Long-term employment in a law firm may not be an option if you are a lawyer with an entrepreneurial spirit. However, while starting by working in an established law firm is essential, there is nothing wrong with having ambitions like setting up a law firm.
Venturing out as a solo practitioner can be daunting, and it is not for the faint-hearted. But it is also rewarding when done right.
Often it calls for leaving a guaranteed pay to start something that cannot guarantee income, at least not for the first few months. But learning to manage your firm can help you get on track much faster.
Here are a few management ideas that can help:
Get Your Marketing Skills Right
Deciding to start a law firm means you must brace yourself against established law firms’ financial muscle power. However, while it is essential to consider the strength of your competition, it should not scare you.
You do not need to beat them, and you may not for a long time. What you can do is fight for a share of the audience through marketing. The most effective and affordable form of marketing is promoting your brand online through digital marketing.
Digital marketing takes more than placing an ad on the internet or social media. If you are not familiar with digital marketing, enlisting the services of a law firm marketing agency like On the Map Marketing is the best way to go and can guarantee fast results.
Know Your Numbers
The goal of setting up a law firm is to make money and, where possible, more than you earned while employed. While this may not be achievable in the first month of setting up shop, you should always have it in mind.
Making money means making profits, which boils down to how you price your services against your expenses. As a startup, it is okay to offer discounts, but you can’t run on discounts in the long run. You may want to offer a competitive charge, but be careful not to go too high because clients will look elsewhere. On the other hand, you should also not go too low, as you may run into losses.
You do not have to worry if you do not turn a profit in the first month or two. If you have your numbers right, you will get there. You may also consider enrolling in a business management course to sharpen your knowledge of numbers.
Focus on Client Experiences
Clients’ patience is running thin with every passing year. The days when a client could wait for days or hours for a reply are long gone. In today’s digital world, you will be lucky to have a prospective client waiting an hour for an answer. By the time you send your reply, they have already moved on.
According to statistics, 35% of all calls placed on law firms went unanswered. If you are keen on improving customer experiences, ensure that there is a human to answer all calls during working hours.
The same applies to emails, social media contacts, and on-website chats. If replying to all communication is overwhelming, you could introduce automation for frequently asked questions so that you can focus on the matters that require human input.
Pick a Niche
Getting a steady stream of clients can be a challenge for startup law firms making the allure of becoming a jack of all trades very attractive. While it may allow you to net a wide range of clientele, it may work against you in the long run.
Therefore, it is important to focus on a specific niche, such as personal injury, at the earliest possible.
Specialization is one thing most clients look for when choosing a lawyer for their case, so you will need to build your law practice around a niche. Your marketing strategy should also be based on your niche.