Starting a small business is a dream of many aspiring entrepreneurs in the United States and beyond. Motivations include the fact that you can be your own boss, you’ll be providing a needed service that’s gone neglected, the sense of pride that comes from building something of your own, and much more.
Of course, getting a small business to the point that it can start growing is one of the hardest things you’re likely to ever do, considering that only about 30% of businesses make it past their first ten years. Small business owners have an incredible amount of work to put in if they want to be successful. And that’s just talking generally. If you’re starting your own law firm, you’ll have more to worry about than most businesses.
Legal professions can be extremely lucrative, and starting your own firm is probably tempting since it will let you choose your own cases and keep much more of the profits. You’ll also be able to provide your client a more personal touch, which can go a long way toward client satisfaction. Beginners have more to worry about than designing an office and displaying their law degree, though. Here are just four simple things that every new law firm needs to consider.
Every law firm needs a library, and yours is no exception. This area will collect books and legal resources for your team to research and prepare for cases. It will be important to keep it stocked with the latest versions of each resource since the law is constantly evolving. Your library may be an unmanned section of your law office in the beginning, but eventually, you’ll likely want to give the library its own staff to assist your legal team.
If you lack a law firm library, then you’ll have to depend on outside sources for your research and preparation, which can be problematic, since it likely means that your legal team will be relying on the internet for information. While anyone with a law degree should be able to disseminate a source, sometimes even the most legitimate appearing website can provide unreliable information. You’ll need to consider your needs based on the types of cases you specialize in, so you can start putting reliable research sources together.
Law Firm Marketing
No business succeeds without good marketing, and you’ll need reliable ways to bring in new clients. You might invest in traditional advertising methods like commercials, billboard ads, and other paid advertisements, but your online presence will go a long way too. You’ll naturally need a great website with informative landing pages. A great idea is to dedicate a page to each legal professional on your team, so you can show off what each lawyer specializes in to attract the clients you’re looking for.
Your firm may not have a legal superstar like Malliha Wilson yet, but you can look at her professional pages to see how to go about advertising your lawyers. Malliha is a Canadian lawyer well-known for her expertise in complex litigation areas like human rights, corporate law, and constitutional law. She was the first minority to serve as the Assistant Deputy Attorney General of the Government of Ontario from 2008 to 2016, and she currently serves as the Senior Counsel of Nava Wilson LLP in Toronto, Ontario. You’ll need to similarly highlight the education, areas of expertise, and accomplishments of each lawyer at your firm, so you can inspire confidence in potential clients.
Legal Call Center
While you may be able to immediately address all client concerns yourself in the early days, eventually, your law office will grow to the point that you’ll need a business call center to handle the demand. This customer service contact center will need to be staffed by professionals who understand the legal system, and they’ll need to be ready to handle the high call volume. Modern call center software will help with this since it can equip your teams with useful tools like interactive voice response (IVR) to connect callers to the right agents right away.
With a modern CRM system, potential clients can reach your customer support team through their preferred digital means instead of having to rely on voice calls. Digital channels can include text, SMS, email, webchat, a mobile app, and more. Even better, a CRM system makes it easy for your call center agents to store and retrieve customer data. If a client calls about an ongoing case, your agents will be able to immediately access the relevant information and provide personalized service, which inspires confidence in each of your clients.
Comfortable Waiting Area
With COVID-19 vaccinations continuing to roll out and lockdown restrictions being lifted, many potential clients may not be willing to rely on phone calls or Zoom anymore. When they come into your office, they need to be greeted by a comfortable and calming waiting area.
It’s a good idea to have refreshments like water or coffee available, and you can liven up your office with some floor plants. The greenery doesn’t just look good—it can boost the air quality of your office, making your clients more comfortable.
As long as you pursue the resources you need and put clients first, you’ll be well on your way toward having a successful law firm.