As speakers we are often asked to address businesses and business owners. These audiences share a common need: they want to know how to make their businesses more successful. As speakers, we can connect with this type of audience if we take the time research our audience before we make a presentation to them. Carefully doing our homework will prepare us to deliver a speech that will provide them with the information that they are looking for. As an example, let’s take a look at how you could prepare to address a law firm.
When starting a law firm, you want to make sure you understand the business structure of a Law practice.
And if your ambitions are high, you will want to start a big law business that serves your clients with the best legal guidance available.
A law practice is like any other business: it has to provide a great service to its customers, or it will go bust. No matter how experienced the attorney’s in your firm, a poor business structure can halt the success of the law firm.
So how exactly do you establish a successful and big law business?
The Guide to Starting a Big Law Business
One of the biggest issues with law schools is the lack of education on how to bring in clients.
Many law firms need to know how to function successfully as a business in order to attract and retain clients.
This is what you should know:
We are sure you did not expect this! But as you know, being a lawyer can be demanding. And if you run your own law firm, your time may not always be available.
While managing your own firm is an added challenge, it does give you the freedom to decide how much you want to work. If your priority is to work and acquire as many clients as possible, you can keep your doors open 7 days a week.
But if you wish to have a greater work-life balance, you can cut down on the availability of you and your fellow attorneys. However, this may mean that you will have to limit your legal services, and possibly limit the number of clients you take.
You may wish to stick to a few clients and charge them appropriately so that you do not have to worry about your earnings being low.
Like any business, your law firm will have to have goals.
Once you have your goals written down, it is best to always refer back to them to see how your law firm is faring.
Goals can include:
- How much profit you expect to earn each month
- How many clients do you wish to acquire?
- The visibility of your law firm in your local community
You want your law firm to have a clear set of values and a mission statement. This can always be updated, but you want to have a blueprint that you can always refer to.
3. What Suits Your Clients?
Your business is client-focused. You need to look at what suits your clients to give them the best experience.
This will be crucial in acquiring clients and retaining them. You want to make sure that your staff – from the receptionists to the legal assistants are well-trained in how to deal with clients. You will want to make sure that they know how to speak to a client politely, handle conflict, and clearly communicate when explaining legal jargon.
You will also want to consider what times your office will be open to suit your client’s needs. If your clients are busy executives, you may need your office to be open all day long.
You may even wish to have the option for clients to communicate remotely – through phone, Skype, and similar apps, or through email and instant messaging.
4. Acquiring Clients
But before you can please your clients, you have to acquire them.
For this, you will want to develop a marketing strategy. First, you want to figure out what your target client will look like.
You want to consider how much this client will earn (to determine your fees), what their background will be (to determine your services), and whether this client can give you regular work.
You can promote your law firm to groups where your potential clients congregate. If you are targeting local entrepreneurs, you may wish to attend networking events at your local chamber of commerce.
You can also market your services online – use social media like LinkedIn or Facebook groups to promote your firm to potential clients.
You can also find pro legal leads here.
A successful business is stringent with its procedures. You will want to make sure you are delivering high-quality and accurate legal work.
You must have procedures for everyone who works in the office. Particularly important are your procedures for your legal assistants.
You want them to know how to organize a case folder. There should be a standard method of organizing so that anyone who opens the case folder can immediately access what information they need to.
There needs to be a defined communication protocol – such as, who does the legal assistant contact when faced with a particular issue? Or at what moment to they present the case folder to the attorney?
A standard set of procedures and adequate training of these procedures will ensure that the work in the office is completed efficiently and accurately.
6. Finances and Accounts
This is what no lawyer wants to deal with! In fact, most business owners get a headache when thinking about finances and accounting.
However, you must always be on top of the firm’s finances and accounts if you want it to last. If numbers aren’t your thing, make sure you hire a qualified accountant to keep track of the company’s revenue and expenses.
You want to become close to this accountant. You should consult with them regularly on how the law firm is faring. You must be on top of every expense that the firm incurs. You want to know offhand how much revenue is being generated on a monthly basis and should be able to recall if profits are stagnant, increasing, or decreasing.
Many law firms are poorly organized and old-fashioned. We encourage you to embrace technology to make your work more efficient.
While you may organize your client’s documents in a folder, you should also have a digital backup of these documents. You should also have an electronic means of communicating with them.
You should also set up an infrastructure for your staff to work from home if they are unable to come to the office.
See You At The Firm
Now that you know how to set up a big law business, you are ready to open your law practice. We’ll see you at the firm!
Be sure to read more great content on DIY and starting your own business.