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Are You Failing to Plan for Growth in Your Law Firm?

Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

As a successful legal professional, be it a Senior Partner, Managing Partner, Senior Leader, you are the primary driver for your law firm, determining its growth.

Ultimately, you are pivotal in creating your firm’s story and building a pathway to its goals.

Maybe you are experiencing current success – but don’t fall into the trap of overlooking areas where you could improve. It’s easy to become complacent, and before you know it, you will start to slip backwards.

So how can you ensure you don’t fail to grow? In the current climate with market forces as they are, you must strive to remain successful – and the key to that lies in planning.

Sometimes it’s natural to overlook areas where you could make improvements if the firm is experiencing overall success. It’s easy to miss opportunities to progress.

Alternatively, you may feel that your business is suffering due to market forces out of your control and you’re unable to take a step forward in the current climate.

However, there are always ways to improve and move forward. So, take a step back to review your law firm, its customers, systems, processes and employees to reassess your goals and ensure you are making the most of your business.


Talk to Your Customers

It doesn’t matter how qualified your employees are or what specialist services you provide if you don’t focus on customer service first.

Customers define your firm, so your priority is to ensure you understand their needs.

You can do this by conducting surveys and research to gain valuable feedback. Just ensure that your surveys facilitate honest feedback, or you’re wasting your time, and theirs.

Having honest insight into your customers' thoughts on your service will allow you to develop the services they want and need, as well as enabling you to improve those areas that need development.

It’s essential to take the extra step to make your customers feel valued and unique, so make sure you talk to them and listen to (and address) any problems they have. That way, you will inspire loyalty – and loyal consumers won’t just come back to you – they will recommend their friends and colleagues to you too.


Check Your USP

What does your law firm offer that others don’t?

Brand awareness is not only about the external perception of your law firm, but how your employees see it too.

A good brand will utilise its profile in the marketplace to position itself ahead of the competition.

Developing an excellent company brand will enable you to develop a reputation as a great place to work and do business with, providing exceptional company culture and customer service.


Be Clear on Your Value Proposition

This is all about the ‘c’s!

Improve your communication - with customers, colleagues and competitors. Listen to the words others use and use them right back. Be clear about who you are and the value you provide.

Be concise - get a clear message out there about your law firm. Don’t make your messages long and overly complicated – people are more likely to remember short, punchy information.

Be compelling – are you persuasive in making people want to do business with you? Can you offer them something no one else can? I refer you back to your USP…


Focus on Strong Leadership

Does your leadership come up to scratch?

A successful law firm requires leadership that is transparent, emotionally intelligent, resilient, empathetic, focused and inspiring.

If you believe your leadership could develop in some of these areas further, take steps now. Training in personal development will enable you to lead from the front.

Failure to invest in leadership will result in good ideas coming to nothing, so start at the top.


Invest in Building a Top Team

Developing a high-performing team who work collaboratively will enable your law firm to achieve its goals, both short and long-term.

It will create a positive mindset and ethos of encouragement and positivity that will allow your firm to excel and grow, keeping you ahead of the pack in the competitive legal marketplace and making your law firm attractive to further top talent.

As part of this, professional development should play a significant role in ensuring your team keeps ahead of trends.

Training and development of both hard and soft skills will not only instil a sense of pride in specialist knowledge and ability but make employees feel valued by the firm.

This, in turn, will lead to better staff retention saving you the costs of hiring and onboarding new employees.

Additionally, happy staff are more productive, so you will see positive developments on the bottom line.

In a working environment where individuals are part of a capable team, the quality of an individual’s sense of purpose in understanding big goals is enhanced. They feel ‘included’ in decisions, and their ideas and concerns listened to and acted on.


Embrace Technology

The legal sector is growing at a rapid pace. If you’re standing still in terms of digital ability, then you might as well be going backwards.

Using the internet to grow your law firm allows you to reach a much larger number of potential clients than ever before.

As well as building your client base, if you regularly post industry articles online, you will develop a reputation as being an authority in your specialist areas – attracting both top talent to want to work for you as well as establishing you as a credible law firm in the eyes of competitors.

Your website should also reflect your forward-thinking by embracing new technology.

Refining your online platform will make it more responsive, and maximising your SEO will enable you to reach more viewers online, as well as offering you the opportunity to connect and network with others - crucial in moving forward.

Additionally, a social media strategy will enable you to reach more clients, develop relationships and strengthen existing ones, gain insight into competitors and demonstrate your industry knowledge.


Develop a Strategic Plan

Ultimately, a strategic plan is the tool that will enable you to move forward and grow your legal firm.

Using your knowledge of what has worked well previously, you can build a pathway to achieve your ultimate goals, avoiding strategies that have failed in the past.

A good plan will move you from where you are now to where you want to be.

Including milestone achievements will keep you focused on the end goals and provide you and your team with motivation along the way.

Make your strategic plan achievable (but aspirational) and timely - and don’t be afraid to amend it as you progress if your law firm’s requirements change.


Next Steps

If you’re reading this article because you are looking to scale your law firm and achieve your goals, call one of the Clayton Legal team on 01772 259 121 and let’s have a conversation to explore your options. 


Thanks

Lynn

 

About Clayton Legal

Clayton Legal has been partnering with law firms across the country since 1999 and during that time has built up an enviable reputation for trust and reliability. We have made over 5,000 placements from partners to legal executives, solicitors to paralegals and legal IT personnel to practice managers. 

If you are building your legal team or looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here

If you would like to know more about recruiting trends in the legal sector this year, download our latest guide here.

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