It’s been about three years since local attorney Dan Gilmore left life as a traditional lawyer and created Squire Strategies, which focuses on proactive human resources solutions that are flexible and cost-effective.
“The most gratifying thing for me, I think, is the way I’ve grown the business very organically,” he said. “The people that I feel I can be most helpful with and the business relationships I’ve developed during my practice have been-for the most part-based on referrals.”
That might be the result of words of wisdom he got in 2013 when preparing to go out on his own.
The advice was, “Make sure people know what you do.”
That’s something Gilmore has kept in mind, and he makes sure to communicate the message that his focus is on proactive services and helping clients avoid bigger problems later.
He can help businesses of all sizes-although he works a lot with smaller businesses and startups in Chattanooga-minimize risk.
For example, maybe a new startup doesn’t have a dedicated human resources director, but there is someone taking care of those issues. And they realize they are in need of a maternity leave policy or other strategy.
Gilmore can guide the person through implementing the needed policy and help the business avoid potential legal violations, lawsuits or employee dissatisfaction.
Another topic that comes up often for small business is how to classify and pay employees, such as independent contractors, interns or volunteers, he said.
There are also some upcoming changes coming from the Department of Labor about rules relating to which workers are and are not eligible for overtime. And Gilmore said he can work with clients to comply with any new rules that arise.
When working with clients, he generally starts with an audit to find out what a company’s needs are. He likened it to a doctor doing a physical exam before prescribing treatment.
After an audit identifies the clients’ needs, he helps them prioritize.
Gilmore also spends a good amount of time volunteering at places, such as The Company Lab working with entrepreneurs, and he teaches Government Regulation of Human Resource Management at UTC.
Helping new businesses and entrepreneurs is almost like an extension of teaching for Gilmore, he said.
“That, to me, is very gratifying,” he said.