulations to help achieve a more positive regulatory environment in Ohio.

    In addition to COSE’s support of CSI, we recently hosted National Ombudsman Brian Castro, who works on behalf of small businesses across the U.S., ensuring regulatory fairness. COSE provided members with the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with him regarding the challenges and needs of small businesses in Ohio relating to federal rules and regulations. The National Ombudsman works with 10 small business Regulatory Fairness Boards comprised of five small business owners, and COSE is also proud that one of our own sits on our Region 5 Regulatory Fairness Board.

    COSE can help you navigate through the regulatory process, catering to your specific needs. For more information or questions, please email jburns@cose.org. We also encourage you to tweet at us: @COSEsmallbiz #COSEadvocacy 

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    But, the main focus of the gathering was to provide a backdrop and venue to share ideas and offer solutions to common small business challenges, especially those related to public policy.  

    COSE’s national partner, NSBA, is the first and oldest national small business advocacy organization in the country and COSE members continue to play a key role in the shape and scope of NSBA’s work. NSBA is an advocate, on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs, and a staunchly non-partisan organization that reaches more than 150,000 small businesses across the country. 

    While NSBA’s efforts are focused on federal advocacy, the association is continually providing a snapshot of what’s on the mind of America’s small business community.  And, Tim Reynolds (Owner, Tribute, Inc. / Chair, NSBA Board of Trustees) and Todd McCracken (President, National Small Business Association) had an opportunity to do just that when they joined The Sounds of Ideas radio program to discuss “Navigating the Challenges of Starting and Running a Small Business”.  To listen to audio from that interview, click here

    For so many small-business owners, one of the ways to alleviate the everyday burdens of doing business is to get elected officials to respond to the issues that are important to the small business community. There is no shortage of pressing small business issues facing our leaders in Washington this fall.  Organizations such as COSE and NSBA provide a platform for small-business owners to become engaged, have some fun seeing old friends and making new ones, while representing the voice of small business in front of key government decision-makers. We are doing our part to represent your interests daily, but thanks to leadership provided by small business owners just like you we can bring your issues to the forefront and effectively enact positive change that impacts the way your business operates.

    Whether you’re in the early stages of your work and in search of access to capital, you own a small firm that has thrived for years and have questions about health care or taxes, or fall somewhere in between—take some time today to learn more about the ways in which we can help you achieve your idea of success.

    For more information on how you can join the National Small Business Association call 800-345-6728 or e-mail info@nsba.biz.

    For more information on the benefits of your COSE membership contact us at 216-592-2355 or memberservices@cose.org.

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    The dramatic new make-up of Congress could usher in sweeping changes for the coming two years. Join COSE members at the National Small Business Association’s (NSBA) Small Business Congress in Phoenix, Arizona on Feb. 19-20, to learn what’s ahead for your business.

    The dramatic new make-up of Congress could usher in sweeping changes for the coming two years. Join COSE members at the National Small Business Association’s (NSBA) Small Business Congress in Phoenix, Arizona on Feb. 19-20, to learn what’s ahead for your business.

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    The Small Business Congress gives you the opportunity to discuss and develop the small business agenda for the upcoming session of Congress, and network with other small business leaders from across the country.

    This year, NSBA is hosting the Small Business Congress with the Arizona Small Business Association, where, in addition to the policy discussions, attendees can chose from a number of workshops focused on best practices for business growth and engagement.

    The event will be held at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix with an astounding room rate of just $169 per night plus taxes. Registration for the event is now open with the early-bird discount rate of $325 good through Jan. 20, 2015.

    Among the excellent speakers for this event, NSBA has invited Sen. John McCain to share his expertise as a long-serving Senator and attendees will hear from former pro basketball player Joe Courtney who will talk about being the best business owner and entrepreneur you can be.

    Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from policy insiders and lawmakers on the legislative priorities that will affect your business for the next two years.

    REGISTER TODAY!

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