In this ninth in a series of mini-interviews, learn more about our Threads of Success speakers and their presentations!
On Saturday, October 26, from 4:20-5:05 pm, Heather McFarlane will be presenting the seminar “Trademarks for Quilters.” On Sunday, October 27, from 4:20-5:05 pm, she’ll present “Legal and Practical Tips for Running a Successful Business.”
Why did you want to participate in the Threads of Success conference?
I am passionate about sharing my knowledge of the law with non-lawyers. Most legal problems start because someone was unaware of potential legal issues. My presentations at Threads of Success aim to place potential legal issues on the radar of business owners.
What was the biggest challenge for you in breaking into this business?
I’m not technically in the quilting business; I’m lawyer and a mediator. However, because I run my own law firm, I share many of the same issues and concerns as those in the quilting industry. One of the biggest barriers to breaking into the business is to be dedicated to the work and to recognize that owning your own business means never really being off of work.
What is the one piece of advice you wish you knew then that you do now?
Marketing is a daily discipline. It is not hard; it just takes dedication.
What is the most important thing you hope people take away from your presentations?
Don’t conduct business on hand-shake deals or assumptions: Put it in writing! Over 95% of legal troubles arise because people fail to communicate clearly. The act of memorializing your expectations provides the opportunity to clear up any misunderstanding from the start of the relationship. This applies to everyone a business owner deals with—vendors, customers, and employees.
Any other comments?
I hope that Threads of Success provides the tools to get started, or to help attendees recognize that owning a business is not for them!