Biz Diaries: Sprout Law

 
Nicole Swartz

Welcome to Biz Diaries!

We’re going behind the scenes of women-owned businesses. One at a time.

Today, I’m sharing my diary!


Your Name: Nicole Swartz

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Your Business Name: Sprout Law, The Sprout Society

Business Website: www.sproutlaw.com, www.thesproutsociety.com

Business Social Media: @sproutlaw, @thesproutsociety

Describe your business in a sentence

Sprout Law is a law firm for women.

The Sprout Society is a community for women entrepreneurs.

What’s the best business advice you’ve received?

It’s a long ride. Take care of yourself.

What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your business?

That we’re all feeling the same things: scared, like we don’t belong here, like we don’t know what we’re doing. These are all normal. And they’re a struggle everyday.

Tell us about your journey to start the company

It started as a skincare business! I was waiting to pass the bar exam to practice law, and I started a skincare business as my side hustle. We started wholesaling, attending tradeshows, receiving press + celebrity attention. Pretty soon, it turned into an international company.

As I was running that company, I met a lot of other women business owners. We’d get together for coffee and to chat about our companies. And I naturally became the attorney for all my friends who were running businesses.

I realized I loved that a lot more than the skincare business, so I sold it and started a law firm for women, Sprout Law.

I recently started a second company, The Sprout Society, to help with the business side as well.

What is your company’s mission?

We want women to be the new face of business. So when you google image “business”, you actually see women in the images. Imagine that!

Tell us about your work day!

I usually work from my home office with my 2 dogs.

I’m also a member of the Wing. It’s a co-working space in Los Angeles that’s opening soon, so I’ll be working from there as well.

How many employees do you have and what are their roles?

Right now, we have 2 other people working in the companies. We’re in the process of hiring more next month.

We have a virtual assistant who helps schedule our content, like podcasts, videos, social media, etc.

And we have an attorney who helps with our legal clients.

What legal steps do you take to protect the business?

As many as possible.

I’ll be the first one to say that I don’t think every legal step is necessary from day one. When you’re running a business, sometimes it’s a better use of your resources to put that money elsewhere.

BUT there are some that are super important. Your formation, trademarks, and contracts. I definitely learned the hard way. We actually had to rebrand our skincare business because someone else filed the trademark for it. Lesson learned!

Now, we have LLCs. We have two trademarks for our brands. We use client agreements for our legal work. And we use a website terms + conditions that’s specifically for attorneys.

What’s your biggest business expense?

Training. I spend time + money on things that I need to learn for my business.

This quarter it’s Courses. Facebook ads. Pinterest.

What’s your favorite accomplishment from the past year?

Starting a YouTube channel. It’s not as high-profile as all the speaking engagements that I do, but it’s something that really scares me. I put it off for a long time because I didn’t want to be on video. I only have like three videos right now, but I’m proud of myself for doing it anyway.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the past year?

We didn’t have a system in place for hiring. It meant people were coming to me more often and I had more on my plate, instead of making my life easier. That prevented things from moving smoothly.

What’s next for the business?

We’re focusing on creating more business resources, like courses and downloads. We have one coming up on how to start a profitable business!

Share your favorite business resource: conferences, podcasts, books

The Smart Passive Income podcast with Pay Flynn has so many resources. It helped me start a podcast, setup email funnels, etc. They’re always my first stop when I want to learn more about something.

The Alt Oasis conference is so packed with resources for women owned businesses. I’m speaking on trademarks + copyrights this year, but I’d be going anyway because of how many great sessions they have.