Starting a law firm is an exciting venture. However, it can also be stressful if you aren’t aware of all the nuances. Some things to keep in mind when you start a law firm are:
Don’t start out on your own without a solid business plan and strategy for finding clients. When leaving the comfort of a steady paycheck, understand that you are entirely responsible for building your client base and keeping it. A business plan can help you map out your first few years and take the guesswork out of everything.
Branding your law firm is a critical step. If you specialize in a particular form of law, consider incorporating that into your brand name. You will want to name your firm something memorable and make it easy for clients to find you. Think about keywords as you brainstorm ideas for names.
You want to choose a location while starting a law firm, that is easy for your clients to find. It’s essential to stay put once you establish your offices. Expect to stay there for the remainder of your business, so choose wisely.
Advertising and promotion for a law firm can be tricky, so you need to have a website to connect with your audience and explain what you do and what your law firm is about. Starting a law firm means working harder to get your name out there and build your customer base.
Join local organizations and associations that can help you market your new law firm. The local chamber of commerce is an excellent place to start, which will help you network with other business professionals and get the word out that you just opened a new law firm. You may also connect with other successful businesspeople who can help mentor you until you get rolling.
Be sure to have a financial cushion to work from while you build your business. Keep a close eye on initial expenses and income and keep all business expenses separate from personal. Getting help with daily bookkeeping tasks and accounting is a good idea when you start a law firm from scratch.
Instead of offering legal services that fit all people and situations, consider specializing in an area of the law you are most interested in. The most successful firms focus on a subset of the law, such as personal injury, workers’ compensation, litigation, family law, etc. It will be easier to market yourself if you have a specialty and experience.
When starting a law firm, rely on others for help. You may not have experience in all aspects of business, and it makes good sense to outsource some of the load so you can focus on getting clients and case matters. For example, Interactive Accountants can help you with all aspects of accounting, bookkeeping, and financial management, freeing you up to focus on building business for your new law firm.