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Ron Sweet grew up in an entrepreneurial household in Northeast Missouri. His family farmed, and his father also ran a crane service and construction business- both being full-time jobs. Today Ron is an entrepreneur, and through his law firm he helps entrepreneurs in every stage of business.
After graduating from UMC School of law in 1994 Ron moved to Choteau, Montana, and practiced law for a year. Then in 1995, he moved back to Boone County where he has lived ever since. In 1997 Ron joined the law firm Oliver, Walker, Wilson, LLC as an associate, and became partner there in 2001. In January of 2010, despite the economic downturn, Ron decided it was time to go into business for himself. He opened an office focusing on business, commercial, and real estate law and litigation. Ron enjoys helping clients overcome obstacles they once felt were insurmountable and achieve their dreams.
You opened your firm just over a year ago, in January 2010. What do you think has been the biggest advantage of being in business for yourself?
I now make all decisions: which cases I take, who I represent, how I go about representing them, where my money is spent.
Coming from a legal background, instead of business (received your J.D. from UMC in 1994), was it difficult for you to start your own business?
No, not really. My father was a sole proprietor. I started working for him, in one way or another, when I was about 10 or 11 and he taught me a lot-mostly by example. I’ve also been representing small businesses for 15 years or so. I had some experience, knew who to go to for advice, and already had a very helpful accountant. Plus, I leaned on my friends and they came through. I’ve never been afraid to ask for directions.
What services could a lawyer provide that would be beneficial for a new business owner?
I know the law, what you need to do to comply with it, and what you don’t need to worry about. I can set up whatever business entity their accountant thinks they need, and can help them make decisions about the relationships within the business. I can advise them on operations, contracts, relationships with vendors, and customers. I can leave them free to worry about doing what they do best, while I do what I do best. And I can handle any lawsuits that might arise.
I also, though, know the areas where new businesses generally go wrong. Part of my job is to tell people things they don’t want to hear. As one of my clients put it recently- I can maybe stop them from doing something stupid as they start up. I counsel them.
What has been your most exciting moment as an entrepreneur?
Walking in the first day, seeing my name on the door, and sending out my first letter on my letterhead.
Looking ahead to 2011, your second year in business, what strategies are you going to implement to grow your firm?
I don’t have any grand plan. I just intend to do the best job I can for my clients, be available to them, keep them properly and timely advised, and put or keep the as much money as possible in their bank accounts. The rest will take care of itself.
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