Lawyers used to practice law, certain that their firm would expand naturally. The development of the business was not emphasized. Clients came to them; they didn’t look for them. But a change is taking place right now; a change that calls for a different strategy for growing your Law Firm. Below you will discover 3 ways to grow your law firm without breaking the bank.
More than ever, the legal industry is a competitive one. Statistics from the American Bar Association revealed that there are now more attorneys than ever before, with an average growth of 1.1% across all the United States. Due to the internet, alternative legal representation is also easily accessible, and customers have more freedom to select and switch attorneys. Clients may quickly find attorneys and compare their qualifications and fees.
Lawyers who are unwilling to adapt, run the danger of losing out in a market that is getting more and more cutthroat. Beyond these difficulties, small businesses also have to contend with the harsh reality of competing with big businesses while working with tight budgets and little resources.
Are these difficulties facing your small legal firm? Do not worry! Competing is doable and expanding your legal practice for a smaller expense is possible. Utilizing your abilities, concentrating on the appropriate business growth tactics, and implementing content marketing techniques are crucial.
How to Grow a Law Firm
Your main objective is to expand your legal practice, and your target year is 2023. Growing a successful legal practice is completely different from running one successfully. You’ve undoubtedly realized that bringing in new customers is difficult, or perhaps the competition is getting stronger. Either way, you don’t want to become trapped in a stale legal practice.
Being proactive is critical to expanding a legal company. You can conquer your obstacles and advance to the next level with a well-thought-out plan in order to grow your law firm. This article will assist you in scaling your legal business and ensuring steady growth in 2023, regardless of whether you aim to enhance revenue or surpass your rivals.
Determine the primary tasks you should concentrate on
The first stage in expanding your legal company is identifying the primary duties you should concentrate on. Although having a good work ethic is good for your professional progress, your legal company might not always value it. You only have so many hours in the day, so you want to be sure you’re using them on activities that advance your legal practice. Determining which work to assign is only half the battle, and selecting which employee to give it to comes next.
Maintain efficient operations
Small- to medium-sized law firms’ know that a typical day often has more duties than available time. Attorneys at smaller companies combine various activities, from legal services to administrative work, in contrast to bigger firms where they can engage specialized people to carry out particular tasks. These non-billable hours might reduce your law firm’s productivity and eventually affect your bottom line.
Try monotasking every day rather than multitasking. Focusing on one task at a time is referred to as monotasking. You’ll be able to achieve more during the day and improve your productivity at work if you reduce the number of billable hours you work.
Additionally, it’s critical that every employee fully comprehends their roles. A workforce aware of their responsibilities will operate like a well-oiled machine, which might lead to more productivity in your legal company.
Understand when to bring on new employees
You’ll need to add more employees when your legal company expands to handle the growing responsibilities. However, the issue is that lawyers are unsure when it is appropriate to grow their staff. If you make a hire too quickly, you might face financial difficulties, and if you hire too late, you won’t be able to serve your new customers. What are your tips for deciding when it’s right to hire a new employee?
Expanding a legal practice is difficult, and it will be difficult to bring in new clients if your firm is understaffed. You may not know the value paralegals, clerks, marketing experts, and legal assistants add to your law practice. Make a confident hire, then observe how productive your legal company becomes.
Know when to outsource tasks
You sometimes don’t need to employ a full-time employee to finish a certain activity. One example is legal outsourcing, where certain legal services are relayed to nearby attorneys or outside law firms. The benefit of legal outsourcing is that you may save money and take advantage of the ease of the service.
Legal outsourcing might solve your difficulties if your team is overworked and you are unable to handle heavy legal work. You may feel secure knowing the tasks are handled properly because the legal experts running these outsourcing companies have the knowledge and experience necessary to handle any legal case.
Take advantage of AI and technology
Law firm work is fast-paced and demanding, and attorneys frequently work at capacity because they have a full plate. The good news is that you can use the power of AI with today’s technology to lighten your workload and automate a few jobs in your legal business.
Compared to businesses that rely on physical labor, companies that utilize technology expand more quickly. Software tools may be used to delegate tedious work, and virtual receptionists can even take customer calls. You can save a ton of time by using computer software to store, analyze, and break down information faster than the average employee.
Additionally, AI technology will improve your legal company’s logical framework. Today’s software technologies can compare and categorize documents automatically, helping attorneys find gaps in their research and legal analysis.
How to Grow a Small Law Firm
You may have seen that there is a rising demand for the work you do. Maybe you’ve determined a team would enable you to accomplish your goals more effectively. Maybe all you want to do is employ people so you can take vacations without worrying about your company. Or you just see a revenue opportunity.
These are all excellent justifications for growing. But expanding your business too rapidly without a strategy could go wrong. You must first take several actions to expand your small or solo practice by hiring more people or expanding offices or practice spaces. First, get your practice up and going as quickly as you can to start. Then, create a strategy to ensure you can afford your development after identifying the key financial indicators for your firm.
Create Efficient Systems
Regarding their legal cases, lawyers know the value of documentation, but they don’t often take the time to document their internal business procedures.
Instructions for oft-repeated tasks like filing documents, contacting clients, signing in visitors, and scheduling meetings should be clear and easy to access for everyone on staff.
For operations of this kind, established methods reduce friction and facilitate rapid and simple labor. Additionally, written processes help your company run well while you’re not there. The leadership must commit over the long term to being systems-focused. If procedures are not considered a top priority for their job, your personnel will disregard them. Additionally, out-of-date records are useless for managing employee turnover and training.
Identify Tasks to Delegate
The activities that enable growth must be prioritized by the firm’s executives if growth is the goal: These are the activities that generate the most income. That often indicates that they cannot do all the tasks for which they were previously accountable for.
Since their identities are frequently entwined within the company, attorneys at small firms may find delegation particularly challenging.
Create Financial Benchmarks before Hiring
If you’re considering hiring someone, things are going pretty well for your practice right now. The amount of work you have on your plate can even overwhelm you. Hiring someone to help you acquire assistance may seem obvious.
A full-time hire, however, is a significant and lengthy commitment. Can you afford to cover this hire’s salary, benefits, and additional costs (such as office supplies and furniture) throughout the year? What if your growth slows down or you incur more unforeseen costs? Nobody likes to have to recruit someone just to fire them soon after.
Because of this, you need carefully estimate how much it will cost to recruit a certain candidate for a position. Then figure out how many additional clients, engagements, or hours must be billed for you to be able to pay them in the long run.
Grow your law firm with more clients
It might be difficult to bring in new clients for your legal practice, and there can be fierce rivalry amongst them (particularly in high volume locations). To help it stand out from the competition, your company has to advertise itself, yet doing so is completely risk-free. In recent CallRail research, 95% of lawyers agreed that marketing is a non-billable expenditure that increases the spending risk, making it even more crucial to delegate the marketing budget wisely.
Make sense of law firm marketing with the help of the following advice, and ensure your efforts are on course.
Establish a Marketing Budget
It costs money to market your business, so you need to be realistic about 1) how much you can spend and 2) what you can accomplish with that spending. The typical law firm spent roughly 2% – 10% of its revenue on marketing and business development in 2018. To decide how to budget wisely, start by defining the marketing objectives for your legal practice. Spending will vary depending on whether your objective is to generate leads or establish a high-profile reputation.
Build a Well-Designed Law Firm Website
The first point of contact you have with a potential customer will be through your website. Potential customers will go elsewhere if it doesn’t impress them on the first visit. Most people can tell whether a website is badly designed or maintained. According to Google Research, customers will decide whether to continue browsing your website within 17 milliseconds after first visiting it.
Use only high-quality photos (both images and video). 60% of customers give image-rich search results greater attention.
Use All Free Positive Online Reviews
Gather all of your favorable Yelp, Facebook, and Google reviews so that you may utilize them. Customers prefer to read at least ten internet reviews before choosing a company or item, and 91% of people in the 18–34 age range believe that most online evaluations are as trustworthy as personal recommendations.
Build a Content Marketing Plan
Create content on social media and blog posts on your website to demonstrate your subject-matter expertise. The Content Marketing Institute claims that content marketing gets more leads and costs 62% less than traditional marketing. Utilize several types of content at each stage to create an efficient content marketing plan.
Challenges of Growing a Law Firm
In contrast to what they had predicted at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, most law firms are now emerging from restrictions and other economic disturbances in a healthier financial position. However, their strategy for acquiring new clients has drastically evolved, and they are unlikely ever to use the same methods again.
Attracting new customer business
Law firms must bring in new clients if they want to succeed and remain competitive. A strong client acquisition process enables law firms to expand by giving them new clients to replace those whose cases have concluded.
Customer rate pressure
Clients desiring more services for less money present another difficulty for legal businesses. This is occurring partly due to the abundance of online legal resources that allow consumers to shop around before making a purchase.
Balancing administrative tasks with practicing law
Like other small businesses, small law firms struggle to balance their primary duty of practicing law, and additional obligations related to running their company. 15% percent of small legal firms admitted to putting too much time into administrative work. Despite being low impact and unbillable, these duties are necessary for the firm to succeed and for you to grow your law firm for long term success.