Running your own small firm or solo law practice isn’t easy. You must constantly increase your client base, work to stay current with practices in your area and learn marketing skills -- all in addition to running a business. It’s time-consuming and uncertain. But there are plenty of positives, too—like being your own boss. Fortunately, resources are available to help you meet these top seven challenges.
1. Modest Salaries
Especially in the beginning, small firms offer smaller salaries than larger firms. But the almighty dollar isn’t the driving force for many attorneys. Just like in other professions, some people put themselves through school, incur large student loans and work long hours because they love what they do and enjoy helping people. Keep this in mind when you’re working long hours to build your business.
2. No Experience Running A Business
Running a small business in and of itself is a challenge. Understanding everything it will entail before you take the plunge will be immensely helpful. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers resources to help you create a business plan and apply for loans.
3. Limited Resources
With little or no support staff, lawyers may need to file court papers or perform other non-billable tasks themselves.And with fewer available resources, small firms often assume roles outside their traditional job description. But there are outsourcing options available to help you mitigate costs and save time while growing your client base.
Davinci Virtual Receptionists allow you to deliver high-quality service at a small cost so you can better connect with clients and meet their needs. Each of Davinci’s office receptionists is well educated, U.S.-based and specifically trained on your business and all of your specific needs. Here are just some of the benefits they can offer:
• Manage incoming calls.
• Provide outbound services (lead generation, appointment scheduling, follow-up calls, surveys and market research, third-party verification services).
• Conference-call assistance.
4. Modest Office Space
Small firms may contain fewer amenities than those of large corporations and law firms. In addition, the office may be located outside high-rent areas, further from the city and the courthouse and, often, operated from home. Virtual office solutions give you low-cost resources to help.
Davinci is the number-one provider of virtual office solutions with over 950 business locations around the world. Davinci virtual office locations provide you with a killer business address, mail-forwarding services, optional lobby directory listings, access to fully loaded meeting spaces and a wide variety of cutting-edge business services. Use your address for business licensing or registration and market your new company address on search engines and Internet directories.
5. Exposure To Market Fluctuations
Small law firm stability and revenue may rest on a few clients; the loss of a major one could affect the future of your business. That’s why expanding your client base is so crucial and networking and advertising are musts. Contact other attorneys you know and ask them to refer you and add you to their LinkedIn account—and any other professional social-media outlet. Create a professional website (there are low-cost options available like Web.com and GoDaddy) and take out ads in local publications. Your legal association can connect you with listservs as well.
6. Less Prestige
Small law firms typically lack the name recognition of the mega-firms. Set yourself apart from the small firms by touting your wins. Ask clients to spread the good word either verbally or ask them to post a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile and include your wins in advertisements.
7. Local Perspective
Small law firms generally have a local client base and lack the multi-jurisdictional presence of larger firms, thus limiting the types of legal work they can do and the types of clients they serve. Take the opportunity to research how you can expand your jurisdiction in other states and internationally. Davinci Virtual Office Solutions offers services to help gain a larger client base in far-flung regions.
Michael Labertew, owner of Labertew & Associates, LLC, has used Davinci Meeting and Conference Rooms to expand his small business. “As an attorney with a focus in international business, the majority of my clients are out of state and out of the country. Davinci's virtual office allows me to service these clients from anywhere in the world, while maintaining a presence in Utah. Their staff's professionalism, as well as their A+ prime office facilities and locations allow me the flexibility I need without sacrificing quality,” he says.
Stand The Test Of Time
By using all the resources available, your small or solo practice can enjoy a long and lucrative life. And when a judge rules in your favor, a client thanks you for finding a contract clause that results in a win, or when the legal advice you offered to a client months ago helped them in very significant ways, you’ll enjoy knowing you did it all on your own…
Learn more about how Davinci virtual office spaces and virtual receptionists can help your law firm succeed by speaking with a member of our expert team today.