There is so much to think of when considering opening a law firm. From the size of it, and if you need to hire lawyers in Calgary to support your enterprise, to the necessary space and technology to do so effectively, you will need to take a lot into consideration, including all regulatory requirements.
But, nonetheless, it is always better to make an informed decision rather than go blind to it. On the next few topics we hope to share some light on things you need to keep an eye out for when planning your law firm in Alberta.
Consider Your Expertise
The first thing you need to do is take some time to critically evaluate your expertise, and how you can deal with cases once you are the owner of your own law firm. Consider what was your experience on, what set of skills can you bring, and what area of law you are more comfortable acting on.
Furthermore, have in mind that when opening your own law firm it will not be enough to just be a good lawyer, regardless of the area, you will also need to know how to run a business and be willing to learn how to do it properly. You may have people working for you, and they will expect a certain level of professionalism from the firm. Developing a business plan that includes plans for the office space, professional development, finances, and the visual identity and image the law firm wants to pass is crucial for the success of the business.
It is important to keep your mind on the goal, learn from mistakes, and have the mindset to study and improve in the areas you see are lacking.
Analyze The Market
You will need to distinguish your firm from the others. As mentioned before, you will need to create a business plan that will meet the market need or the public you want to appeal to.
A business plan normally includes four pillars you need to put your attention to. Firstly, the vision of the law firm. What do you want to do and achieve? Is it getting a lot of cases in order to help more people, and consequently make more money that way? Is it focusing on a small number of companies and defending them in Court? Defining your vision is the first step.
Secondly, the values of the law firm. What are the values that will drive the people working under you? Avoid being obvious on those values, hard work and honesty are expected from your law firm, instead have those values define your business in a more specific way. They should bear meaning, how do those values actually define how your firm contrasts itself in comparison to others?
Once the vision and value are properly defined, it is easier to define the next two important aspects. Your business model and the market analysis. Your business model will be how your firm will work. You will need to ask yourself what kind of place would you enjoy working at. This will be important even to support you when hiring people to work with you. Things you need to think about at this stage are what kind of public you are aiming at, how pricing will be, and which areas of the law are you comfortable tackling.
Market analysis is pretty self-explanatory. You need to know who your competitors are in order to have a better image of what is currently lacking in the market and how other firms conduct their business so you can model and adapt better to the market.
Define Goals and Ways to Measure Success
Setting goals and a way to measure how much you have achieved them is a good way to tackle your weak spots before they become a problem. Both short-term goals and long-term goals are important to keep track and they will vary depending on what are your vision, values, and business model. It is also pivotal to keep them realistic while still breaking the threshold of what is staying stagnant.
There are a few things that are especially important to keep track of. How well is the firm doing? When comparing expenses to income, how are your finances looking? This is maybe one of the most important indicators because it will define how much you can grow.
Keep tabs on your successes, not only this will motivate you to keep going, but it will also allow you to see your strong points and reward your employees.
Define your marketing needs based on the points mentioned and how to approach them, this will allow you to track client acquisition and how much room for growth there is.
Other important indicators can be how well-reviewed you are by clients. People talk, and they will recommend you if you are treating them well and fighting for the best possible outcome for them.