There are many questions that go into running a small law firm or breaking out to starting your own firm for the first time. You still need to have clients and bring in the money. If you’re starting out, forget about a paycheck for a while and start working to make the company sustainable. If you are already running a small law practice and are looking to make it more viable, there are ways you can help yourself. Here are some ideas for the small law firm, new and old, that will help things run a little more efficiently and cost-effective.
- Focus on the quality of your work instead of running as many cases as possible. You have to know that your clients can be your best marketers after you’ve completed their case. If you do two amazing projects, you’re left with two paychecks and two clients who think you’re the best lawyer since Atticus Finch. If you do three mediocre cases, you have three paychecks but three former clients who will probably forget your name when a friend asks them who helped them with their legal problems recently. Be remembered for your great work.
- Keep in touch with former clients. Keep a database of all your clients’ information and keep them up to date with what’s new in the community—and what’s going on in your office, too. A good law firm newsletter with relevant information will keep your name fresh in their minds. Satisfied former clients will be ready to refer their friends to you, and you can benefit from positive word-of-mouth advertising.
- Promote your law firm intelligently. By that, we mean to spend your legal marketing budget wisely, Plastering your name on billboards, buses, and the Yellow Pages isn’t the most cost-effective way to market when the Internet is available for all the good stuff. Cut costs in your marketing budget by posting informative articles on a website—your own law firm website, or anywhere people might notice your byline. Let your clients find you because they want your expertise.
There are many ways to keep your law firm running at a cost-effective machine, no matter how small the business is. Make time for marketing and focus on doing great work, and the people will be impressed.