Kim Chan is the founder of DocPro.com. He graduated from the University of Sydney with BCom & BLaw (First Hon) and has a multitude of experiences in legal industry, including major law firms and international banks. DocPro is made up of a team of dedicated documents professionals with a passion for making quality documents and legal contract templates widely available to the public, thereby saving members money and time in preparing documents.
Their team of legal and technology professionals brings energy, fresh ideas, and pride to their work. Their vision: to create a document platform where members can find commonly used documents and tailor them by following step-by-step instructions. Members can also earn extra credits by sharing their documents, have them reviewed and edited by our legal professionals for other members to use as legal contract templates.
Mike: DocPro is a pretty unique and useful concept for a business. Tell me more about the details. I see dozens of document categories on the site. Can most businesses find templates for most of what they need?
Kim: That is exactly what we are striving to do, making commonly used documents available to the public – our goal is to “democratise documents”. Businesses and individuals often have documentation needs, yet may lack the resources to engage lawyers every time they need a document. We have an extensive documents database with more than 1500 templates to allow users to find what they need. Our database is continually growing with sharing of documents and request for new templates by our users.
DocPro’s mission is to make legal documentation affordable and accessible to everyone. That is why we are pricing our documents at around 90% discount to our competitors (from $2 to $6). We are also striving to make our platform as easy to use as possible. Our users can find the document they want through a simple search box, then customise the document with a few simple clicks through a simple step-by-step guide.
Mike: What made you decide to pursue this line of work? Do you have some specific experience with documents or lack of available documents that inspired this?
Kim: Contrary to popular belief, it is not easy to find good document templates online. Let’s say you are searching for a lease, you need to go through hundreds of ads and search results before you can find a suitable word template. What’s more, most of the documents online are under US law which may not be applicable in your jurisdiction. To make matter worse, you have downloaded a landlord friendly version which may put you at a disadvantage as a tenant.
LegalTech has been around for 20 years but there doesn’t seem to be any well-known player that has revolutionized the legal industry. DocPro hopes to make a difference by making documents more accessible and affordable for users. We are providing variations of document favouring different parties instead of a one size fits all approach. Rather than confining our business to one country, we try to cater for all common law jurisdictions by having our documents drafted generally and a proprietary engine to select the right governing law and jurisdiction for the document.
Mike: DocPro.com is an excellent name. Short, descriptive, and a dot com. How did you choose the name? Did you purchase on the after-market? If so, can you share the process you went through to acquire it?
Kim: I was struggling between DocPro.com, which was taken and costed thousands of dollars to buy, and a lesser name that costed just a few dollars to register. Then I remembered Jack Ma paid USD 10,000 for the Alibaba domain name (an astronomical sum at the time and more than half of his net worth back in the 90s), I figured that the marketing effect from an easy to remember domain name is well worth the money.
The process of buying the domain name was simple, I went through a broker (GoDaddy) to put in an initial bid, which was rejected. I was prepared to pay the asking price anyway so I bid again at the asking price and got the domain. The whole process took around 3 days.
Mike: What is the quality level of the documents? Will they hold up to legal scrutiny?
Kim: DocPro provides reliable documents that have been reviewed by our team of legal professionals. In relation to documents shared by our users, we would carefully review them, make sure that they are of sufficient quality, before we turn them into templates on our system.
Whilst our lawyers are qualified in various major common law jurisdictions, DocPro is really a LegalTech company. The documents provided are good starting points but do not constitute legal advice. Our users should seek specific local law advice if necessary.
Mike: How easy or difficult is it to launch and run an online business? How long has DocPro.com been operating?
Kim: It is certainly not easy to launch an online business like DocPro, we have spent close to 2 years preparing the 1000+ documents to start off with, as well as how the website should work and flow. We soft launched the site at the beginning of 2020 and the current version was launched in April 2020. Despite launching in the middle of a pandemic, our numbers have been very promising, with traffics doubling every month.
Mike: What is your advice on marketing and promoting on online business such as yours? Is there a secret formula? Social media, pay-per-click-ads, SEO and organic search, something else?
Kim: Unlike the “Field of Dreams”, the phrase “build it and they will come” certainly does not apply on the internet. You can spend a lot of money on Google and Facebook ads, but this would not be economical for DocPro as we are offering our documents at minimal price and the costs would almost certainly outweigh the benefits.
As such, we have mainly been working on SEO. We have been trying to produce the best document templates possible focusing on less competitive keywords. We still have commonly used documents like NDAs but it would be extremely difficult to rank them on the first page of Google. However, our suite of COVID-19 documents are doing extremely well since we are on a leveled playing field with the competitions and we beat them on the quality.