Starting your business on the right track is always going to take some effort. In the highly regulated, competitive, and important world of legal firms, it’s going to take even more care and attention. If you already have your license to practice, have gone through the legal steps of establishing your business, and know what you want to do, here are a few steps to help you get there.
Make sure you have a business plan ready
You should take the time to turn what you want for your business into a plan of how you’re going to actually run the business. There are great sample business plans for law firms that you can use as a basis. However, you have to think about which legal services you will offer, how you’re going to win clients, what costs you need to cover, and how you’re going to keep your business compliant.
Get your finances in order
We’re not just talking about the funding that you might need to source to start your business, although that is important. You have to make sure that you have the right setup to handle client funds alongside your own business accounts. Comingling client money with your own is one of the big legal mistakes you can make, so you need to have your own checking account as well as setting up a client trust account or some viable alternative.
Getting the right technologies and services
You’re not just going to be running your firm through sheer will and determination. You need to work out which legal technology tools you’re going to need for your law firm, as well as outsourced services that you may very well rely on. This includes your hardware, your legal practice management system, office software, and client relationship management tools. All of these are vital for managing a modern legal business.
How are you going to reach clients?
An essential part of any plan to start a law firm is having a firm idea of how you’re going to win the business of your clients, as well. To that end, the best place to start is by creating a website and establishing your office’s presence, before learning how to create a law firm marketing strategy. Getting an idea of the different tools that will help you with outreach is vital.
Working as a business owner
You will likely have plenty of experience working as a lawyer before you start a firm. However, the role of a business owner can be quite a different kettle of fish. You might have more choice in how you do your work, but you’re also responsible for every aspect of it. What’s more, while you may enjoy greater financial potential, your work-life balance can suffer as a result. Make sure you know what to expect as a business owner before you jump in with both feet.
Your legal firm’s success isn’t going to be solely determined by how well you can establish it from the beginning. However, putting your best foot forward is definitely going to help in the long run.