This article is part of our In Their Own Words series where lawyers share their insights in starting a law firm
LEAP surveyed sole practitioners and principals who started their own law firm and asked them to share what they learnt from the experience. Starting out on your own can be a daunting task, but at LEAP we see this every day when we provide professional services to new clients. It’s now time for us to help you take that that first step.
“How much better it is working for myself.”
This is a lawyer’s response when asked what is one thing which you knew before you started your own firm.
Read on for more practical tips from lawyers who have been there.
ACCOUNTING & BOOKKEEPING TIP
Get a good bookkeeper and accountant at the beginning – first day.
Invest in technology and automate as many administrative tasks as possible.
Time management is the fourth highest challenge for lawyers new to running their own business.
This is equal with the challenge of budgeting well and cash flow.
LEGAL KNOWLEDGE TIP
Know your core practice areas well and try to make your practice have a point of difference from others.
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA TIP
Know your market – what sort of clients are you marketing to, what sort of advertising will work in your area to attract the clients you want.
Use Law Society information on marketing and put the web on as soon as possible.
When buying a piece of equipment, don’t buy the cheapest, buy for what will serve you well, and has room for increase.
Be financially prepared, prepare a budget up front and stick to it. Know all your cost of set up and first 12 months. Start out as quickly and cheaply.
LEADERSHIP & MENTORING TIP
Get advice from someone who has been there before, a coach.
WORK & LIFE BALANCE TIP
How demanding it is being on your own. I needed to learn how to let go sometimes.
BUSINESS PLANNING TIP
Carefully prepare your business plan for a minimum of three years with a strong emphasis on technology.
59% of firms have had to change direction
Prepare plans for all areas of your business and work hard to implement the details. Also, be flexible to change your plans as you progress.
“I should not have doubted myself, and taken the plunge into managing my own firm earlier.”