The Entrepreneur’s Lawyer – Vahan Yepremyan of Yepremyan Law Firm

Vahan Yepremyan, Managing Partner of Yepremyan Law Firm

Vahan Yepremyan, the Managing Partner of Yepremyan Law Firm, grew his company’s revenue from $1.6 million in 2014 to $2.7 million in 2017, a 72% increase, and to over $3 million in 2018.  

Yepremyan Law Firm provides business, corporate, immigration and personal injury legal services.  

In this interview with Eversprint‘s Malcolm Lui, Vahan shares how he and his team accelerated their high value sales by:    

  • Focusing on personal growth of himself and of his employees, which in turn drove business growth.  
  • Empowering his employees to take care of clients, so he could work on growing his business, instead of working in his business.  
  • Helping their existing clients to grow further, which in turn increased their need for legal services and also raised client retention.  

Computer generated transcript - Yepremyan Law Firm Interview (transcribed by Sonix)

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Malcolm Lui: Welcome to the High Value Sales Show of I'm Malcolm Lui, the Managing Member of Eversprint, and today we're speaking with Vahan Yepremyan, the Managing Partner of Yepremyan Law Firm, a provider of business, corporate, immigration and personal injury legal services. Welcome to the show Vahan.

Vahan Yepremyan: Thank you Malcolm. Thank you for having me on.

Malcolm Lui: Vahan, you grew your company's revenue from $1.6 million in 2014 to $2.7 million in 2017, a 72% increase, and in 2018 you hit over $3 million. Before we talk about how you grew your company so fast, can you briefly share what your company does beyond my quick intro, and how your company differs from the competition?

Vahan Yepremyan: Yes of course. So we are a boutique law firm located in Los Angeles. We have two locations one in Sherman Oaks area one in Glendale. We specialize in business corporate law representing entrepreneurs and ventures from pre launch startup phase two pre IPO doing all transactional work from drafting contracts negotiations forming entities corporations LLC is buy and sell agreements licensing anything to do with with business and different stages that businesses go through. We also in light of that provide immigration services mostly business related investor visas employee visas the employment visas and such. We also have a small practice of personal injury as well. We are we've been in business for 20 years 20 plus years found that originally in Glendale and then grew from there and as you can. As you can tell keep going.

Malcolm Lui: All right. That's. Now how would you say you differ from the other law firms that are out there.

Vahan Yepremyan: Let's for example take my main practice of business and entrepreneur know representing businesses and entrepreneurs. One of the distinguishing factors I think and that gives me an edge is that I myself am an entrepreneur or I'm a serial entrepreneur. I have some company I have a real estate development company and to other ventures over the last 20 years I've had more than a dozen different companies. Some have done well some on average and some have failed. So I understand the entrepreneurial process and the entrepreneurial journey. I understand the experience and what they're going through and what they're dealing with. And so when I am sitting across from a client whether it's a new startup whether they have an investor or it's a self financed kind of shoestring budget whether it's you know a company that's based on you know out of somebody is garage or has a you know a big facility of you know tons of I've gone through it myself as well. And so I understand their struggles I understand their priorities I understand their challenges. And so it's I come from not only from just a purely legal perspective but understanding the context within which they're operating. I've also gone back to business school.

Vahan Yepremyan: I decide to a program at Harvard Business School age the x x age XP program I've also done a postgraduate diploma at Cambridge University Business School in U.K.. So I understand the business aspect of it as well. And so as we structure and negotiate or consult on contracts we don't just look at the legal aspect of it we'll look at it as business wise you know does this make sense what what is this company going in 3 or 5 years what is their exit strategy how they plan to scale and it really affects the type of legal services that are provided and some people come in and say I want this kind of agreement. And before we start actually drafting disagreement I want to understand what what the purpose of this is and what's what's the outcome you're looking for. And and probably about 20 25 percent of the time they actually need something different than what they think they do. And so having to having that background and both academic and actual practical experience of being an entrepreneur just gives me a better appreciation of both their journey and what it takes to build a successful company

Malcolm Lui: Okay now how about how you differ on the other parts of your practice. The the immigration what the immigration service related to corporate do you do individual immigration as well

Vahan Yepremyan: Yes with individual integrations as well. I myself am an immigrant I moved to United States when I was 17 years old.

Malcolm Lui: Okay

Vahan Yepremyan: And again I understand to be the challenges and the experience and the journey of coming from another country and adjusting to a whole new life in the United States

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Vahan Yepremyan: A country of opportunity country of plenty and but also you know a country that is drastically different from most other places where people come from

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Vahan Yepremyan: Including me I grew up in former Soviet Union and the contrast could have been bigger than you know. And this is before the internet. This is before anything accessible to us back there behind the Iron Curtain of seeing how life is here and so the very first experience of life in the US for me was when I landed at LAX. And so I understand you know I didn't speak in English. I didn't know you know I didn't have any friends here at home. And so I appreciate that as well and so understanding what it takes and helping a planet and help you know giving them advice on uncertain things on how they should be handles you know family and and you know choosing where and how and you know it just helps you know I I. One of my main things with clients is just delivering more value than than what we charge for giving them more than what they expect. And so we I look at them I look at my business clients or immigration clients as if it's my business or if it's it's it's me or a close family member that's going through it. And how would I act and how would I handle this situation. And that's how I do it. And you know most of our growth in the recent years have come not from just continuing to get new clients but really focusing on our existing clients and helping them grow and growing with them.

Malcolm Lui: Right now but on the on the personal injury side. How are you different from the other personal injury lawyer out there

Vahan Yepremyan: Right. For a lot of firms out there. They have kind of for lack of a better word like a conveyor belt approach for us we understand that each person is going through a set of challenges when they're involved in an accident or they're injured and challenges with transportation challenges to to being able to work because of physical injury challenges with no income. You know if they have to miss work. And so us being able to focus on them and what their needs are rather than what we need from them to handle the case makes all the difference. And you know we have my job with with my firm and my employees is you know I take care of my employees and their job is to take care of our clients. And so when when I take all the kind of obstacles and challenges away from my my employees so that they can truly really focus on our clients and understand that each client is unique. Each file is unique you know not only with the facts and injuries but you know family situation work situation financial situation. And so really understanding what their needs are and how we can best meet them and also expecting managing their expectations and explaining to them the process you know a lot of people are coming into the law firm. They feel overwhelmed you know a lot of lawyers use a lot of technical terms and legal fees and you know and lose the client within the first couple of minutes.

Vahan Yepremyan: What we do is one is we sit down and really explain to them what their rights are what they're entitled to what we could do for them and then kind of explain the whole process that it's going to take from start to end for them to to receive what you know what they're entitled to. And then as we start the process keep them informed and keep them posted on what's going on and progress rather than kind of just signing up and then kind of forgetting about them and just doing the work because you have to realize that you know they want to know what's going on and they're sitting at home and they're anxious and they're you know still in pain and you know. And so keeping them informed keeping them in the loop and as well as making sure that they understand what's being done and why makes a big difference and it takes a lot of that anxiety that comes from not knowing it comes from dealing with it you know and being in a field where they're usually not accustomed to being you know lawyers law offices and all that stuff just unnecessary stress that we try to take off their plate

Malcolm Lui: Now. What's your thinking. I'm doing a pretty wide array of services. Why not just focus on on business and corporate law and leave it at that and not deal with immigration personal injury

Vahan Yepremyan: You know it this happened organically and and it is my main focus is my clients business clients and entrepreneurs and startups. That's my passion. That's that's what I love to do. And being an entrepreneur I just you know what I think any country any healthy economy needs a healthy entrepreneurial sector especially coming from where I came from. So that union where the whole country health system collapsed due to nonexistence of entrepreneurship in that country everything was government owned everything was subsidized everything every single person in that country worked for the government and got paychecks from the government. There was no incentive there is no innovation there is no competition. And in fact if you're being entrepreneurial you get thrown in jail.

Malcolm Lui: Sure.

Vahan Yepremyan: And so

Malcolm Lui: Now.

Vahan Yepremyan: You

Malcolm Lui: So

Vahan Yepremyan: Have got

Malcolm Lui: Why not just focus on that area

Vahan Yepremyan: Right.

Malcolm Lui: And not

Vahan Yepremyan: So

Malcolm Lui: Focus on the others

Vahan Yepremyan: Right. And so I started I started with that and I was focusing with my business clients. It happened that a lot of my business clients maybe about 35 40 percent of my clients are international. International companies international citizens who do business in the US. And as that comes up and the challenges of of you know being here to help run the company or hiring international staff or experts to come in and help them. The challenge came up. Of OK we need we need some business immigration assistance. Initially I was outsourcing them. But again it was hard to find a firm that was taking the same approach we're taking with our business approach. And I was getting a lot of feedback from them several like why can't you handle it. Do we trust you and we want to work with you. And so gradually and organically you know I brought in experts and attorneys who specialize in that. And we started working and doing this in-house and then personal injury kind of also developed from our existing clients who you know had some clients with transportation companies and and and doing things in in different fields where accidents happen and so again that came to me and I refer them out and then eventually there was enough business for me that it didn't make sense to outsource it.

Vahan Yepremyan: Most of my time is spent handling business clients. I have a number of attorneys that I manage that handle day to day dealing with insurance companies with personal injuries. Obviously I'm involved in in negotiations and settlements of those cases and review on a weekly basis. But again these two additional sections kind of came in organically. And later on as I was focusing on mostly kind of just handling my business clients and I think part of it was because my approach is my job as an attorney for these business clients is to make their life easier to take whatever they don't want to deal with off their plate so they can focus on growing their business growing their cells and developing their products raising money whatever they're doing in the day to day operation and take the other pressures off of whether they need to obtain certain permits or licenses whether they need to negotiate a certain deal whether they need to you know hire or hire a specialist you know maybe it's a restaurant and they want to bring in a French chef from from from France or you know it's a school athletic school and they're bringing in an Olympic champion from overseas again. And so I would go in and help them with with with that.

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Vahan Yepremyan: And so just I guess by necessity we develop those those areas of practice

Malcolm Lui: Ok

Vahan Yepremyan: As well

Malcolm Lui: So when you say you bring it in-house for it from a law firm perspective that simply mean you just hire a new lawyer who is a specialist in that area and then instead of farming it out it's not just that you're a lawyer that you just hired to take care of those things.

Vahan Yepremyan: Yes. So it becomes our firm that that gets retained for those services and we are responsible for it. And we get paid and we deliver the services rather than saying you know what I have. I know these guys. They're across the street or across the city across town and you can go see them and then deal with them.

Malcolm Lui: Okay.

Vahan Yepremyan: You know a lot of clients once they develop you know you develop that trust and relationship and they'll learn where you are and how you work. They're very resistant to go in and deal with other attorneys you know in fact a pretty sizable group of my clients I serve as quote unquote in-house counsel capacity where I had a lot of the stuff that they don't want to handle and even things that I don't specialize in that I know outsource and refer out. They don't want to deal with it. So I deal with it. For example patents and trademarks.

Malcolm Lui: Right

Vahan Yepremyan: I don't do. I don't do intellectual property at all but they don't want to deal with it they don't know anything about it. They don't want to deal with another firm that's going to be asking them for documents they don't even know how to get in. And all that stuff and so what they say is hey you know you handle it you'll let us know what the what the how much they want and maybe negotiated the rates with them and then stay on top of them make sure it gets done. And so I do have a you know a group of different associate attorneys out there that we use for areas that we don't handle and areas that the clients the one you know because otherwise they find themselves dealing with three or four different law firms you know CPA is bookkeepers and everything else and have no time running and developing and growing their business. So my job is to take all that stuff off their their plate and let them focus on growing their business.

Malcolm Lui: Right now I'd say you had. You're outsourcing a lot of trademark work as an example.

Vahan Yepremyan: Yes.

Malcolm Lui: How much work would you need to be outsourcing for you to say. Maybe I should bring this in-house like is the amount of work equivalent to a full time lawyer and then you say yeah looks like it sincerely makes more sense to me. Just bring it on in-house

Vahan Yepremyan: Right.

Malcolm Lui: Now.

Vahan Yepremyan: Financially that would probably make sense except at some point you have to draw the line because when you start doing too many things and wearing too many hats I know my strengths are negotiating and making deals drafting contracts putting the right structure together for a startup you know as they're scaling you know putting together licensing agreements or you know. And so I focus on my strengths. And so yes sure I can I can bring in a an intellectual property attorney I can bring in a tax advisor especially for some of my international attorney international clients. I could bring in advisers that could advise on on international taxation law and everything else. And as far as the clients concerned for their convenience we do that because they deal with me and I deal with everybody else. So for clients they get the convenience and and the ease of just dealing with one firm for me to bring in every different ex because look there's different patents. So I'd have to bring in a patent attorney and a trademark attorney and a copyright attorney and then even within patent attorneys there is no. Is this a chemical like it is it is it a design patent or is it is it some kind of a formula you know so there's different specialties inside rather find the best in the field for my clients negotiate the best deals and terms and a lot of times it ends up being cheaper for them for me to do it than if they were they were to go straight to those attorneys because I negotiate with these attorneys and say look you're just going to be easy because you don't have to deal with a client and explain to them exactly what you need and how you need it and then chase them down and said I know exactly what you need and you'll have it to work as soon as we signed the retainer you'll get so you're going to spend about 20 25 percent less time on this file and less time meeting and explaining and everything else.

Vahan Yepremyan: I do have the client as part of the process the initial consultation and understanding and explaining what they want and need. Once that's done when it comes to getting the right documents right paperwork to the service providers the client's done. I have everything we're paperless office. Everything's on the cloud obviously backed up a few times over. But it's easy for me to put them together and send them over. And so because of that we get some discounts which would pass on to clients

Malcolm Lui: Right now. How do you know. What's the tipping point when you decide to bring it in-house

Vahan Yepremyan: I think for me it would be not so much financial but it would be the quality if the quality is not there. If the client's not happy My job is to keep my client happy. My job is to to make my client's job life easier. And if by outsourcing and there's delays and there's quality issues or anything else which we haven't had then I would say you know what I'm bringing it in. Even. Even if it's financially. In that sense doesn't make a hundred percent sense but in overall well-being of a client and growth of their company makes sense. Then I'll do that because I look at each client for a long term relationship you know average client. You know we've been in business for 20 years. Our majority of our clients have been with us for more than 10 years.

Malcolm Lui: Right

Vahan Yepremyan: And we we look at each client each new client comes in. We don't look at it as what can we sell to them right now and what you know how much money you can get from them. The the the approach is how we can help them build a company that's going to continue to grow over the years and we'll continue we'll have a client for the next 10 20 years. And as they grow they will need us more than they can afford us more. And so it's a different approach. It's it's not focused on what do I sell to them is what do they really need. And sometimes they'll come in and say I need these 10 things and I'll say you know what. Based on the budget that we discussed and everything said and constraints you have you don't need this all the 10 things right now. What can some of these five things. And then as these get started in the second quarter and third quarter we could start doing that and then we'll consider that. And so are our thing is you know as an attorney and advisors how do y help them launch their business. How do I help them grow their business so that they will continue to need me and they'll continue to be able to afford me. But

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Vahan Yepremyan: Again like you were saying you know I guess it comes to a point where having an in-house counsel will be more efficient more convenient and where the amount of work is so much that outsourcing just actually takes longer to go back and forth and and do certain things then then yes then then at that point we just like we did with immigration we bring him in. You know

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Vahan Yepremyan: Immigration is something where you know it's not so cut and dry as as you know trademark or something like that where once initially you know that in-depth conversation and understand then it's pretty much you on your own doing the legal stuff immigration people situations change they get married they have kids they know their deaths are in emergencies and so for us it was pink it was challenging dealing with some other firms that are not so sensitive to some of these needs are saying well they hired us just for this we're going to do this they want something else going to start from scratch. And so to be able to have that flexibility to be able to you know understand their needs as they change and and maybe you know a lot of times anticipate of changes you know as things are you know they day I sit down and spend some time initially when we retain a client understanding who they are what their strengths are what their weaknesses are what they do want and plan on spending time in their work and what they don't want to touch and what they see where they see their company and everything else. And based on that now I know how to advise them and I know as you know we could predict things coming up and we can anticipate challenges. We can you know we keep we keep an eye on you know different industries where you know we have represent you know really diverse base of clients from different industries but you know we we try to keep you know nowadays technology and I know it's starting to disrupt a lot of industries and it has been doing for years now. And so making sure that the clients are aware of that and they're keeping track of what's coming and us helping them is a big part of what we do as well

Malcolm Lui: All right. Got it. Now in terms of your revenue you've almost doubled your business now. 2014 you're at one point six million.

Vahan Yepremyan: Rhythms

Malcolm Lui: 2018 you hit over 3 million. What were the three biggest drivers of your sales growth over the over those four years

Vahan Yepremyan: One a thing and this is something that I don't think is talked about enough especially in business schools and kind of entrepreneurial circles. Is that your personal growth equals your business growth your income or your business will grow as much as you do and your capacity to handle certain things and in business school you you study essential elements of how to put together a business plan and execute and team building and and raising finances and PR and branding and all that good stuff right. Except they don't address the actual person who makes these decisions the entrepreneur and what beliefs do they have about themselves about the world about money about power about you know what's possible what they're worthy and so a lot of that stuff in our business is a reflection of who we are and our beliefs and and in fact I'm writing a book that's going to be out this summer. Co authoring a book with an amazing author a person shouting Let's go. She's a founder co-founder of left coin station in San Francisco for the last 30 years they've been studying beliefs limiting beliefs and what holds people back and how to get rid of them. Well basically bringing the entrepreneurship world and this world of personal growth together because I think that's a big part of it. You know your state your emotional intelligence your ability to deal with challenges your ability to to deal with failure these are all things that that that affect not only you but your business your employees your clients some of you have embarked in the last several years really into those into kind of personal growth.

Vahan Yepremyan: Looking at what are my limitations and and how can I show up better for my clients and for my staff more importantly and and what did they need and how do I keep them the tools. And which brings me to my second reason is is my focus has become you know instead of working in the business and now I'm working on the business and I'm working to provide and empower my staff and my employees to do their job rather than try to micromanage and try to be in the mix and make it OK for them to fail and try new things and give them the support and constructive criticism that they need to grow and and so as I do that and they start focusing on the clients I see the difference I see that I see how clients feel a lot better taken care of and they feel like you know we care which we do about their success about what they're going through with about their challenges. And so you know kind of shifting the my attention to working on the business and how to how the business operates rather than being an operating inside the business you know being a business owner rather than business operator has made a big difference as well.

Vahan Yepremyan: And thirdly while we love and appreciate getting new clients we have put a lot of effort and resources behind our existing clients constantly asking both our clients and ourselves how can we do better. How can we support them more. How can we make their company grow and how can we give them the information the tools the services they need. Sometimes they don't even need they know they need and sometimes they they think they need one thing and then they need something else. And so you know spending investing that time you know a lot of attorneys it's every little phone call every little email you know they they charge the client that they send an email. And so the clients are afraid to communicate with the attorneys thinking OK you know the meter starts running and I'm going to get a bill at the end of the month or at the end of the year that's going to be a big surprise. And so then they just limit their communication to hey real quick I just need this and then they hang up the phone I don't want that relationship with my client I want them to feel be able to and feel like they could sit down and really talk to me about the challenges and their vision and their mission.

Vahan Yepremyan: And why are they doing it and what they're doing. And so spending an hour or two out of my time that doesn't directly get it gets built to the client for some attorneys that's a waste of time for me that's investing in my client because now I have a better understanding of what they need and I can do my job better which means they'll be happier which means they will not go where else. And the secret is if you give them more than where you're charging them for giving more value then it just makes them make it make it not make sense for them to go anywhere else instead of instead of trying to replace them with constantly replacing them with new clients. You know and so I think you know focusing on value focusing on on on the client as far as you know constant improvement of the their attorneys who as soon as they sign up a client they're done with that client. You know they just goes into the system and now they're focused on what's my next new client. You know for us it's OK.

Vahan Yepremyan: We signed up this client. Now let's let's see what they need. Let's see. And it's not just the first initial interview. It's you know whether it's quarterly depending on how quickly the companies change and grow or once a year we sit down and say OK you know this is this is what we've gotten and what's the plan for next year. Where are we going and what do we want to do. Let us know so we can be prepared and can give you kind of heads up. You know sometimes our clients going into negotiations instead of going in and negotiating the deal and then bringing it to us saying OK I need a contract for this deal and then I look at it and say well this is not exactly a really good deal for you because of a b c that I got. Oh man. Yeah you're right. Now I have to go renegotiate instead of that. A lot of them say I wanted to come in and sit in any negotiations or listen in or be part of the e-mail trail going back and forth or just take over and negotiate you know what I need. And so it becomes a lot more productive a lot of things move a lot quicker and and clients end up getting better deals and better better results because of that.

Malcolm Lui: Right now can you share a little bit about how you let your clients know that you like to have a conversation with them for an hour or two and it's not going to be a billable event for them. How do you express that to them. Given how most people are are as you say they know that any communication with you is a billable event not

Vahan Yepremyan: Sure.

Malcolm Lui: With you but lawyers in general.

Vahan Yepremyan: Right. So initially I offer them between 20 to 30 minute free initial consultation. So before taking any money from them I want to really understand where they are what they need. If this is a good fit because just as much as they're interviewing me I'm interviewing. If I don't think that I can help them if they have a certain kind of style or attitude of doing business and and certain mindset I may not want to be part of that not because they're not going to succeed or they're bad it's just because I'm not going to provide maximum service as I would if you know it was a different client and so this is kind of an initial kind of let's get to know each other face where I ask a lot of questions. I answered a lot of questions and very often that 20 or 30 minutes might go into 40 minutes if I feel like okay this is a potential client that that we want to work with. And I feel like that the feeling is mutual. We'll sit then it's not rare that that meeting could go into an hour and then as we understand that we set up another call or a meeting to really understand the specific things they need so that we can put together a proposal.

Vahan Yepremyan: So before we start any work before we start charging them before the kind of meter starts running I want to understand what they need and I want to make a list of what services I suggest we provide to them and what the costs are what the timeframes are. Put it in writing send it to them for them to have time to review if they have partners they have spouses that investors to make sure that this is not a pressure you know a lot of times this pressure tactics tactics that if you want it you know do it or not I'm not going to give you any information and I'll tell you a lot of times during those initial interviews free consultations I give them a lot of value I'll give them some of my insight I'll give them some of my advice whether they retain me or not. Because at the end of the day my mission is to help entrepreneurs succeed. I think it's good for economy that create jobs. You know everything gets reinvested in the economy and we all benefit from it especially if it's you know a conscientious entrepreneur or a venture that that you know I represent a lot of those.

Vahan Yepremyan: And so I'm passionate about it. And so I love what I do it's not it's not really a job because I you know I find myself at parties or receptions all of a sudden you know 30 minutes into a whole deep conversation about somebody is business. You know I was at the in five thousand at a table and found myself you know do was both sides of me were two entrepreneurs and you know probably about 20 minutes with one and 30 minutes with the other really getting into it really understanding what they're going through their challenges for me it's just it's it's fascinating it's each entrepreneur's journey is unique and different. And just seeing what they overcame I have to overcome and what they have to do to get to that level of success is just you know both inspiring and and for me it's important because you know I learn a lot from each and every one of my clients and I always ask How can I learn more and how can I apply that to my to my clients you know

Malcolm Lui: Here how about

Vahan Yepremyan: Grow.

Malcolm Lui: Four. How about for your ongoing relationships because he met you before earlier how you didn't want to have a guess where your clients felt like they couldn't ask you a question or they were discouraged from asking a question because they would feel that they can be billed for it in six minute increments.

Vahan Yepremyan: Right. Right. So

Malcolm Lui: You know

Vahan Yepremyan: So

Malcolm Lui: What. How do they know that they can reach out to you and just for you to say hello it's not going to cost them 50 bucks.

Vahan Yepremyan: Right. Right. So for example I got a call from an existing client who's doing pretty well. And she tells me I can get you do franchising. I said yes to the franchise and I said I said OK I knew I want to franchise my concept and so can you give me a price and can you can you kind of semi proposal and can we get started on the paperwork. And I said listen I want to understand a little better what what you want to do and what your vision is. Why don't we sit down. Whether it's over the phone or in person for about 30 minutes. And I want I want to really understand exactly what you're trying to accomplish. I told her that there's no charge for that and it's just part of understanding understanding what her needs are. After about a 45 minute conversation what turned out to be you know she didn't need franchising. What she meant is license. She wanted to license some stuff. And so it was a whole different that is a whole different process. It's a lot less expensive a lot less involved. And we do a lot of those and so now we're working on our licensing deal for them. And through that conversation few other things came up that before actually licensing we needed to address. And so again more business came out of it for me as well because I said like you know because before you do this you need to take care of this and this and this but this is stuff that they needed.

Vahan Yepremyan: And but at the end of the day they they save a lot more money because of me starting on a franchising paperwork and doing all that stuff. And then later on as they get the paperwork finding out the loans are really exactly what I wanted to do or need or or start doing something that they didn't mean to to do. It becomes a lot more cost then for me to fix later. And so I would fairly openly welcome a conversation so when they contact me for something I said Look I need to understand a little better and so can you answer a few questions or you know whether it's if I feel like it's it's something we could do right there and then then I say you if you have 15 20 minutes I one ask questions and get a better understanding of of the situation or if I feel like it's it's a little bit of more involved and I or they don't have the time and say Can we set up a follow up meeting or a call. I need to get more information before I can give you a quote before I can actually tell you what exactly you need from the legal perspective and

Malcolm Lui: Okay

Vahan Yepremyan: And

Malcolm Lui: So it's so it's more of a case by case basis it's not

Vahan Yepremyan: Yes.

Malcolm Lui: Like you offer an hour or two each month for clients and they know that they have questions for free. Consult your available

Vahan Yepremyan: No. But it was for some clients it ends up being about that where they'll call for 10 15 minutes I'll ask hey you know I'm I'm doing this do I need this or I'm going to bring in a new person. Can I use this former agreement or can we you know this is gonna be different or you know. And so they'll call for a quick question that might sometimes get into a longer response or not. And then the I have some clients who pay me a monthly retainer in which case they're free to call me as much as they want and ask me as many questions as they want and they need me to be more involved especially clients who are international from overseas who don't know employment law or you know they don't know tax matters or you know other regulations you know permits and you know certain paperwork and requirements of banking and everything else where they need constant direction for them for me to do an hourly service for them. It ends up being overly expensive so

Malcolm Lui: Right

Vahan Yepremyan: I tell them look you know for me to do all of this it's going to be cost prohibitive for you at the same time it needs to be done. It needs to be addressed and short of you dealing with CPA Bookkeeper a tax attorney you know IP attorney corporate attorney imagine I could do it and we come up with some kind of a lump some kind of fee monthly fee and it's month to month and at any point they can walk away and we estimate let's see if I'm going to be we're estimating really going to spend about 20 hours a month or 10 hours a month from them because they're both basically buying my hours bulk and upfront I'll give them a discount.

Malcolm Lui: Right

Vahan Yepremyan: And and then you know if it goes a little over an hour or two I as a rule I don't go up and say you know we spend extra two hours from what we anticipated because usually just kind of balances out

Malcolm Lui: Yeah.

Vahan Yepremyan: And sometimes then their needs increase where they say hey we're opening a second location and say OK let's you know for the next three months let's up the hours a little bit because it's going to need a lot more work or once we set things up already. I'll approach them and say look I think you kind of set for now maybe short of couple of hours a month of kind of just upkeep. I don't think you need 10 hours from me anymore. And so they

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Vahan Yepremyan: Will adjust that.

Malcolm Lui: Okay

Vahan Yepremyan: You know

Malcolm Lui: Let's switch gears a little bit and talk about 2019 and say we were having this discussion. One year from today and you're looking back over the past one year what has to have happen in your business and perhaps personally for you as you talk about one of the drivers is your own personal growth. For you to be happy with your company's progress and your own personal progress in the areas of of the problems that you have now that you need to eliminate and the opportunities that you see that need to be captured as well as the strength that you have that you like to maximize

Vahan Yepremyan: Sure. You know as as mentioned before one of my main passions is to empower and help entrepreneurs. And as I did that in my practice on one on one basis in the past few years I began to do some public speaking and be part of different programs and seminars like business freedom experience and business freedom speaking Academy and few others where I tried to do that on a bigger scale where you know from stage where I could share some of my advice and experiences with a bigger bigger audience and hence impacted more people. It one helps the business of course because you get your brand out there and you deliver value to people so you develop trust then and you they they learn about you and they learn how you work and then your principles and your values. But at the same time you know when I go out and speak and I was last year I went on a European speaking tour of about six cities over about a month month and a half from universities to entrepreneurial groups just talking about you know conscious or mindful entrepreneurship about you know personal growth and entrepreneurship about you know certain certain things of you know how to set up a company. Us from Cambridge University Business School to American University in Yerevan and mind Valley University in Tallinn last year so I would like to do more of that more of those speaking opportunities and possibly teaching. I was offered a a teaching position as well college just again overseas for business school. I'd like to do that here so that I could continue to provide and serve my clients as well locally.

Vahan Yepremyan: And so and as my book comes out which hopefully will also help entrepreneurs you know I am hoping that 2019 will be me kind of getting the word out there and getting my brand out there and promoting the book and and helping my clients grow and get to the next level. You know we're living in an amazing and exciting times where everything is going so exponentially from technology to know everything and things get disrupted and things change constantly and so from day to day. And so keeping up with one my business and what's coming up in my business you know artificial intelligence is really disrupting every industry including legal industry. Know they have now certain programs and programs that review contracts and give suggestions you know. And so again these are technical things and where we pride ourselves and where our strengths are our personal relationships with our clients are our personal touch of understanding what their situation is where their family is you know knowing that you know oh they just got married or they're about to have a kid. How is that going to impact their time commitments and their work. Do they need to hire somebody else you know bring it up those discussions and you know as they're you know expanding and negotiating contracts for them to open a location overseas or doing certain things and then they expect they may be having this conversation saying hey you know have you addressed this with your spouse how we're going to manage it are you going to do we need to come up with you know do we need to address hiring internationally as well.

Vahan Yepremyan: Or are you going to have one of your staff members overseas and so these are things that you know technology and I doesn't do. And so I'm focusing on on kind of that delivering that X-factor that you know going that extra step of carrying you know I look at myself as a silent non shareholder partner in their business and if that was part of my business how would I do it and what do I do and you know. And so I would like to see my clients succeed ideas then grow as they have been in the past several years really quickly and efficiently and you know I don't take credit for that. I'm just there you know along the way you know for a Ryan and just making sure that you know it continues. And as far as for my firm as well you know understanding what the needs of our staff is you know we we have we we were for it you know our growth you know in 5000 didn't come just from growth. My staff is what drives my growth you know my my employees are my company. You know there is no company without them and so you know in the last few years we've implemented certain things like you know we invest in in their personal growth. We have a book club. We buy whatever books they want to read and we know seminars and we have Spanish classes on Wednesdays.

Vahan Yepremyan: We hired a private tutor that comes in on Wednesday afternoons and they can take an hour and study as we're moving now to new locations we're setting up a meditation or a room where they can go out and stretch and kind of you know get their energy and stayed up as well. We eat healthy snacks. We have a whole chairing charity is a big part of both me personally and it's big part of the fabric of our law firm. We donate constantly out there doing stuff mostly children's rights which is where I'm passionate about. You know I've I've gone to Nicaragua and spent a week in a jungle building homes in and Guatemala building wells and schools and you know Cambodia you know dealing with issues of child labor and sex trafficking and Armenia and Russia where they were orphanages and and our employees are involved in that as well. They they pick a kid each one to sponsor we pay for it they are pen pals with them because I think that's important for them to feel like they're there is more to life than just work and the office. You know we have this thing that we learned from mine Valley also a great organization that you know I've been active with where we share our passions and goals of what we want to do in the next you know near future and as a life goal and as we learn about each other we try to support each other. You know somebody wants to you know go visit early next year you know for their birthday you know I'm Italian Dictionary or a tourist book or whatever and I just kind of you know little things to show that you know to build that team and to know that there's you know we care and have them care for each other outside of just the immediate office work.

Vahan Yepremyan: You know I Ah ah office culture is very important. And you know when we hire as we grow I don't hire unskilled because when especially with the way things are changing day to day skills you know what skills you need today you may not need next year. And and it's you know how quickly can you learn the skills and more importantly do you fit into our culture do you. What's your mindset you know and what's your attitude and and everything else that's that's more important for me. Skills I can teach in skills you know they'll vary and they may switch positions and you know we we constantly push our employees to grow to the next level. You know I have currently I had to lose three employees because they're in law school or they're studying to be to become a lawyer and though planning on coming back to me. But I wanted to to do better and be an author even if it means losing them temporarily or forever and so they appreciate and they know that you know and so that's part of it. That's one of the reasons we were voted by Los Angeles Business Journal as a Top 25 Best Companies to Work for him in Los Angeles

Malcolm Lui: And ask

Vahan Yepremyan: And

Malcolm Lui: The Hey Yvonne let me ask you a different question. Switching gears a little bit from a You talked before about how you're nuts focused so much on getting new clients of course you would like more clients.

Vahan Yepremyan: Chris

Malcolm Lui: But on that end what do you think about pay per click ads and a. I saw from your online presence that you're as far as I can tell you're not running that much or not running any paper slick ads right now as far as I can tell and it doesn't sound like you've invested a lot on the ACL side of things either. So what's your take on that

Vahan Yepremyan: My approach. And you know it doesn't necessarily mean that's the right approach. It's just the approach that's worked for me. Based on the growth as you could see I I I haven't been doing paper click I haven't been doing SEO. I've been focusing on you know initially when I first started there were no you know I've been around for 20 years now. And so there were there was no Internet and there was not people click advertising or Google and so it was more word of mouth and it was more of you know kind of building your clients one by one. And as my clients have known and as I have my clients have succeeded you know that the whole adage of not have clients by fans. And as I over delivered to them as I give them the quality services and value that that I deliver on the average clients and know refers me at least two to three clients in the first couple of years of of becoming a client. And so having having clients or not having clients has not hasn't been not going to win a big challenge for us. And I understand there's different ways and for a very short time we did engage in paper clique and it's a different animal because when the client comes into me that has been referred to to me by an existing client who's been with me for a year or 10 years and has recommended me and has said this guy's been taking care of me for the last 20 years and you've got to go see him or whatever. This guy comes in with a different mindset rather than somebody just on the Internet and kind of is apprehensive as like him.

Vahan Yepremyan: Am I going to am I going to retain this guy. Am I not going to is he going to try to screw me. Is he gonna charge me and somebody comes and says hey you help this person you help that person. How can you help me. And it's a different discussion. It's now I'm not focused on retaining him. I'm focused on how can I help him and any kind of sets our relationship with the different dynamic. And so that's worked for me. I know it doesn't work for everybody and there's companies who rely on people click it justifiably saw and grow hugely based on that and including law firms they invest a lot of money and they grant that for me special for my business clients. It's been cut because these are long term relationships and I cultivate them and I invest in them and you know most of my business clients they call me as a friend. A lot of them have my cell number and don't call me and I recently I enjoyed my knee. And I got probably more calls and text messages for lots from my clients than from my friends. I don't Isaac on what what can I do what can I. You know it feels nice and so it's it's that's my focus. That's that's that's where because I don't want I don't want to be taken on 10 or 100 or 200 calls a week or a month of of people kind of you know call in and just kind of said Who are you.

Vahan Yepremyan: Who are you and are you gonna do this how you gonna do that. I'd rather spend that time on on somebody who's been referred to me who comes in with already a certain level of trust kind of just come to check it out and that's what for me so far. Again sometimes when you judge only relied on word of mouth it's a double edged sword because it's hard to control the growth and scaling because you know if you're doing paperclip. Yeah and you know your ratio as your conversion rates and you know you're spending 10 bucks and you're getting this much you could spend 20 bucks you get this much and and all that stuff it's easier to to kind of build your business up that way. For me it has come from very early on. Gone to a point where I have more than enough. I know again I've moved offices several times and I'm now outgrowing I've been in my dislocation for five years. And within this five years I took over I had a film company space on the third floor and my law firm was on the second floor I in the last five years I kicked myself out as a film company from the third floor and my love for pickles in the third floor. And now I'm looking for September to move to a new space because we've grown and saw as we grow we obviously hire new people and specialists and and grow that way. But growth hasn't been a challenge I think for me it's it's figuring out figuring out exactly as you know clients change the nature of changes the industry change and so they face certain different challenges as as you know with technology and everything else you know.

Vahan Yepremyan: For me the challenges. How do what it does how does that affect my services to them and their needs from me. And yeah I. You're right. I'm not huge on on paper clique or ACL and that doesn't mean next year or five years from now I won't be. If I start getting referrals but so far so good. You know I and I constantly ask you know my my growth oriented clients once a year I sit down with them and we'll talk about growth. We talk about where you want to be. And it's interesting because you know just talking about personal growth and limiting beliefs and mindset you know some of them say well yeah I'd love to but you know I can't do it you know and then when you start talking like well why can't you do it. And well because of a b and c and then we'll address I go Well this could be done this. Oh maybe I could do it and then look all of sudden instead of getting a whole new client within my client it's as good as getting our new client because now we're talking about expansion and new locations and new staff and new a whole new file and to work on. And so yeah that's that's that's been the path so far and I have a lot of colleagues who swear my paper clip and it works for them as well it

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Vahan Yepremyan: Just for me I know this this has been my part so far.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah I'll be getting enough leads and referrals from your referrals to grow at the rate that you're

Vahan Yepremyan: Right.

Malcolm Lui: Happy with and there's no

Vahan Yepremyan: Right.

Malcolm Lui: Need to add more to the mix a three. Last question for you on.

Vahan Yepremyan: Of course

Malcolm Lui: Say you decide to have a billboard along. I'm not sure which freeway you would have it on because it L.A. area. They don't

Vahan Yepremyan: Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: Kind of move but say you know in the dead of night when traffic is moving. Now you had a billboard showing people don't you have six seconds to see your billboard as a drive by. What is your six second billboard message.

Vahan Yepremyan: Interesting. Good question. I think a lot of attorneys make a mistake of trying to sell themselves rather than focusing on the client's needs and what their pain points are and how we could solve that problem rather than on this and that and I've been around for 20 years I've won this award. It's no one I think to communicate that they matter that each client matters and that we could solve their problems so if it's you know depending on what type of area of light went out of their business you know it's it's you know maybe a dress that were to go on I don't know if I can come up with the phrase but I think it would have to be an approach that lets the client know that there are a focus and and whatever the pain point is we will address that and address solution rather than sell a service.

Malcolm Lui: All right. So maybe your billboard is solutions not service

Vahan Yepremyan: Yeah yeah

Malcolm Lui: Or something like that

Vahan Yepremyan: Yeah exactly.

Malcolm Lui: All right

Vahan Yepremyan: Likely no legal solutions for an entrepreneur or an entrepreneur. And some something that you know also mentions that that you know they matter and each one of a matter because you know a lot of times these clients come in and and you know we get sometimes clients from other attorneys where they feel like one there's not enough communication and second they feel like they're just the number a file

Malcolm Lui: Yeah yeah.

Vahan Yepremyan: And that's terrible because that that's the last thing you want your client to feel like you know. Each one is as is a person and has a family and has employees and challenges and dreams and and more you understand that better service provider you'll be whether it's

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Vahan Yepremyan: Legal or tax or anything.

Malcolm Lui: Right. You're not just a file

Vahan Yepremyan: You

Malcolm Lui: At.

Vahan Yepremyan: Know just to file

Malcolm Lui: You're not

Vahan Yepremyan: An

Malcolm Lui: Just a file on your premium

Vahan Yepremyan: There you go. There you

Malcolm Lui: Firm

Vahan Yepremyan: Go.

Malcolm Lui: Or something

Vahan Yepremyan: There

Malcolm Lui: Like

Vahan Yepremyan: You

Malcolm Lui: That.

Vahan Yepremyan: Go. Yeah. Yeah exactly.

Malcolm Lui: Okay.

Vahan Yepremyan: Exactly.

Malcolm Lui: Last of questions Who are your ideal clients and what's the best way for them to contact your company.

Vahan Yepremyan: My ideal client is an entrepreneur or a business person. Whether it's there at the start of their business entrepreneurial journey where they're about to buy or launch their initial business and they have no idea about how to start it will walk them through each step of their hands and walk through there. Are initial kind of a process and help them navigate it and then as as well as businesses who have been around who are now focusing on growth and scaling which is another strength of ours. How do we know this through licensing is through more applications is it through or sales is still going international. Is it going national. And so ideal client is an entrepreneur who needs one kind of initial full spectrum services as well as somebody who has started a company that needs help kind of getting to the next level. And how do I get to the next level. Right now I need to get an investor or do I know I get a partner or do I you know like buying emerging other business right. And so you know will sit down and give them the different options and then as they start finding them we also provide due diligence. You know let's say if you want to buy a business will do the due diligence for them and we'll bring in a tax and finance consultant as well and will do the background checks and paperwork and contracts and legal and tax and everything else so they know what they're getting into.

Malcolm Lui: And what's the best way for them to contact you and your team.

Vahan Yepremyan: Email Phone number where we've come a website that will actually be doing our website so there is kind of a temporary place on the web website there that I'm not crazy about but within the next couple of weeks we'll have our new Web site up it's our marketing teams working on it but email or phone call and I'll personally talk to them initially are going to be talking or dealing with my paralegals or assistants because I want to understand who they are and what they need before they waste time or my staff kind of setting up appointments we can ask like hey this is what you need. Yes I think we can help you and then we'll set up an initial free consultation as I mentioned whether it's over the phone or in person. And we also do free review of their documentation and a lot of clients already have a corporation or an LLC that they've set up online or or through a bookkeeper or something that doesn't have all the required documentation all the required filings all the required things in there. So they'll come in and and and we encourage let's say you when you come in and a free consultation you get a free analysis of your corporate book and we'll tell you what's missing whether you're in obligation to have us do it. But at this you'll know that these things are missing. And so it's informational it's educational for them and then hopefully there is enough connection and and trust dot that that want to stay with us and have us help them with

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Vahan Yepremyan: The process.

Malcolm Lui: So what is your web address

Vahan Yepremyan: So it's WWE the way that DUI law from dot com. So there's indicator Y is in yellow. L a W F I m not com

Malcolm Lui: And if

Vahan Yepremyan: From

Malcolm Lui: So what

Vahan Yepremyan: The

Malcolm Lui: To email you what e-mail address should the

Vahan Yepremyan: They can email me directly at Von V a h a n at the Y lo from dot com

Malcolm Lui: All right. And

Vahan Yepremyan: They

Malcolm Lui: Lastly you mentioned they can call you as well. So what number to

Vahan Yepremyan: Yes

Malcolm Lui: Date

Vahan Yepremyan: They can call that 8 1 8 5 7 4 5 5 4 4

Malcolm Lui: All right. Awesome. It's been awesome having you on my show today. I really enjoyed

Vahan Yepremyan: Thank

Malcolm Lui: Hearing

Vahan Yepremyan: You so

Malcolm Lui: How you

Vahan Yepremyan: Much. I really appreciate the opportunity to kind of get my message out there.

Malcolm Lui: And I really enjoyed hearing how you grew your business so fast as well.

Vahan Yepremyan: Thank you Malcolm.

Malcolm Lui: We've been speaking with Vahan Yepremyan, the Managing Partner of Yepremyan Law Firm, about his company's rapid growth. For interviews with other fast growing, high value sales companies, or to learn how we can accelerate your firm's high value sales through automation, visit

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