Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How to Avoid Filing a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy if You're a Baseball Team Called The Dodgers

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than smart.

If your business is in a strip center and the city tears up the street right in front of the only entrance to the center, you may well need the services of a bankruptcy lawyer, even if you're doing everything else right.

And if you're a Major League Baseball Team and you have a three-billion dollar contract over a number of years, you absolutely don't need to file a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

Unless, of course, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig refuses to let you enter into the three-billion dollar contract that will bail you out and make you a happy, healthy Dodgers.

So remember, kiddies; it's better to be lucky than smart. And you need to work to find solutions to your problems, but sometimes a Commissioner is going to be standing in your way, and then it's not Miller Time. 

It's bankruptcy time.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A New Anti-Bankruptcy Planning Technique: Fasting!

The City Counsel of Harrisburg believes in bankruptcy as a solution to that city's economic woes.

The Mayor of Harrisburg apparently has a belief in a different sort of non-bankruptcy option: fasting!

You can read more about fasting as a bankruptcy alternative here.

Note: normally, I think of fasting as a way to lose weight and improve your health, not avoid a bankruptcy. But it takes all kinds to fill the freeways!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What's the Best Blogging Software or Platform If I'm a Small Business?

I have a little blog where I talk to poor, depressed lawyers about ways to make their practices work a little better; for instance, by helping them to develop an online presence for free or close to My Favorite Price.

And as I've learned more, I've written more about the differences between blogging platforms. While this discussion was written initially for lawyers, there's no reason that actual people can't benefit from it, too!

So enjoy, and I hope your business volume goes up, and that you don't need to file a bankruptcy for your business, or personally!

p.s. at this point, for small business owners who are not at all computer literate, I tend to like TypePad as a blogging solution; it can provide a combo website/blog for about $15 per month, and requires essentially no technological savvy. Have your Geek Buddies help you "map around" the TypePad domain they give you for free, and map to the cool owned-by-you domain name you'll buy from GoDaddy or some such vendor. If you're starving and just want a site that's free to get started blogging, you can start with free TypePad.com, this platform (Blogger), or the free version of WordPress at WordPress.com. If you use a free version of any blogging platform, you'll probably want to pay a bit extra, even if the basic service is free, to suppress advertising on your blog.

If you're a technologically savvy kinda guy, I suggest self-hosted WordPress. But the idea of self-hosting and self-designing and self-troubleshooting strikes me as overwhelming unless you're a technoguy; but if you are, it's a very powerful and rich program for blogging.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Top Ten Business Bankruptcy Avoidance Articles!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

And If You Can't Avoid a Business Bankruptcy, Well...

If you can't avoid a business bankruptcy for this business, you'll probably want to learn as much about bankruptcy as you can.

Feel free to start with my bankruptcy blog, and here's a sample platter of the top ten bankruptcy articles from one of my Bankruptcy Blogs!


Top Ten Bankruptcy Articles This Week in my Other Blog!

Monday, April 25, 2011

More Lessons on Avoiding Bankruptcy; This Time from the BuzzMachine!

There's a smart guy named Jeff Jarvis, and he wrote a very insightful piece for newpapers, trying to help them avoid the need for a bankruptcy lawyer!

While Mr. Jarvis' valuable advice is directed particularly at newspapers, that advice is relevant to any number of other industries.

Which include law. And medicine. And probably whatever your business may be.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

How to Blog to Attract All the Customers on Planet Earth. Seriously.

I have a little blog where I try to help baby lawyers (for whom there are no jobs during this depression, and them stuck with huge student loans!) and grownup lawyers who were pushed off the top of their high-rise office because their partners couldn't carry an international widget transaction lawyer when there was a depression and nobody was transacting widgets!

And I just wrote about blogging, and how to blog.

Even though I wrote it for lawyers, it has application if you're a chiropractor, a dentist, or an accountant who is blogging to improve your business prospects.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Free Marketing Opportunity for Very Small Business!

There's an interesting and free new site called About.me.

It provides a landing page and an email button and an easy way to list all the website locations that discuss your small business, including your blogs and websites.

Since it seems to me that having an additional website is probably good for entrepreneurs, AND the site is free, have at it!

And better go sooner rather than later, before the guy with all the tattoos and facial piercings with whom you share a name fills up the ecological niche!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Did You Know that there Were Social Media Search Engines?

Apparently, there are search engines that are targeted primarily at social media.

Who woulda thunk it?

Mind you, without content, nothing you do on the internet will work very well, because content is king.

If, however, you are able to generate helpful content in your field, it's useful to be able to use the social media to help distribute that content.

You heard it here first! Okay, second.

Well, you heard it here, anyway.

Apparently, If You Do What I Did, You'll Get What I Got. Go for It!

The purpose of this blog is to help folks who have a little mom and pop business avoid needing to file a bankruptcy.

It's also designed to provide a little help for folks who filed a bankruptcy, and who want to build a little business to provide beanie weanie for the family.

Apparently, something that I have done in terms of Internet Marketing works fairly well, because this week, I am Number One in profile views on Martindale.com.

So, hopefully, if you do what I did, you'll get good results, too! No guarantees, of course.

Here's the page on Martindale that surprised even me! You'll see the Visibility Index if you scroll down.

Joseph C. McDaniel

  - Lawyer Profile

Joseph C. McDaniel: Lawyer with Joseph C. McDaniel, P.C.

Joseph C. McDaniel      

Joseph C. McDaniel is a Former Chair, Arizona State Bar Bankruptcy Section, and a Former Chair of the ABA Bankruptcy Committee for the GPS; rated AVVO 10, and Peer-Review rated AV, he is board-certified in Bankruptcy Law by the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. At this time, his practice focuses primarily on debtor representation, ranging from simple to complex, including Chapter 7, 13, 12, and 11 cases.
Joseph C. McDaniel, P.C.
6245 N. 24th Parkway, Suite 112
Phoenix, Arizona  85016
(Maricopa Co.)

Telephone: 602-297-3025
Fax: 623-321-1562

Profile Visibility
#1 in weekly profile views out of 7,210 lawyers in Phoenix, Arizona
#1 in weekly profile views out of 1,142,079 total lawyers Overall

p.s. Note: nobody is going to stay Number One for any period of time, because the numbers ebb and flow. For instance, my MVR today is #15 in Phoenix, and #455 overall in the United States. Still, for a tiny law firm with no particular advertising budget, that's not bad, you know?  

p.p.s. and today, on the last day of 2010, my MVI, which goes up and down like barometric pressures, showed up as 

Profile Visibility
#3 in weekly profile views out of 8,183 lawyers in Phoenix, Arizona
#108 in weekly profile views out of 1,383,659 total lawyers Overall     
Featured AV Peer Review Rated Lawyer Icon

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

If You HAVE to File, Is There Life After Bankruptcy?

Recently a client sent me a lovely email discussing how well things had worked for them a short time after they had filed a bankruptcy.

This is not to say that bankruptcy is a cure-all for what ails ya, or that it's fun, or easy. It's not.

But sometimes it's the right tool for the job.

So if you're scared to death about bankruptcy, good! You're paying attention!

But some people get a very good result, if they work hard after they file.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Bankruptcy Video Blog Makes Me So Happy!

The search engines have not yet found my Bankruptcy Video Blog, and I know that because when I search for it, it doesn't exist.

Soon it will begin it's relentless climb to the top of the charts, or something like that. And feel free to study my videos, so they help you build better videos for your business, whatever it may be.

But if the search engines have not yet found The Bankruptcy Video Blog, why am I so pleased with it?

Because it has spotlights!

Do you have any idea how long it takes to find a marginally okay background for a blog?

p.s. Okay, now the search engines have found my little tiny bankruptcy video blog. And now my Saturday project is making sure that all the rest of the videos we've shot go in there. And then schedule shooting more videos.

Working to educate the best bankruptcy clients in Arizona takes a remarkable amount of time; it's not that anybody is dumb, it's just that there's a lot to learn about consumer and small business bankruptcy.

Sadly, bankruptcy is really not like tax law; you can't just hand a big box of papers over to your lawyer and run. You have to participate in the process, which may be a one to four year process, after the bankruptcy filing happens!

And that's in a Chapter 7, the easy kind of bankruptcy!

And that means bankruptcy education, so you don't make any one of the fatal bankruptcy errors.

Like filing it right now, instead of filing it right.

And, yeah, I am obsessive. But only a little!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

There's Always Something! Google Places is Free! Sort of. Except.

By now you have figured out that Google is a harsh mistress.

She requires constant attention.

You must send her constant supplies of chocolate, flowers, and dinner invitations.

Otherwise you could be banished to the North Forty.

Recently there were interesting changes in Google's desires.

I have explored them, and will report.

In specific, there are little "tags" that you can use in an attempt to get folks look at your Google Places entry.

It won't make you show up higher in the Google Places Sweepstakes.

It may or may not make a customer or client more likely to click on your listing.

On the other hand, the cost for the moment is $25 per month.

And you can use statistics built into Google to see what changes in performance your tag generates.

So I'm gonna take a chance, and if it works to improve the performance of my Google Places listing, I'll let you know!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Don't Be Invisible On the Internet! You aren't Casper! You Need to Eat!

So here's my evil plan.

I'm going to talk to a bunch of my friends, who are either handymen, or restaurant owners, or chiropractors, or computer repairmen, or investment advisers.

And they all have one thing in common.

They are all invisible.

Not in person. They're fairly opaque, in person. Most of 'em. But on the Internet, they are simply invisible, because they have no presence at all.

Now, I've been reasonably successful in developing an Internet presence, and I've gotten great information from folks like Jay Fleischman, Stephen Fairley, and my Findlaw Rep, Alex Morris.

But I need something simple, that will let a little tiny business with zero advertising budget develop an Internet presence, because if my buddies don't market on the Internet, they will work for somebody who does.

So right here and right now, I'm going to list some sites on the Internet that are great free marketing resources, like Blogger and Word Press, along with their little tutorials.

And I'm going to list some sites that a small business simply must use (even if they use the sites poorly), in order to put a big sign on the Internet that says, "We Make Really Good Lemonade Here!"

And I also suggest that you check Jay Fleischman's site, Stephen Fairley's site, and the great blog maintained by Alex Morris. Just because they primarily help lawyers is no reason you shouldn't buy their DVDs, seminars, e-books and other resources.

So here we go in a whirlwind tour of sites that will get business to your small business (unless it doesn't; bear in mind that these sites will only help buyers find you; if the food in your restaurant is lousy, or the service is bad, that won't help. Ditto if you sell buggy whips and most people drive cars, right?).

1) Google Places. I'm cheating a little here because I'm taking you to the Google discussion of Google Places. But if you do nothing else, plug your business information into Google Places, and you won't be entirely transparent on the Internet. You'll need a free Google email account to plug your info into Google Places. But no money! And you may discover the day after you plug in your information that your business doubles. Here's my Google Places site, and it has been useful to me.

No guarantee, of course, about any of this stuff; and none of it is legal advice, of course. 

--Note: my discussion today is going to be Google-centric; it is the 800 pound gorilla in Internet Marketing; and if Google ain't happy with you, you ain't gonna be happy. But if Google loves you, you will experience joy in business.

And here is a way to Build a FREE Website, and a Blog. Because a Blog is just a website that you control, rather than a website designer, and you get to build content in your free site! There are two most-used hosting sites for your FREE Blog, and one is

2)Word Press;
3)and here is the Word Press What It Is, and How to Do It Page, to make it really easy for you!

--Blogger, which I used to build this list.
4)and here's the how to do things on Blogger VIDEO SERIES, to make it even easier!
--here's how to add something you don't know exists to something you don't have yet: a discussion of
5) Gadgets that you can add to your Blogger Blog.

Note: Yes, I am telling you to start a Blog. Start today. Build a crummy starter blog, just to get started, and don't worry. Because nobody is going to find your miserable starter blog until you start making your blog visible. Do remember, however, that whatever you put on your blog will never vanish entirely, so do not post crazy, dirty, profane, or other weirdo stuff, unless you're willing to have that identified with you when you run for office or apply for a new job. Seriously.

Now, not only is your small business currently invisible, but your brand-new blog is also pretty invisible because it's new, so it will probably be listed at the tail end of the website lists, which puts it about 26 billion down, or so. Over time, with work, it will drift up in the Blogosphere, and you will have clients who visit you because they like what you put on your blog!

Why will your blog be visible over time? Well, because you will submit it to blog directories, where it will be published, and you will gain a viewership just because they like your stuff.

Wait until you have a buncha entries in your blog to submit it to directories, because some are a little snooty and want your blog to have some, you know, quality information. 

A list of popular blog directories includes:
6)Blog Catalog;

My personal prejudice is that you ought to submit to as many blog directories as seems like a good idea, or until you get tired; don't pay anybody anything to be placed in a directory, at least at first, because the whole point of this exercise is to develop a HUGE web presence for you or your little business with a TINY expenditure of money.

Although, as with most things, you can trade money for time, if you choose to do so.

Here I'm going to let you in on the secret of Internet Presence: Google Loves Content! And here's a 10)nice article that talks about developing the content that Google loves!

That means that if you post more stuff which is interesting, useful, entertaining, or otherwise attractive to viewers, Google will love you, and you will be happy, because Google rewards those it loves.

What is Content?
Well, original text is content. Videos are content. Pictures are content. Music is content. The spoken word, recorded, is content.

It's all content!

And you can put all of those sorts of things into your blog. And you should. In fact, you must.

And then Google will love you and reward you by putting you on Page One of Google for your relevant search terms, which is functionally similar to building a better mousetrap: customers will find you, no matter where you try to hide.


A while. So you'll need something to let customers find your restaurant or your clinic or you until your blog drifts to the top of the search engine for the search term "best blackened snapper in Toledo".


So what to do until your blog drifts to the top of the hit parade?

You need something that will direct traffic to your tiny business fast and effectively, and also build links to your blog and your website (hey, you can build a second blog to function as your website. A blog is just a website that you control and design. In fact, every single blog entry is a part of your blog, AND A FREESTANDING, SEPARATE WEBSITE!!!!!).

Sorry, I got a little excited there. 

In the meantime, you'll want to put all the information about your little business into all the free online business directories that you can track down, and especially into all the free online specialized business directories that you can find.


Note that in the past, I did guess about which directories to pay, and I guessed wrong. Which is why I'm trying to save you!

So how many free online directories do you stuff your information into?

Well, how rich do you want to be?

And how do you find the most useful free online business directories on the Internet?

Well, how about if you type this search term into Google?

11) Free Online Business Directory

What do you want to bet that the most beloved-by-Google free online business directories show up at the top, and show up, in order of love-magnitude, all over the next ten pages?

Now, you have a business, not a hypothetical business.

I know that your business is not the business of law, so I'll show you something just so you get the idea.

If you type in a search that looks like this:

12) Free Online Lawyer Directory

You will see a bunch of online lawyer directories. I know them all, and love them all, and use some of them.

Some, you see, are not exactly free. If you're a lawyer! They are generally free to clients.

So if you type in a search term like

13) Free Online Restaurant Directory

You may run into sites that are free as to eaters, but not free as to preparers. So just put your information into the sites that are free for you.

For now. Once you are rich, feel free to evaluate the cost-benefit analysis of whatever you want, but for now, stay with free, okay?

Now the process of submitting the information to online directory sites is somewhat mechanical, so you may want to route that to a subordinate employee, if you have one, or to your teenage kid, if you have one. You may want to do it yourself so you can see the kind of information texture that the directories permit.

14) Padding Before the Bullet Hits; make sure your best customers talk about you. See the example.

I have a buddy who is a great litigator, and I talked to him about his online presence, and he agreed with me that you can't keep everybody happy all the time, and that was inevitable that eventually, even he would have a client who didn't like him, and he wanted to have a lot of good reviews to dilute the bad reviews when they eventually showed up.

And that sounded like wisdom to me.

Another buddy of mine, who is a pretty fair lawyer, has two online reviews at the AVVO site, and they are both bad reviews. The writers just didn't like that lawyer. Neither hired him, but they both trashed him.

And he had no padding.

That is probably a good lesson.

So where else can you market yourself or your business online?

Well, a leading free site which permits you to list your professional qualifications and to interact with other professionals of various sorts is called 

15) Linkedin 

and the smartest user of Linked-in is a genius of a doctor named

16) Dr. Joel Brill

and you can see that his referral network is roughly the size of the Planet Jupiter.  Just see what he did to build his network, and how he structured his profile, and you'll know everything you need to know about Linkedin.

Now, there's another place you can build a free website, and it's not a place I think of in connection with marketing professional services or restaurants or factories. But in that context, I am clearly wrong. It is entirely possible to build a complete, free-standing website using the tools in a contender for most-used site on Planet Earth, and that site is called

17) Facebook

Now, Facebook always seemed a little frivolous to me, because I associate it with games like Vampire Wars and Mafia Wars and free online Poker. Not that I've ever played those silly games. But Facebook is catching up to Google in uses per day, and by some metrics, it has passed Google. One of my buddies at Findlaw earned my undying love by building me a little Facebook Page that was a functional equivalent of my professional website:

18) Me on Facebook, Professional Page.

As you can see, it has everything but my videos, which I'll plug in soon.

And that brings us to

19) YouTube.com, which is a very frequently visited site, and you should have videos here. 

As you can see, I finally took my own advice and recorded some educational videos about bankruptcy in Arizona, and the collection of those videos is really a new website for me, and will be for you:

20) Me on YouTube, talking forever.

But there are a substantial number of free video hosting sites on the Internet, and right now it seems to me that it would be a good idea for you to do what I have not yet done, and start to put your videos onto

21) Metacafe, and

22) Yahoo Video, and about twenty more video hosting sites!

But wait! There's more! There is, for instance,

21) Twitter.com 

So am I also on Twitter? Well, yes.

22) Me on Twitter, Tweeting. 

Now, if you are a tiny business, or if your tiny business filed a bankruptcy and you have to start a new one, you will have the opportunity to announce to the world that there is a grand opening of a new business, or that you have hired a French Chef, or that you business has been awarded an additional star by somebody.

In the old days, you would send a press release to a local newspaper.

But that's ever so yesterday.

So at the point that you want to do a press release, you will probably want to find an online location to publish your press release. Or you may want to find twenty of 'em.

I like to see which sites are on Page One of Google, because I suspect that they may do as good a job of publicizing my announcements as they do in getting highly ranked by Google. At least, that's my theory for today. Here's a highly rated (by Google) press release service, and it's My Favorite Price!

23) Here's one Free Site to distribute your press release online! There are also fifty more. Or more.

Let's recap.

If you are invisible on the Internet, you can do everything right, and you will still have to file a bankruptcy because attrition and the depression will whittle away your old customer base, and new customers won't find you, because you are invisible on the Internet!

So don't be Casper!

Be....somebody opaque. I'll think of somebody.

But whoever you are, be beloved by Google!

p.s. at some point, if you ask me nicely, I'll tell you the secret of...

24) Amazon!