Growing your legal practice can be difficult and a lot of businesses find that they hit a bit of a wall. They successfully build a solid client base but they don’t know how to take their business to the next level. If you’re going to expand your practice, you will need to invest a significant amount of money and if you can’t get the client numbers to sustain that increased investment, you’re going to run into cash flow issues, and that’s when things will get difficult. If you think that now is the right time to expand your law firm, here are some important things that you should know.
Build Your Reputation
Reputation is incredibly important in the legal sector and if you don’t have a good reputation, you will find it difficult to source the new clients that you need for growth. Before you start thinking about growth, it’s important that you build a good reputation and position yourself as a leading figure in your particular area of law. Winning cases is the most obvious way to do that, but you should also make more of an effort to build long lasting relationships with your current clients, and always be upfront with people. Setting clear expectations at the beginning of a relationship with a client is vital as well because it hurts your reputation if people feel that you have not delivered on your promises.
Hire Employees Before You Need Them
Knowing when to hire more employees is tricky but a lot of law firms make the mistake of waiting until they are desperate for more people before they start hiring them. If you do that, you’ll be in a position where you’re struggling to deal with your workload and you have to hire people in a rush, and that’s when you’ll start making poor choices. It’s best to be a bit more proactive so you can spend more time finding the best employees. That way, you’ll be prepared for all of the new clients that you take on.
Invest In Document Management
When you start to increase client numbers, you increase your paperwork as well, and it’s important that you can manage that effectively if you’re going to handle cases efficiently. It’s a good idea to invest in an enterprise document management system so you can easily store and categorize all of your documents and access them remotely. This makes things so much easier for your employees because you can speed up all of your processes. It also gives you the opportunity to use remote workers, which can be a big help if you’re trying to cut down on office costs.
Sponsoring events is a great way to source new clients. If you can find local events that relate to your area of law, it’s a great place to meet potential clients. For example, if you focus on the medical industry, look for conferences that you can sponsor. You’ll get a lot of good brand exposure and when you attend the events, you can network with people. Meeting potential clients face to face is the best way to start building good relationships, so attending events is a must when you’re trying to expand your practice.
Invest In SEO
As well as meeting clients in person, you need to expand your online reach. The best way to do that is by investing in SEO. When people have legal issues, their first instinct is usually to search online for a local legal practice. If your site appears at the top of the search results, you’re going to get a lot of leads from your website. That’s why investing in SEO is absolutely essential if you want to boost your client numbers in a short space of time.
Make Use Of Outsourcing
When you’re a small firm that is just starting out, you need to find ways to keep costs low and that means handling a lot of things on your own rather than outsourcing them. Things like accounting or IT can be handled in-house fairly easily when you don’t have a huge client base to deal with. But when you start to expand and your client numbers grow, you need to be careful about how you use your time. You can’t afford to spend time on these kinds of things when you have a lot of clients to deal with, which is why it’s best to outsource. It is an investment but it allows you to focus on your cases, which is important if you want good results for your clients.
Growth is always a risk, no matter what business you’re in. But if you follow these basic tips, you should be able to expand your law firm successfully.