5 Ways to Take Your Law Firm From Survival Mode to Success
If you are a legal practitioner who believes that hanging your own shingle is the way to go, there are a few things you should always keep in mind. First of all, the legal profession is becoming somewhat of a two-tier field, which means that there are as many solo practices as there are partnered law firms. Second, it is becoming increasingly difficult, but not altogether impossible, to compete against “Big Law”, a sector that represents 16 percent of the total lawyer count according to the American Bar Association.
You should not hang your own shingle for the sole purpose of paying the bills. Instead, you should take the boutique law firm approach to success, which consists of abandoning the survival mode and focusing on cultivating success; here are five ways to do so.
Writing a Business Plan
It is never too late for business planning, even if you hung your shingle before writing a plan. If you already have a small book of clients, you have a good chance at convincing a bank to grant you a commercial loan; however, one of the lending conditions will invariably be to include a business plan with your financing application.
Making Smart Investments
If you feel that your computer system is holding you down to its age, your next investment should either be an upgrade or a new system. The same goes for your malpractice insurance coverage, if you are paying the minimum required by your State Bar Association, you should look into add-ons that will help your practice expand.
Writing a Marketing Plan
All business plans include a small marketing section, but you should not limit your efforts to just a few paragraphs. A solid plan should include and analysis of strengths and weaknesses as well as a list of the factors that can make your practice stand out. Since you are practicing in the 21st century, a social media strategy should also be part of your marketing plan.
Converting Your Leads
According to The Rainmaker Institute, many law firms are pretty good at generating leads but fail to achieve the conversion rates they need to help them succeed. Following a lead conversion system is crucial because it can translate into a steady book of clients and can also ease the effort that goes into applying an effective marketing strategy.
Choose the Right Pro Bono Clients
Aside from being a boost to ethical standing, pro bono clients can become a solid source of prospects. If you agree to represent a community-based merchant association, for example, a positive outcome could result in many future clients.
In the end, hanging your own shingle should be an experience that allows you to thrive more than it allows you to survive.