Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Neil Zola, Executive Co-Chairman and Founder at JND Legal Administration:
What does your company do?
JND is a full service legal administration firm. We do all kinds of back office and processing work for law firms and Fortune 500 companies in connection with class action and mass tort administration, corporate restructuring, eDiscovery and government services programs. We are headquartered in Seattle, Washington and have seven other offices across the United States with a total of nearly 200 people working for us. We handle projects throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Israel.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I am executive co-chairman and a founder of JND. I was president of another legal administration company for 10 years. The difference between running someone else’s company and owning your own company is night and day. At JND, I am involved in the overall strategy decisions for the company, both in terms of our forward-looking plans and our day-to-day operations. I get to work with great people throughout our company at all of our different offices and I work with some of the most prominent lawyers in the country to help administer their programs. And while I enjoy many aspects of my day-to-day job requirements, the greatest satisfaction is to be able to create a build a company that offers so many people the chance to grow their careers and provide for their families.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
JND has been very successful in a very short time. While that would seem like a good thing, rapid growth is not without its challenges. For example, we are very careful about adding staff to make sure they fit into our culture, which has an entrepreneurial spirit and a hard-working, vibrant atmosphere. Finding the right people when the time pressure to build is tight can be a challenge. Similarly, managing real estate space requirements is tricky. You need to make sure you have the right amount of space not just for the moment, but also for the future, and when growth starts to outpace your plans, you need to have nimble solutions. These, of course, are good problems to have.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
There is no doubt that I would tell my younger self to be less afraid and more bold. I worked for 10 years at a law firm, where I made partner and had much job security. I then joined a company where I received another steady paycheck. Not until I turned 50 did I take the plunge myself to build something of my own. And while I have had great success in my career, I would love to go back in time and do then what I am doing now. There is no regret, however. All of my experiences led to this point in my career, so without those building blocks who knows if I would have been in as good a position to make JND successful as it is today. It would have been fun to try though.