Coffee with an Entrepreneur- Joseph Fournier
Joseph Fournier, CEO and Founder of Fournier Legal Services LLP, provided students and members of the Hamden community with an insight of his entrepreneurial journey. Fournier began his career as an accountant at PwC. After a couple of years working for the firm, Fournier switched careers and headed to law school to begin his journey as a lawyer. His first job as a lawyer provided him with a challenging experience with trying to balance professionalism and social relationships as his employer shrunk from 500 employees to only 20 within a short period of time.
Fournier moved on from here and began practicing law in Connecticut for number of years. With this new job, there was not the work life balance that Fournier craved, especially with having a wife and four young children running around. This was seen as rough patch in his life, and it was a matter of how he was going to be able to bounce back from this challenging period. This is where he made the brave decision to begin his own business.
This was a huge challenge as he was not completely sure of how everything was going to fall into place, but he had the confidence and belief in himself for this venture to be successful. Fournier was able to share some of his experiences and pass on his knowledge.
· Work on the Business, not in the business.
When entrepreneurs have the ability to take a step back and look at the business, they are able to help drive the business where they want it to go. If an owner is working in it, they will be too immersed in it and not see the big picture. Mom and Pop shops looking to expand should look to build systems, and manuals to ensure that operations at other locations continue to represent the brand name.
· Networking and social media
Networking is key to success. Building relationships will assist in the future when trying to expand your brand name and image. This can be done through platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. Social media is a powerful thing and can extend your reach on the market. Everyone that you interact with is a potential client.
· Use a Board of Advisors
This can be either formal or informal. These people need to be candid and not sugar coat things. As an entrepreneur this positive criticism will be extremely valuable in moving the business forward. These people will also have experiences outside of your own which will provide insights to different aspects of business and life.
It was a pleasure having Mr. Fournier at Whitney Cultural Commons for an interactive discussion which was a beneficial event for all those who attended. The next Coffee with an Entrepreneur will be on Wednesday March 1 at the Quinnipiac Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.