Kelly Bagla, Esq. is a highly successful professional and entrepreneur. As an attorney, she is considered the Queen of Business Law and has been shattering glass ceilings for 16 years. She is a dynamic powerhouse with an amazing business and professional track record of success. Kelly is the founder of three successful businesses, as well as a best-selling author of Go Legal Yourself.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Kelly Bagla and here’s what went down:
Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?
I knew at the age of 5 that I wanted to be an attorney. I became the first attorney in my family and started my legal career with the largest international law firm in the world. Working for that law firm and learning from some of the brilliant legal minds, definitely allowed me not only to sharpen my wits and become a top attorney well versed in the law but particularly well versed in many areas of legal specialty. Due to the knowledge and experience I gained at being at one of the largest law firms, it allowed me to start my own law firm. Today, Bagla Law Firm, APC., is a successful firm that helps hundreds of business owners with setting up their business for success. I am the creator of the Business Legal Lifecycle® and the author of, “Go Legal Yourself!” which is specifically written for business owners, showing them how to legally protect their business in every phase, be it startup, to growth, or established to exit.
Can you describe your journey to success? When did you start? Did you ever imagine you would become this successful?
Following my passion has been the secret to my success. All I ever wanted to be was an attorney but not just an attorney, one of the best that made a difference to her clients. Attorneys have such a bad reputation that I knew I wanted to be the attorney people wanted to call. I provide hands-on service and I actually care about the success of my clients. Repeating this service and always providing solutions became constant at my firm and before I knew it, my clients were referring me to their family, friends, and associates. It took me 5 years to climb the ladder of success and become a trusted name in law. My clients affectionately refer to me as the “Queen of Business Law” and I wear that title with pride. I have also been recognized as one of the Top Women Entrepreneur, by LA Dreams magazine.
What is your main source of income?
As a successful business owner, you are always thinking outside the box and therefore, always thinking about another way to make money. I, too have created other revenue channels and some of these revenue sources are my law firm, my Go Legal Yourself business, my book sales, my speaking events, and the royalty stream I receive from my invention.
What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?
You never give up or stay stagnate in your business. I constantly think about ways to make my clients lives easier and as a result, I founded my second business called, Go Legal Yourself where I sell Startup Essentials Kits, for people that want to start their own business. Currently, they have two options, one is to get their legal documents from a law firm, which can be very expensive, or do it your self online, but the problem with that is you don’t know what you need or have the time to research. That is why Go Legal Yourself was born to provide everything a startup needs for one flat rate.
What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?
There are multiple social media platforms out there and some people think it’s important to be on all of them. As a busy business owner, you don’t have time to waste. I have found LinkedIn and Facebook to be effective when creating awareness for your brand.
What is your experience with paid advertising, like PPC or sponsored content campaigns? Does it work?
As business owners, we don’t have money to throw ways on advertising that does not work. Paid advertising can be a great tool to use but it depends on your business and your target market. Do your homework first to find out if your clients can be found by these types of campaigns.
What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware your brand and engaging your customers? How did your business stand out?
Branding is everything today because that is the only way you can stand out from your competition. My favorite quote comes from the Guru Granth Sahib: “Why blend in when you were born to stand out,” and this is how I have lived my life. Be yourself and stay consistent as this is what people remember. As an attorney, I am supposed to be conservative, dress in a plain suite, have a traditional plain name and logo for my firm. Well, these are things you will never see me follow. I stand out because I have branded myself as the “Queen of business Law” with a memorable logo, and clients love to see things that are not traditional or boring. Clients are more likely to connect with someone that is genuine rather than someone that blends in.
What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?
The only true form of marketing that has worked well for me is being consistent with my services. By providing excellent service and treating each client as if they are your only client goes a long way. Your clients become your marketing tools and word of mouth is the highest form of marketing any business owner should thrive towards.
How did your brand stand out from the rest of the other brands out there that is similar to your niche?
I can honestly say that there is no other attorney that is marketing themselves like me. I have always looked outside the box or created my own box when it came to competing with my competition. There is a certain level of risk involved in making decisions that are not your industry standard, but that’s why not everyone can own their own law firm or start their own business. Don’t follow your competition, create your own path to greatness.
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
Running a successful business requires you to make difficult decisions and one of those decisions is to hire the right people. When it comes to hiring make sure you hire slow and fire fast because having someone on the team that is not a team player can be draining on your business. You should always look for people who believe in your brand and are willing to represent it willingly.
What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?
Be wise with your money when first starting out. You are going to need a lot of things for your new business but make sure you prioritize. I made the mistake of hiring people before revenues started to flow in and I was constantly dipping into my savings to pay for them. Never hire anyone if they cannot produce is the lesson I learned.
What have you learned in the process of becoming wealthy that others can learn from?
Rome was not built in a day, neither will your business. If you are determined to become successful stay true to you, your brand and your customers, the rest will follow. Never give up on your dreams as others will tell you that it’s a bad idea or it will never work or there is too much competition. Love the competition as it says there is a need for your services or products.
What new business would you love to start?
I have a very creative side to me and I have taken full advantage by putting it into practice. The second business I have started is called Go Legal Yourself, as my passion is truly to help entrepreneurs succeed and by providing them the right legal tools to start their business I’m helping them lay a solid legal foundation from where they can build their business.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
I have been practicing business law for over 16 years now and I have had my own law firm for 8 years. As any business owner would relate to, when we first start out, we make mistakes because we didn’t know any better. But if I had the chance to do it differently I would use my time wisely in connection with networking and joining organizations. I would also have saved enough money to spend on marketing and created by the brand earlier. As the saying goes, better late than never.
Do you have any favorite business-related or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?
As business owners, it is critical to continue to gain knowledge so you can always be redeveloping yourself and becoming better than the day before. The best way to do this is to read a few easy books that are geared towards helping you become a more knowledgeable business owner. Here are a few of my favorites: The Birth of a Band. Launching your Entrepreneurial Passion and Soul, by Brian Smith, How to Win Friends & Influence People, by Dale Carnegie, Make Your Bed. Little things that can change your life …and maybe the world, by Admiral William H. McRaven, and Go Legal Yourself, by Kelly Bagla, Esq. I would be remised if I did not mention my upcoming book called “Go Own Yourself,” which will be available on Amazon in June 2018.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
The best advice I have ever been given was by my father – If you want something, make sure you want it from your heart, otherwise, don’t bother. I have lived my life by these words and that is what has lead me to success.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
Before you consider starting your own business make sure you have a business plan, which addresses questions such as, what kind of business do you want? where are you going to find your clients? how are you going to market your products or services? and the biggest question you need to answer is: how much money are you going to need for the first year? Remember to stay true to yourself and go get it with your heart!