Established in 1995, M. Hedayat & Associates, P.C. was founded in a time when doing much of your business virtually was practically unheard of. However, he saw a need in the industry that could be fulfilled, offering clients a place to contact him and get advice on legal issues. Over the past 20 years, Hedayat has set up several successful businesses, including the law practice as well as a title company and an internet startup. Hedayat explains how the process of establishing a virtual business differed from a brick and mortar location.
Mazyar M. Hedayat
(Photo courtesy of Mazyar M. Hedayat)
Hedayat was inspired to include a significant virtual component in his law practice after seeing a need in the industry. “Having earned an MBA before law school, I could see that practices were not being run efficiently or taking advantage of available technology. As a result, law practices continued to operate and clients continued to pay the way they always had. But that was not the best of use of attorney time and effort or client dollars. In the absence of a good model, I chose to create one.” He also liked the fact that building a web-based business was less costly. “Building an online business was faster and less expensive than doing so as a brick-and-mortar operation. The savings and widening reach led to a built-in advantage for a new lawyer like me. When I began my practice in 1995, the World Wide Web had just started to develop out of the text-only, 128 MBPS stage of the internet. Using the web, ordinary people started to get online in order to look for resources and to communicate. The natural progression led to people asking legal questions and receiving answers in Q&A fora. When I saw that I could reach people and provide answers this way, and eventually send documents and other items via e-mail and HTTP links, the result was a ‘virtual firm.’”
For others who want to set up an online business, Hedayat encourages them to go for it, but to seek help to make sure that their business is properly established. “Nowadays, a prospective business can be established virtually overnight using the internet, but the real challenge is meeting the considerations that go with setting up the company. To make sure that they are not overlooking any of the important steps in the organization process, they should consult a local attorney or utilize a service such as Legal Zoom or Rocket Lawyer. The result is that they marry the convenience of online business organization with the advice of knowledgeable counsel.”
Running a business online allows an entrepreneur to build the business without as many startup costs. Hedayat shows that any business can be run with a virtual angle, especially if clients are interested in conducting business in this manner. If there is a client need and you work with a legal professional, establishing an online company can be quick and painless.
This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger for Small Business Pulse