Running a legal practice is by no means easy, but by learning from experienced winners, you can give yourself a fighting chance. From learning how to manage your clients and billable hours to discovering effective marketing techniques, you too can be successful.
If you’re already running your own practice, it’s important to consider multiple areas in which you can improve, and decide whether you’re heading in the right direction. Based on the small, medium and large legal practices across the world, you can determine your path ahead.
Take a look at the following areas in which you need to succeed, and you can decide whether your firm is heading in the right direction.
- Is Your Marketing Working?
Most law practices will be utilizing some form of marketing – be it a billboard or a radio advertisement – but whether they really work or not is an entirely different issue. As a manager, you must ask yourself – ‘is my marketing really working?’.
Take a look at the amount of new clients you have coming in and compare it to the numbers from before the marketing campaign began. If you’ve seen a drastic spike, then you’re definitely doing something right. If there is a slight increase, then you have at least made more people aware of your services. If there is no change, then you know there is a problem.
Even if you see a slight increase, you need to ask yourself – ‘how can I achieve more?’. Your marketing strategy not only needs to create brand awareness, but it needs to give people a reason to choose you over other companies.
- Are You Retaining Clients?
A firm can only succeed if it is retaining clients as well as gaining them. These regular clients can provide a core income for your company, a reliable financial base that keeps you afloat as you explore new avenues of profit and reach out to potential new clients.
If your clients aren’t coming back, you need to ask yourself why. Some clients may only need a one-off service, but if you’re dealing with companies, then they will almost certainly need ongoing assistance.
Notice patterns. If a particular attorney or paralegal is dealing with clients who don’t return, make sure they have sufficient training. Consider using client feedback forms, and make sure that your firm is giving clients enough time.
- Be Fair with Billable Hours
Your clients trust you to bill them only for hours that are necessary to get the job done. This consideration ties in with client retention, as those who believe you’re charging too much will simply leave. So take a look at your billable hours, and ask your clients if they’re happy with your work. This feedback is important, as if you continue in the wrong direction, your firm won’t last much longer.
These three considerations will help you decide whether your firm is heading in the right direction, but there is so much more to look into. Examine the happiness of your staff, your success rate and your efficiency, and you’ll get a clear understanding of where your business stands.