There are more than 450,000 law firms throughout the United States, and they collectively bring in over $331 billion in revenue each year.
Have you recently opened your own law firm? Have you been racking your brain for ideas on how you can bring in more clients and help that firm to thrive long-term?
If you need help building up your law firm, keep reading.
Listed below are nine effective tips that will help you grow your startup law firm into a major business.
1. Know Your Niche
Many lawyers make the mistake of trying to cater to everyone when they first open their firm. They assume that casting a wide net will help them bring in more clients and grow their practice faster.
Keep in mind, though, that most people don’t want to work with a lawyer who’s a generalist. They want to work with someone who handles a specific type of case very well and will provide them with the expertise they need to navigate their unique legal situation.
You’ll be better off choosing a niche and narrowing your focus early on. This will give you an opportunity to establish yourself as an expert and start catering to a particular type of client.
2. Build a Trustworthy Team
You can’t (and shouldn’t) do everything on your own. This is especially true if you’re hoping to grow your law firm as fast as possible.
You’re much better off bringing on a team of individuals whom you trust to help you get your firm up and running. Even if you start by bringing on just one additional employee, that can make a big difference to the overall success of your firm.
Remember, when you have other people helping you run the firm and carry out your vision, you have more time to focus on the things that only you can do.
When hiring members of your team, remember to vet them with care, though. Don’t just bring on the first person who sends a resume your way. Make sure they will add value and help you accomplish your goals for the firm.
3. Be Responsive
People are going to be much more inclined to hire you as their lawyer if you respond to their inquiries right away.
These days, people have short attention spans. If they don’t hear back from you within a day (or less), they’re likely going to seek assistance from someone else.
Being quick to respond also helps you to show people that you take your job seriously and are dedicated to providing them with assistance. This will work in your favor later on, as people will start to associate you with professionalism and passion for your career.
You don’t have to be glued to your phone 24-7. However, you should still do your best to get back to emails, phone messages, and other forms of communication within 24 hours.
You may want to make use of tools like chatbots, too, to help people get responses to quick questions in a timely manner.
4. Show Gratitude
Always let your clients know how grateful you are for them. Send handwritten notes showing appreciation for them choosing your firm, or follow up with a phone call to see how people are doing after they come in for a consultation.
Doing a little something extra will go a long way, especially when you’re trying to build a successful business.
Don’t forget to let the members of your team know that they’re appreciated, too. Things like handwritten notes, recognition in the firm’s newsletter, and an extra-long lunch break will help to boost morale and build a sense of loyalty.
5. Be Consistent
Consistency is crucial to any business, including law firms.
Consistency within your firm’s design will help to create a professional tone for your firm. It will also show people that you take everything, even the smallest details, seriously.
Encourage consistency in behavior in your firm, too. This includes having a consistent way that your receptionist answers the phone or a consistent format that you and the other lawyers use for emails and memos.
These might not seem like big deals, but current and potential clients will notice them.
6. Find New Ways to Give
This idea might seem counterintuitive at first, but don’t be afraid to give away information for free.
The more value you can provide to people for free, the more inclined they’ll be to pay for your services later. Publishing blog posts, infographics, and informative videos can help you to set your law firm apart from others in the area.
Be sure to utilize social media, too. Sharing helpful information on sites like Facebook and Instagram gives you an opportunity to gather feedback from and connect with your audience.
Asking for comments on blog posts, videos, and social media posts will allow you to see what kind of information people need. You can also answer brief questions for people or point them in the direction of other helpful resources on your site.
7. Manage Your Finances
A common issue for new law firms is the same issue that affects a lot of new businesses: a lack of cash flow. If you aren’t doing a good job of managing your law firm’s money, you’re going to have a hard time keeping it afloat long-term.
Make sure you’re keeping track of expenses and making payments on time. This will help you to build up a good business credit history and, in turn, will make it easier for you to get financing in the future should you need it.
Remember, too, that you don’t have to (nor should you) handle all your firm’s financial matters by yourself.
Two key members of your team ought to be a bookkeeper and an accountant. Make it a priority to outsource the money management aspects of your firm to these people as soon as possible.
When you do this, you won’t have to worry about juggling financial issues on top of all your other responsibilities. You’ll also be able to have confidence knowing that they’re still being taken care of by people who have more knowledge and experience than you do.
8. Invest in New Technology
There are lots of tools that you can use to run your law firm in an efficient way. Be sure to invest in some of these new tools and technologies as soon as you can.
If the equipment in your office runs well, you’ll have an easier time getting in touch with current and potential clients. Make sure you’re using high-quality computers and phone systems.
You also will want to invest in some programs that will allow you to make the most of those tools. For example, a good customer relationship management program will allow you to monitor the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and keep track of the people who are most interested in your services.
There are also lots of bookkeeping software programs that will help you to stay on top of your firm’s finances.
Using these kinds of tools will make it easier for you to manage documents and stay organized. Both of these things are essential if you want to avoid unnecessary expenses and wasted time.
9. Invest in Professional Help
In addition to investing in new technology to keep your firm up to date, it’s also important to invest in help from industry professionals.
Working with a legal marketing company, for example, will make it easier for you to capture new legal leads and make sure you’re promoting your firm in a way that makes sense for your intended audience.
At first, it might seem like an unnecessary expense to hire a professional to help with these aspects of running a firm.
Think about, though. Every minute that you spend researching SEO or the best digital marketing techniques, that’s a minute you’re not spending working with clients or doing the work that only you can do.
The sooner you invest in help from experts, the sooner your practice will begin to grow. You may be hesitant to spend money on outside help, but, in most cases, you’ll see a return on your investment right away.
Transform Your Startup Law Firm Today
The idea of growing your startup law firm into a major legal force might seem impossible at first.
If you implement these tips, though, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish — and how quickly you can accomplish it.
Do you want to learn more about how you can grow and improve your law firm?
If so, we’ve got lots of helpful resources available in the Business section of our website. Check it out today for more advice and information.