What is your full name, title, and business name?
Joseph A. Nigh, Owner, The Nigh Law Group LLC
Follow the Nigh Law Group on Social: Facebook
Give us a summary of your business in 200 words or less.
The Nigh Law Group is a Central Ohio law firm with attorneys who handle cases throughout Ohio. We focus our practice on family law in the areas of divorce–including high asset divorces and divorces where one or both spouses have business ownership or interests, dissolutions, child custody, spousal and child support, adoptions, and guardianships.
How did the idea for your business come about?
I was a partner in another central Ohio law firm, and when that firm split into four separate firms, I took two attorneys and two staff members with me and formed The Nigh Law Group.
What was the turning point for your business? Was there a moment you knew you had something special?
Even before we started I knew we had something special. The employees that came with me were top notch, and we had all worked together for several years. Our bond and the experience we had working together made the transition into starting the Nigh Law Group and continuing to provide quality representation rather painless.
What does it mean to you to be an entrepreneur and business owner?
I take a lot of pride in being a business owner. It is certainly a lot of work but each day is rewarding. Having a business that focuses on the practice of family law allows us to spend our days helping clients through some of the most difficult times in their lives and make decisions that a major impact for them, in both the short and long term.
What does the city of Columbus mean to your business?
The City of Columbus is a great place to have a business. That is especially true in the practice of law. In contrast with smaller cities, Columbus has a lot of attorneys and law firms of various sizes who practice in a variety of areas of law. Attorneys in Columbus have the opportunity to handle cases with a variety of different attorneys/law firms as opposed to smaller counties where attorneys often find themselves handling cases with the same handful of attorneys again and again. Attorneys in Columbus also have the opportunity to learn from and/or be mentored by some amazing attorneys with significant experience and abilities.
Are you from Columbus? If not, please explain what brought you to here and ultimately what made you stay.
I am originally from Bucyrus. I came to Columbus to attend The Ohio State University and stayed. I still love Bucyrus but the economy, culture, and opportunity in Columbus is much greater. For me, after moving to and experiencing Columbus, it’s hard to leave.
What’s the number one piece of advice you’d give to anyone wanting to start a business?
No matter how much work you think starting a business is going to be, it is going to be more work than you planned. I think that being organized is key and being able to adapt because no matter what you plan for, something (or many things) will not go how you have planned.
What do you wish you knew about entrepreneurship before starting your business?
Luckily, I was able to watch my father and uncle run a family business that my grandfather started. I was able to see first hand a daily snapshot of what entrepreneurship entailed. As I said earlier, even knowing that, I wish I could have better appreciated how much more work than I anticipated (and I anticipated a lot!) business ownership would be.
What’s the most challenging part of your business (i.e, what keeps you up at night)?
Deadlines. The practice of law is filled with deadlines, especially when you are a firm that primarily handles litigation cases in court like we do. We have to make sure we are meeting deadlines in all of our cases. The court has deadlines but for us but so do our clients. Keeping on top of them is a constant battle that comes with the territory.
Every business owner has a flaw. What’s yours?
Delegation. I am bad about delegating work. Even when I do, I have a difficult time not keeping my hands in projects. I am very particular about work and have certain ways I want things done. I am bad about making sure things are done how and when I want them, even if those demands are well above what would be required to effectively complete a task.
Why do you think most business owners fail? What has made you different?
I think that behind any successful business is a group of hard working individuals that have to be committed to the greater goal. I am fortunate to work with some very talented individuals who are committed to our firm and to going above and beyond for our clients–which is not the case for all business owners.
What was you biggest mistake and what did it cost you?
Underestimating how quickly we would grow. We knew we were very busy when we opened but we felt we had a team in place that could handle the caseload we had. We did, but what we did not anticipate, was how quickly the practice would grow.
What tool has helped you the most for your business (invoicing, accounting, shipping, plugin for website, etc.)?
Subcontracting bookkeeping. Running a business is extremely time consuming. In a law practice, the business owner has to perform the necessary tasks that all business owners do, while in addition to spending a majority of the time working for clients, appearing in court, etc. Having an outside agency handle bookkeeping allows me to stay organized and delegate a task that would greatly impact my availability for clients if I didn’t have it.
When did you know it was time to expand your business, make your first hire, etc.?
Pretty soon after we formed I knew that our caseload was such that we needed to hire more attorneys. In order to continue to be available for our current clients, as well as to take on new ones, we had to bring in additional attorneys to our staff.
What form of marketing is the most valuable for you?
Word of mouth. Most of our clients are referred to us from prior clients or other attorneys. A personal referral is a great compliment. People tend to rely on these types of referrals to find an attorney because they want someone they can trust and they know has helped someone through something similar to with what they are going through.
Who do you vent to when you have a business problem?
Other attorneys and my wife. Finding someone who understands your problem and has dealt with it before is invaluable. I think all businesses have problems that are unique to their business type and the practice of law is no different. My wife also helps because she offers me a different perspective and a practical approach to dealing with a problem in a way I might not have already considered.
Where do you see your business in the next 10 years?
I hope to see our business continue to provide quality legal counsel to individuals with family law issues. If we need to grow to continue to be effective for our clients I want to be ready, willing, and able to do so.
What other entrepreneur do you look up to most?
My father. He has been dedicated to the success of his business and to his employees and customers for close to 50 years. Success like that comes from a lot of hard work and commitment to treating your employees and customers right.
If you had to tell a visitor one thing to do/see/eat in Columbus, what would it be?
I don’t think you can pick just one. There are a lot of great things to do and places to eat. I am diehard CBJ fan so, if I had to pick one, I would say to attend a Blue Jackets game at Nationwide Arena.