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An entrepreneurial spirit will get you far. But in some industries, it’s not that easy. Some industries can be tricky to start businesses in. There are hoops to jump through and obstacles that other fields don’t see very often.
The legal field is one of these industries.
But if you’re ready to take the step from lawyer to business owner, it can be an exciting and fulfilling journey. Just know it’s not like starting an online shop.
Here are some things to keep in mind and areas to focus on to start a successful law firm.
Practice Areas and Niches
You probably already have a practice area of expertise. But starting your firm means you don’t have to be limited. Many firms out there choose to specialize in a single practice area, while others become a one-stop-shop for all things law.
This is a decision you’ll have to make. There are pros and cons to both options, and it ultimately depends on your goals and vision. Some questions to ask yourself:
- What’s your expertise? Your specialization will help you make this decision. Some practice areas easily complement many others, while some practice areas make more sense left alone.
- How big do you want to grow? If you like the idea of a boutique firm with a handful of lawyers, you may want to stick to one practice area. If you have dreams of becoming a 100 lawyer firm, consider branching out.
- What are the needs around you? Let your prospects in your locale help you dictate this. If you’re in a big banking city, banking law might be a good idea. If your area is thriving with startups, business law will make sense.
Building a Team
Starting a firm means it’s no longer just about you. Your team of lawyers and paralegals will make up the identity of the firm. Many of them will operate and handle their own business, but a transaction or experience with anyone on your team is an experience with your brand.
But don’t just hire for talent. Make sure you hire the right people on board with your vision, mission, and values. If they disagree on where the firm is headed, things will get tough down the road. Keep in mind, you’re not just hiring, but you will be managing your first few hires as well.
Marketing and Acquiring Clients
This is a crucial piece of owning your own business. You are responsible for bringing on clients for the firm. Here are a few proven marketing channels and ways to acquire clients:
- Word of Mouth / Referrals: Many law firms grow exclusively through word of mouth and referrals. Keep a positive reputation and take care of your clients, and this will come. But realize that times are changing, and if you want to grow, this can’t be your only source of new clients.
- Traditional Advertising: Think billboards and commercials. This will help you get your name out there, but it’s not always the most effective or cost-efficient way to market.
- Digital Marketing: SEO, social media, and pay-per-click advertising are all the rage. Work with a proven agency or freelancer, and you’ll likely see your dollar go further through these avenues.
- Public Relations: A good PR and business development agency like elitelawyermanagement.com can work wonders for your firm, elevating your brand, and earning you a profitable business.
Starting your law firm isn’t an easy task. But it can be a rewarding one. If you craft a solid vision, hire a good team, and build a plan for bringing on clients, you’ll be well on your way to success.