Starting a Law Firm: 8 Must-Know Tips
Are you an attorney who is looking to start a law firm? If you are, you might be feeling a little intimidated. After all, you want to set it up so that it runs efficiently and successfully. We spoke with a successful personal injury lawyer to get his advice on how he started his firm. Here is the advice he shared with us.
- It Doesn’t Need to Be Perfect
This tip may seem a little counterintuitive, but it’s true. Not everything you do needs to be perfect on Day One. Yes, it’s important to plan and to plan carefully, but don’t get so caught up in the planning that you delay your launch. Whether your website isn’t fully together or something else is off, know that it’s okay. Focus on getting things together, but if everything doesn’t fall into place by your launch date, don’t put off getting started. You can work on things after the launch. Any business is a continual tweaking process anyway.
- Learn to Market Yourself
It’s important for any businessperson to understand the basics of marketing and to work continually to improve their marketing skill set. While it might be tempting to hook up with a great marketing company to get the word out about your new firm, you don’t necessarily need that at first. In the beginning, you’re likely to be low on funds and may need to keep your overhead costs as low as possible, so focus on how to market by yourself. Create a few marketing strategies and run them. With a little time and experience your marketing skills will improve—and you’ll save some cash.
- Embrace the Cloud
Save yourself time and headaches by using the Cloud to share and store information. You’ll be able to transfer files without worrying about size limits, and since the Cloud is encrypted, the documents you share and store there will be safe.
- Build a Quality Website
If you have the funds for it, invest in a good website early on, as a quality website will enormously improve your chances of success. You want to create a good first impression, and your website will be the first thing most of your potential clients will see about you. Post images of the people who work for your firm to enable website visitors to begin feeling comfortable with your team. Further, by giving people tools and information that will help them in their situation, you will begin building great relationships with potential clients even before they meet you in person.
- Do Your Advertising Online
Laser focus your marketing efforts on launching Google Ad, Twitter, and Facebook campaigns to drive people to your website. With online ads you can track your results to see what works and make changes accordingly. Online advertising is cheaper on average than print advertising, and you’ll get much better results than you will with print ads.
- Be an Innovator
Be innovative in your firm and stay on the cutting edge of practices. Attend conferences and read books. Develop new ways to market yourself and to serve your clients. Don’t be just another law firm; be the law firm that’s modeled in your own image. Make your firm unique to you and your specialties.
- Leave Your Old Law Firm the Right Way
If you’re leaving a firm to start your own practice, make sure you’re wrapping things up so that there are no legal or ethical concerns about your current clients or who you’re working with. Take the time to leave with grace, and don’t rush this process.
- Stay Lean
Lastly, remember to keep your overhead costs low. This means staying as lean as possible and doing only what’s needed to create your success. The quickest way to sink yourself is to get all the bells and whistles without ensuring that you’re getting a good return on your investments. If you don’t truly need the latest fax machine or another employee, don’t buy that thing or hire that person—unless you’re pretty certain that doing so will give you a sizable increase in profits.