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Example Letter #1
When you asked my advice on your decision to take on a partner, I knew you were in a tough spot. My own first partnership became a positive experience, but it took some special care. It is, I think, a good move to take John on as full partner. However you must be meticulous in spelling out the terms of the partnership from the outset. In addition, take care to include John in all decisions, even those you would routinely make alone. This is especially important in the beginning.
I have had problems due to mistakes in both of these areas, so I know that the extra care will pay off. Of course you've worked very closely with John, and are probably a better judge of these things than I. I have no doubt that you will forge a successful partnership, should you choose to do it.
Example Letter #2
As an attorney and a long-time friend of your parents, I am pleased that you would turn to me for legal counsel. I am also pleased to say that you really don't need my services. There is no reason why you cannot handle this in small claims court. If you follow my suggestions below and attend the hearing, you will surely be able to settle your claim with a minimal filing fee.
First, call or stop by your county court house and pick up an application for a hearing of your claim at the small claims court. Then tell the judge the story you told me about purchasing rugs that were misrepresented as Persian. Show your purchase receipt and the advertisement, along with the rug expert's appraisal, which clearly identifies the rugs as made in India and not Iran.
This direct experience with our judicial system will not only save you attorney fees, but will most likely be decided in your favor. I believe this experience will prove to be a rewarding one.
Example Letter #3
You asked my advice about establishing a profit sharing plan in your business. I think such a plan might be a good option for you. Before you implement one, however, you should consider a few things:
Once you have answered these questions, I think you will know whether a profit sharing plan makes sense for you. You may find that there are simpler, more effective methods to achieve the same results. You will probably have other questions as you answer the ones I just posed. Call me if you think I can help you further.
Example Letter #4
Since you asked for my opinion regarding whether you should go into business for yourself, let me share with you my experience. I opened my business when I was about your age, and I remember what a difficult decision it was for me.
Working for yourself has both pros and cons. On the one hand, you are your own boss and can set your own schedule and do things the way you want to. On the other hand, you will work much longer hours in your own business than you would for any employer, and if you make a mistake, there is no one else to blame. Although you have the opportunity for greater financial success if you work for yourself, the risks you take are also much greater.
While I have personally found great success and satisfaction running my own business, I know it isn't for everyone. I suggest that you continue to ask advice from other successful business owners and do careful research on the specific type of business you are considering. With your willingness to work hard and your unique ability I am sure that you will find success, whatever your endeavor. Good luck to you, and please feel free to consult me if I can be of further assistance.
Keep your language simple. Do not assume your reader knows all the jargon of your profession. Also, in our litigious society, giving professional advice may backfire despite your good intentions. Take precautions. Be sure your advice is professionally defensible. Consider including outside references or another person's opinions to reinforce your advice as well as protect yourself. Keep a copy of your letter and send one to any third party you think should have it.
1 Explain why you are writing (you were asked to by your reader, etc.)
2 Give your advice.
3 Include any reasons, evidence, or explanations that support your stand.
4 Include a disclaimer.
5 Close with a statement that will encourage the reader.