Like with any business, starting your own law firm can be pretty intimidating. Even if you’re an expert in your field of law, you still want to make sure that you have all of your ducks in a row when starting up your firm. If you’re starting a law firm or even if you’ve just recently started your own law firm, take a look at the list to ensure you have done everything on it.
#1: Create a Business Plan
No matter what type of business you start, you’re going to have to write up a business plan— especially if you require funding for your business. Your business plan should also include your executive summary, mission statement, the focus of your practice, a description of your competitive advantage and challenges, goals and objectives, and a marketing strategy.
Once your business plan has been accepted by an investor or bank, you’ll be able to move forward with the other parts of your business. This includes forming your business as a legal entity and obtaining business licenses and insurance.
#2: Choose a Location and Name
Securing financing from your business plan also allows you to choose and pay for a location for your firm, and there are a lot of options available when it comes to choosing a location. You can purchase or rent an entire building, or share an office building or space with other businesses. Either way, you’ll want to make sure that the location you choose caters to that particular population. Also, don’t forget to furnish and equip your office space with everything you’re going to need to provide your services.
You may already have a name for your firm picked out, but there are different routes you can take with this. Many lawyers name their firm after themselves, but you can also include the type of law you practice in your name, such as “injury lawyer”. Just remember that you can’t include the words “group” or “associates” in your name if you’re the sole proprietor.
#3: Develop a Business Website
One thing that every business needs in today’s digital world is a business website, and this rule applies to law firms as well. Your website lets visitors know everything about your business— the name of your firm, the services you provide, where you’re located and your hours of operation, how people can get in contact with you, and even your social media profiles.
There are many different website builders out there, or you can hire a professional website designer. You should also regularly check your website to make sure it’s functioning properly, or else it defeats the purpose of having a business website.
#4: Build a Network
When you’re just starting out, it’s likely that you don’t have many clients. With that being said, you’ll have to build your clientele base— and this can be done in many different ways. One way to do this is to network with other lawyers, particularly the ones who may practice a different type of law than you do. They can refer some of their clients to you if they ever need a lawyer who specializes in your area of law.
The best way to build your network with other lawyers is to join a lawyer association in your area. Not only will you build meaningful relationships with other lawyers, but you can also find some mentors.
#5: Market Your Firm
Another way to build your clientele is by simply marketing your law firm. However, this isn’t always as simple as it sounds because there are many different types of marketing techniques. One thing for sure is that you’re going to need a business website and a social media presence.
Your website will help you with search engine optimization (SEO) marketing so that potential clients will find your firm when doing a Google search. The best law firm SEO agencies can help you with this type of marketing. Other marketing strategies to look into include social media marketing, content marketing, and even traditional forms of marketing.
Again, even if you’ve already started your own law firm, make sure that you have a business website and that you’ve built a strong network to help you better market your firm. Definitely look into SEO marketing, since many people either look to search engines to find a good lawyer, or they just ask around. If you know you have the skills and the expertise, then you need good marketing strategies to bring potential clients to your business.