Do you love Harry and Meghan as much as I do? You may think I admire their incredible style, their access to endless wealth, or all the time they spend doing charitable work, but that’s not all. I love that beneath the top hats and fascinators is one calculated dynasty.
The royals always seem to know what to do, what to say, and how to show up. They’re strategic thinkers. They’re surrounded by people who have their best interests (and images) in mind, and it shows in their poise, pouts, and purses. (Kate Middleton has the best clutches!)
They hold their tongues and exercise restraint when I’m sure they want to respond in a manner contrary to their positive brand identity.
In fact, before Meghan wed Prince Harry, she went through six months of duchess training to learn about the royal brand. She learned to walk, talk, and act like royalty. Guiding Meghan was her trusted advisor, Samantha Cohen, a former assistant private secretary to Queen Elizabeth, who worked with the royals for 17 years.
I’m sure you’re asking how the royal family connects to you and your business. Read on to learn my top three tips for building a Regal & Legal Business, inspired by our neighbors across the pond:
1. Get legal advice from trusted sources
As you’re scaling your business, you may not be able to hire an experienced advisor like Samantha Cohen, but you can get solid advice from trusted sources. You should always avoid the urge to ask for legal advice from non-legal advisors.
Online business groups (such as my own Facebook group, Revolutionary Creative with Ticora Davis) are an amazing source of support. However, even though these groups provide a wealth of knowledge for entrepreneurs, they are rarely the proper place to ask for legal advice, as many laws vary from state to state. Well-meaning individuals often end up dishing out poor, and frankly inaccurate, legal advice. You’ll be better served by asking an attorney who has experience in your specified area of concern. You cannot hold strangers accountable for bad advice, but you can hold your attorney accountable. That’s why a regal and legal business starts with a trusted advisor.
2. Protect your smarts™
Did you know the royal family takes special care to protect their brand identity? Images, books, and other connections to their brand are considered intellectual property and guarded closely.
You should treat your intellectual property the same way and reach out to an experienced trademark attorney if you developing content for your brand. For creative entrepreneurs, your intellectual property can compose 40-80% of your business’s assets, which is why unique coaching programs, products, or services should be protected. Your business’s name, tagline, online course modules, podcast content, unique inventions, and proprietary product formulas should also be registered. Obtaining a trademark will allow you to build a robust intellectual property portfolio and increase the value of your business.
3. Handle any business crisis with class
Whether it’s a royal fashion faux paus or a random clip from a conversation, a business crisis can happen to anyone when they least expect it. In the heyday of screenshots and constant miscommunication, there are several things you should do to reduce your company’s legal risk and take control of the narrative.
First, I encourage you to read and understand any contractual agreement before making a commitment. If the contract contains language you do not understand—especially when it comes to transferring ownership of any inherent rights you may have—reach out to an attorney. Being on the right side of an agreement will help you come out on top.
Next, make sure your contracts are well drafted and include all necessary provisions concerning payment, intellectual property rights, business guarantees, and the scope of services. Although verbal contracts are enforceable, a well-written contract is favored by courts and is much more difficult to dispute, especially after all parties have signed it.
Finally, ensure you have a strong social media policy in place. If someone on your team handles customer communications, make sure they know how to appropriately respond to common inquiries and concerns. And if you’re facing a crisis, develop an immediate public response strategy in order to minimize damage to your business’s reputation and avoid a financial fallout.
We may not have the horse-drawn carriages and pedigree of the royal family, but we can still have regal and legal businesses.