How to open a law firm without mistakes and unnecessary financial costs?
TOP-5 mistakes when opening a law firm (firm)
I want to describe to you the TOP mistakes that I face when lawyers or entrepreneurs open law firms. These mistakes concern both the moments BEFORE THE START, and often not logical actions in the first 1-5 months after opening a law firm.
I want to make a reservation that there are so many quirks and “jambs” that it will not be possible to describe them all. However, in my own … peculiar manner, I will try to convey all the subtleties of how a business could quickly be opened if it were not for these “buts”.
# 1. I do everything
I have said this more than once, and, apparently, I will repeat it more than a thousand times. A lawyer who wants to create a company and business, can’t do everything at once… Why?
1. It’s hard. You cannot know all areas of law. If you are engaged in everything, then each Client is for you a case that requires studying “from” and “to”, including both the Client’s situation and court practice. Nobody wants to lose face, so you, most likely, as a decent lawyer or attorney, will want to study the case, as Slepakov sang in the song, “thoroughly”.
What is it fraught with?
Well … let’s start with the fact that this process will take you a lot of time. Sorry for my French. And time, as lawyers say, costs money. It turns out that you know whether you can help the Client (for the Lawyers I will say – “the principal”), or not, you need to work hard. Ideally, this should be done.is free so as not to scare off a potential Client (Principal) with an entrance ticket (that is, by paying for the fact that he simply learns your opinion). But it is difficult to get acquainted with the case, the situation, and the practice for free. Therefore, you will want money for it. And they will not want to pay you money. And so, hello, a vicious circle: The client (I will choose this word, with your permission) – does not want to pay for something that you do not know yet, can you help him or not, and you do not want to study the situation for free. Let’s move on to reason # 2.
Each individual Client will take your time to get acquainted with his case and practice
2. To gain experience for a long time. Doing everything at once, you really need a lot of time to study each Client. Today it is a dispute with the insurance company, and tomorrow it is a division of property. The day after tomorrow – the bankruptcy of an individual, and the next Client generally wants to recalculate real estate taxes. Each of these issues requires expertise, which must be developed not only in judicial practice but also through personal experience.
If you have ever come across IT, then imagine that there is a service that tries to provide all the services: it is a message board, it is a social network, it is a bank, it is also a taxi ordering service, it also reservations a table in a restaurant, it collects reviews. You get the idea. It is difficult, both for you – to create it, and for the Client to figure it out.
It is impossible to know everything at once. You can know one thing well, or a little bit of everything.
3. It is more difficult to attract customers. If you have come across Internet advertising (and more and more lawyers are still starting to use it), then you know that the more accurate the offer, the greater the effect of advertising. Advertising “legal services” is almost as useless as advertising just “help.”
Imagine you see an advertisement with the word “Help”. Help with what? To whom? How? What is the price? An exaggerated example, I think you understand, but the meaning does not change.
Below I will provide examples of websites of lawyers and attorneys that advertise “help”. Are you in a comment tell what did you understand from their sites? We do not discuss the sites themselves and their design, this is a separate story.
Sample sites (not my sites, this is just an Internet SERP)
Here’s a story. These people are advertising … help. It is not clear to the user who they are and who exactly they can help. When people leave applications on their website, lawyers and attorneys consider such applications “not targeted”. Why? Because they are “not the same”. And what should they be if you advertise “Help”?
How to? Choose a specialization in which you are a master and concentrate on it. For example, on my favorite bankruptcy of individuals.
The lack of precise services leads to a lack of precise inquiries from the Clients. The more accurate your services and offer, the more clients you will have.
No. 2. I advertise myself
The second misconception and mistake of lawyers are that they advertise themselves. Not your services, but yourself. This is just caused by mistake # 1. Without formulating the exact services, the lawyer begins to promote himself as a professional with a specific photo and name, but without a specific specialization.
The result of such a promotion, you guessed it, is simple. There are few requests from Clients, and they are “not targeted”. People call “just ask.” Well, since you offer “Just help”, they turn to you so that you “Just help”.
In numbers, the result is as follows: We invested 10,000 rubles in advertising, received 1-2-3 calls or requests, the callers wanted to “Just ask”, and the Lawyers issued a verdict “Internet advertising is not working.”
Money goes into the void. It is impossible to develop a business.
How to? Advertise specific services in which you are a master. You will always find your Client. It is enough just to set up contextual advertising specifically for your services. More on this later.
No. 3. Advertising does not work
The third problem is how a start-up law firm advertises itself. This is a combination of the two previous mistakes. No specialization – no precise service. I made a conclusion – I advertise myself. And made a site “about myself”. I started to advertise “Help”, I got what I wrote about a little higher, I will not repeat myself.
For advertising to work, you need to advertise for a specific service. And do it right.
How to? Advertise for exactly 1 service. Create a website with one service (landing page) and bring Clients to it. Then you will receive requests from potential clients who are looking for this particular service.
you can just take ready-made solutions for advertising-specific services. For example, my favorite bankruptcy.
No. 4. Hire an office before Clients arrive
Very, very, very many lawyers think and, accordingly, do this: “First I will rent an office, then Clients will automatically come to me. Because I will have an office. That’s it.”
Alas, alas, it doesn’t work that way. The fact is that an office is just a tool for holding meetings, accommodating employees, and a lot of other useful tools, but in no way and in any universe does the office bring Clients by itself.
An office is needed when you ALREADY have Clients, and you do not have time to meet with them “around the city”. Or you want to organize your meetings by doing it in the office. Or you want to hire an assistant who will make appointments for you in the office. Or your house is littered with papers, and you need a working office for a calm and convenient work in it. Either you want to rent an office for the image. But the office itself does NOT bring Clients.
It happens like this: a lawyer rents an office that is empty. Begins to look for Clients “for all services”, of course, he does not find such. And it closes the office =) … more precisely = (… The story is short, it repeats itself, I think, with 7 out of 10 lawyers who open their business in this way.
How to? Rent an office when you need it. If you have plans to hire an assistant in the near future to make appointments, then rent a small office 20-25 meters. Better – in the Business Center. And accept in it the Clients who have contacted you through targeted advertising for a specific service. It is not expensive, but it will give you all the benefits of an office: image, amenities, recruitment, and expansion potential.
The office itself does not bring Clients! Use the office for other purposes of your company, but not for attracting Clients.
No. 5. Clients themselves should want to work with me.
So, the coolest mistake that breaks businesses is, in my opinion, 9 out of 10 lawyers. A delusion that is inherent in the entire legal world, or, at any rate, in the majority of representatives of the noble profession of defenders of legal rights.
“The Client has a problem, why should I prove it to him?” – the lawyer who is not paid by the Clients say with sadness and anger. More precisely, already lost Clients.
Alexander Lukin, from St. Petersburg, told me: “I don’t understand why I have to persuade people to conclude an agreement with me? They have a problem, I have a solution, what else do they need?”
I don’t want to upset you, but I will. And, believe me, I would be glad not to do this, but … your services are needed SELL…
Now let’s calm down. For those who do not understand why I wrote this way, I will explain: lawyers believe that legal services are not a commodity to sell. You may find this funny, but believe me, there are whole epic wars about the fact that a lawyer should not sell his services.
The fact is that lawyers believe that the Sale is something so nasty, low, almost fraudulent, that by no means should it fit with their image of noble guardians of rights and laws.
Lawyers who open a law firm think that they do not need to sell their services to the Clients who turn to them. And it is very painful to perceive the fact that the Client may “think”, or he may have objections.
So what is the mistake? The mistake is that you need to understand that you have to sell your services. More precisely, first, selling the idea of meeting you, then selling services at the meeting.
Important: by selling, I mean the motivation of the Client to conclude a contract, if it is obvious and clear that you can help the Client, and the Client will benefit from your services. In no case am I talking about you “imposing” your services, “misleading”, or “ripping off” Clients. No-no-no.
I am only talking about so that you can correctly convey the benefits and advantages of working with you, and the Client does not run away from you, because instead of listening to his problem, you quoted him the laws or chapters applicable to his case or situation.
Legal services are the same services as everyone else. To be paid for, they must be presented correctly. Or “Sell”.
How is it correct? That’s right – to accept that meetings and services need to be sold, and to do it right, using the sales logic.
So, what are the mistakes, in short, are there, and how to avoid them?
1. Select specialization in which you are a master.
2. Advertise specific service that people need.
3. Give advertising, I use Yandex or Google. Create a landing page for a specific service. Read how to do this in the article that I suggested to you above.
4. Don’t rent an office, while it is not necessary, or rent a small office, without glamor, for specific tasks. Without mahogany tables and a hall with a secretary, if this does not yet have a clear need for you.
5. Sell your services. But sell them right. Each Client whom you can help must understand that without your life will lose its meaning, and he will be very stupid that he will not use your services. Because such an opportunity, how to work with you, is an opportunity that he should allow himself. For information on how to sell services to lawyers, see the links that I also gave above.
As a result, you will be able to open a legal business without unnecessary mistakes and costs. The topic of which this short article was.
Important words …
This is a short description of the TOP errors that I see every day. In this article, I have not touched on the topic prices of services, their content, tariffs, magnets, working out questions and objections from Clients, financial accounting, advertising methods, and much more.
The topic of starting a legal business is extremely deep and interesting, as is the topic of starting a business as such, but it is very problematic to fit even all the points in one article, as you understand.
I will be glad to your comments, questions, suggestions, and Your experience if you have already opened a law firm. I will also be happy to give you free advice if you want to hear it or share useful materials that you can study on your own.