About this blog

After more than 20 years operating a trial consulting practice together as co-founding partners of Magnus Research Consultants, Inc. and Magnus Graphics, Inc., and more than 25 years of marriage, Dr. Melissa Pigott and David Fauss decided to share some of their thoughts, experiences, pet peeves, and perspectives on operating a small “mom & pop” business. The intended audience for their writings is other business owners, as well as employees of small businesses. Trial consulting is a professional service business, as was David’s photography business. There are many unique issues faced by professional service providers; Melissa and David share some of their insights on running a successful business.

Benchmarks for Lawyers, part 1

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On June 20, 2014

Category: Getting the Job Done, Litigation Tips, Trial Consulting

In the business world, the concept of benchmarks is well understood.  A benchmark is a way to measure productivity and performance.  A benchmark may take the form of a production or sales quota.  But, when dealing with performance in a service based practice – trial consulting or practicing as a lawyer – conceiving of benchmarks […]

Continue Reading

Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On June 20, 2014

Category: Getting the Job Done, Litigation Tips, Trial Consulting

Many attorneys have asked me to provide a list of cases on which I have worked that proved the case outcome was improved due to my and my company’s involvement.  As David points out, there is are no available means for me to provide this information because I do not know what would have happened […]

Continue Reading

Hawaii

From December, 2007 through January, 2008, my husband and I spent one glorious month in Hawai’i. We were able to celebrate two milestones, a wedding anniversary and a “big” birthday (mine) while we were there; these events were, of course, the reasons for this fantastic trip. Due to the fact that my husband and I […]

Continue Reading

Being able to do something like we did, spending a month in Hawai’i, is one of the major benefits of owning the company.  Though it is true in some countries that 4 week vacations are the norm, it is not so in the U.S.A.  Thus, being able to get away and absorb the culture is […]

Continue Reading

Resource People: Jon W. Peters

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On June 12, 2014

Category: Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Small Business Success

There are people in our lives who make a lasting impression or teach a lesson or just help us get through life. Jon W. Peters was one of these people in my life. Jon was a photographer. But, he was also a business person who figured out ways to do things efficiently and in ways […]

Continue Reading

Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On June 12, 2014

Category: Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Small Business Success

It is amazing to me that, after all these years, I still see a lot of Jon Peters in the way my spouse/business partner operates our business.  Although the businesses are vastly different, in that Jon’s was a photography business and ours is a trial consulting business, the manner in which David approaches our work […]

Continue Reading

Humor: When to use or not use

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On June 9, 2014

Category: Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Managing Employees, Small Business Success

Not every situation is humorous. Not everyone enjoys listening to jokes or watching comedy routines. There are times when the situation is serious and demands a focused or somber attitude. In these situations, humor can backfire and appear demeaning and somewhat hurtful. Dry humor or “graveyard” humor are also not for everyone. There are other […]

Continue Reading

Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On June 9, 2014

Category: Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Managing Employees, Small Business Success

Melissa’s example regarding her mother is telling as it relates to the last part of her post, “when others…understand our philosophy.”  Those who did not know the details of the situation, that is, her mother was cognitively impaired, perhaps did not understand when the two of them laughed at things like spilt pancake syrup.  But, […]

Continue Reading

You eat what you kill

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On June 4, 2014

Category: Business Partnerships, Business personalities, Partnerships, Small Business Success, Work-Life

This somewhat crude advice was given to us soon after we started Magnus.  It was probably sometime in 1994 and the advice giver was a consultant in another field.  And, we immediately knew his point; we only make money when we get hired on a case.  Entrepreneurs depend on each client and each sale.  It […]

Continue Reading

Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On June 4, 2014

Category: Business Partnerships, Business personalities, Partnerships, Small Business Success, Work-Life

I like this expression: “You eat what you kill.” It conveys to me that, if I don’t bring in the business, I won’t have any work to do.  As the person in my business who earns most of the revenue, I know that many other people and their families depend on me to do what […]

Continue Reading

Quid pro quo

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On June 2, 2014

Category: Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Managing Employees

All of my company’s clients, that is, 100% of them, are attorneys. Although I am a psychologist, I have spent far more time during my career with attorneys than with my colleagues in psychology. Early in my career as a trial/jury consultant, I learned the expression, “quid pro quo” from one of the attorneys with […]

Continue Reading

Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On June 2, 2014

Category: Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Managing Employees

Quid pro quo typically is a 1 to 1 exchange – and sometimes it is understood in a negative context of sexual harassment or even public corruption.  But, it is not really a negative concept especially in the broader sense of the law of reciprocity.  I suppose the issue is that such laws of reciprocity […]

Continue Reading

Don’t pass the rest area

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On May 29, 2014

Category: Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Small Business Success

The simple and obvious message here is, when you gotta go, you gotta go.  Stop, take the opportunity, when you have it.  You never know about the traffic ahead or whether you will have a flat tire.  Don’t get yourself into an emergency situation.  The bigger message is there are lots of parallels to this […]

Continue Reading

Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On May 29, 2014

Category: Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Small Business Success

I plan ahead and I try to anticipate everything that could go wrong.  All of the work performed by my company and me has a deadline.  Some of the deadlines are imposed by the court system, others by our clients and their desire to quickly obtain our report from the research they hired us to […]

Continue Reading

Bargaining

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On May 20, 2014

Category: Business Partnerships, Getting the Job Done, Managing Employees, Partnerships, Trial Consulting, Work-Life

As a social psychologist, I possess expertise in bargaining and negotiation that surpasses laypersons’ commonsense knowledge about these topics. (Bargaining and negotiation are often the subjects of an entire textbook in both undergraduate and graduate social psychology classes; I have taught both.) Knowledge of bargaining and negotiation is more important in everyday life than in […]

Continue Reading

Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On May 20, 2014

Category: Business Partnerships, Getting the Job Done, Managing Employees, Partnerships, Trial Consulting, Work-Life

The key in any bargaining is determining what is really important, both overall, and to the other individual.  And, bargaining is a skill important to many aspects of life; few of us can just demand to get things our way and have it happen (unless maybe one is Donald Trump or perhaps a federal judge). […]

Continue Reading

Network for Business & Ideas

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On May 15, 2014

Category: Careers, Employment, Small Business Success

Networking.  It is one of the main tools in a marketing toolbox.  So, you find the events that potential clients attend, you put your name on the attendee list, and you go.  Then what?  If you are good at working a room, you introduce yourself to as many people as you can as you make […]

Continue Reading

Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On May 15, 2014

Category: Careers, Employment, Small Business Success

Between the two of us, my spouse/business partner is the networker.  I am just not good at networking and I guess I never will be.  On the rare occasions when I have to attend a networking event, I spend most of my time at the event hoping no one will talk to me.  I dislike […]

Continue Reading

Introverts

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On May 13, 2014

Category: Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Managing Employees, Small Business Success, Trial Consulting

My spouse/business partner and I are introverts. It may be a common assumption to assume most entrepreneurs are gregarious, outgoing, extroverts, however, the reality is entrepreneurs come in all sizes, shapes, and types, just like the general population. As introverts, it takes a long time for my partner and me to “warm up” to strangers, […]

Continue Reading

It is difficult for me to socialize on the “cocktail party” or even lunch/dinner circuit.  But, networking through these means has been important in the development of Magnus’ business.  The key for me is meeting one or more like minded person and using that person as a “wing person” through which to meet more and […]

Continue Reading

Powered by: BARD Marketing