When it comes to running a company, there are so many different things to think about.
They include the potential benefits of outsourcing or the use of cloud technology and smart software.
Running a law firm can be especially complex, due to the different specialisms and required levels of expertise.
It may be that you have just set up a law firm and are looking for a handy guide to get you through.
If that’s the case, this article will provide you with a complete guide to everything you need to consider.
Do Plenty Of Online Research
It’s always wise to study your rivals. This way, you can find out what works for them and use it to your advantage.
This includes where they market themselves, and what is featured on their websites.
Also read up on legal tactics, case studies and success stories so you become aware of what’s happening in your specific field.
Many specialist websites can be a hive of valuable information for law firms.
You can discover interviews with premier lawyers and also view helpful podcasts and articles.
They can often provide free guidance on things like choosing the right technology for your firm or developing a law office procedures manual.
If you want to know how to stay ahead of the competition or use social media to research jurors, it’s possible to find the answers on the internet.
Define Your Niche
As you know, the law is both technical and wide-ranging.
This is why it’s important for a law firm to have an idea of its desired niche, rather than being available to help everyone with their legal problems.
This will help you identify the type of clients you want and decide how best to serve them. This is important when starting and running any business, not just a law firm.
It may be that you choose to focus on those who’ve sustained personal injuries or been connected to wrongful deaths.
Alternatively, you may help people with their tax planning, family law, work-related injuries or criminal law.
The chosen specialism should be where you and your colleagues have the most experience.
It will also help you narrow down the recruitment process to people who’ve acquired knowledge in the same area.
Do Plenty Of Networking
One of the best ways to ensure you have a successful law firm is by networking. Get out there and meet new people in your area who might be potential clients for your business!
Networking expands your business opportunities beyond referrals from past clients, friends or family members.
It also gives you the chance to connect with like-minded professionals who are working towards similar goals.
By regularly communicating, you can collaborate, and share best practices and mutually beneficial advice.
It may also be that there are local events you can attend or organizations and forums you can join.
There are also benefits to be had by sponsoring local events, such as raising awareness and building relationships with other organizations.
Find A Good Work Location
A good work premises is essential for a law firm, especially if you are in the early stages.
You need to find somewhere that looks professional and that provides easy access (including the physically challenged).
Accessibility also matters because nobody wants premises that are hard to reach by public transport or that have restricted parking spaces.
Your clients will prefer somewhere that is highly visible and central, and near the motorway, bus or train links.
Some clients will want to pop in for a lunchtime chat or drop off important documentation during their lunch breaks.
If your office is in the middle of nowhere it could cost you their custom.
Create A Business Plan
A business plan is a written document that provides an outline for your firm.
It should include all the essentials, including your objectives (be they six-monthly, yearly, five-yearly or ten-yearly).
You need to include tangible goals that are measurable at certain time points.
Your business plan should also set out your company culture and the security and compliance policies.
Don’t forget to create a disaster recovery plan, in case your workplace is burned down or if you have a power outage or cyber-attack.
You’ll also need to have regular audits set in place to ensure your company remains compliant.
The business plan should feed into everyone’s personal objectives, in a way that can be assessed during the appraisal stage. You can use business plans from other law firms as examples, but make sure yours is customized to fit your objectives.
Invest In Ongoing Courses
When running a business in this field, constant learning will be an important factor if you want to remain relevant and successful.
There will be regular training courses and workshops that your employees need to take.
This will help keep them up to date on current legislation and ensure that your staff has the right qualifications for dealing with their clients.
The ongoing training can also be a way for your staff to develop themselves and achieve new certifications.
They can have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the law at both state and local levels.
Create A Marketing Strategy
It’s absolutely essential that you invest in marketing. This will be the way you ensure that your company’s name comes regularly to people’s minds when they need legal advice or representation.
Social media marketing and website activities (e.g. regular blogging and article writing) can be highly effective to gain new custom.
You could also consider other more traditional marketing methods such as advertising in popular newspapers or featuring on local billboards.
There’s no point investing money into something that isn’t bringing results.
Be sure to track your campaigns, therefore, so that you can see where the best marketing efforts are being concentrated.
You are now in possession of a host of information that can focus your activities both now and on an ongoing basis.
Get to work on your business plan and monitor your activities step by step.
Before you know it you’ll have established your firm as a viable and profitable company for many years to come.