How to bootstrap the launch of your new small firm
Opening up your own practice is a very involved process
Congratulations! You have decided to open up a small law firm or solo practice. This could be an exciting and lucrative business venture for you. But opening up your own practice is a very involved process.
And if you want to make sure that your law firm thrives, you need to start by making sure that your launch is successful.
Here are some of the steps you should be prepared to take to bootstrap the launch of your new small or solo law firm.
Think Smarter With Costs and Tasks
One of the many mistakes small law firms and solo attorneys make when opening up their practice is overloading themselves with tasks and unnecessary costs. They believe they need to do everything and get everything their firm could possibly need before they launch when this is not really the case.
In all actuality, you need to think smart with your costs and tasks. If you want to get a good idea of everything you need to do and all of your law firm’s expenses, take the time to list them all out first. From there, you can take the time to go through your tasks and expenses and organize them as necessary. More is not necessarily better. It would be best to put your time, energy, effort, and money where it is most likely to yield the greatest return on investment.
Start By Prioritizing
Once you have everything written down, you can take the time to prioritize everything. There are many different tasks that your solo practice or small law firm will need to take on. This might include figuring out when you want to open, your practice areas of focus, what your marketing plan and budget look like, where your office will be, where you will meet with clients, and other logistics.
Once you have decided when you want to open your doors for business, you need to figure out what steps you need to take to accomplish this goal before that day. Please do not make the mistake of overloading yourself and trying to open up your business before it is reasonably ready. You could do more harm to your brand and your clients that way.
By working your way through the essential items first, as opposed to being overwhelmed by so many tasks that you get nothing done, you will be able to open up your doors more quickly and begin serving your clients and community.
Setting Your Budget
Before your law firm can open, you need to take a hard look at your budget. How much can you afford to spend on office space? Would a co-working environment be more appropriate for your small practice? What about office supplies, equipment, and staff? How much can you afford to spend on your new law firm’s marketing budget? What other expenses do you anticipate once you begin taking on clients? All of these factors need to be carefully reviewed to avoid financial ruin after launch.
Every law firm or solo attorney’s budget will be different depending on the details of your practice. However, it helps if you account for all of your expenses, any anticipated business expenses, and of course, the legal expenses associated with caring for your clients during their legal battles. You don’t want to over-extend yourself and be unable to cover these costs.
Consider what expenses and costs you will need to account for to serve your clients successfully. All of the bells and whistles that come with opening your new practice, including fancy marketing materials, billboards, commercials, and supplies, will come with the success of your law firm. But you do not need them to launch.
Jordan Deifik and Jay Kamlet are Colorado-based commercial real estate professionals. They co-own LawBank, the largest and oldest shared office space for lawyers in the Mountain West. LawBank has multiple locations in the Denver metro area and Downtown Las Vegas and offers flexible leasing options to attorneys throughout the region. LawBank also assists larger law firms sublet their vacant office space with small law firm tenants. Learn more about LawBank’s amenities, and the Las Vegas and Denver locations.