Unlike weeds that seem to grow in any condition, solo law practices need a little more care.
After all, lawyers are not a naturally occurring part of the eco system. Sunshine, water, and a little soil probably have nothing to do with their success.
In urban life, it takes at least a plan, implementation, and perhaps a little luck to grow a solo practice. Here are some tips for your growth strategy:
Planning for Growth
Like any goal-oriented person, an attorney should plan for success. But solo practitioners face particular challenges when it comes to strategic planning.
"It's not something you do in one sitting, and you need somebody looking over your shoulder, whether that somebody might be your spouse or your staff person," consultant John Olmstead told the Lawyerist.
A lawyer should also confer with outside resources, such as publications, websites, and software in creating a growth plan. Points to consider should include:
- Clients, focusing on good client intake
- Money, such as procedures for billing, collections and credit lines
- Staffing, including virtual and live assistants
Implementing the Plan
Some goals are easier than others, and that's why implementing a plan includes long-term goals. It starts with understanding your capacity.
Martha Hartney, writing for Law Business Mentors, said that it depends on the type of practice. It took her about two years before she reached the break-through point.
"A solo estate planner can expect to serve 6-8 clients per month working full time or more," she said. "By the time you reach eight clients a month, I promise, you will be pulling out your hair."
She said to focus on money-making tasks, learning from others, and committing to the plan.
A Little Luck
Thomas Jefferson, the president and erstwhile lawyer, reportedly said:
"I am a great believer in luck, and I find that the harder I work, the more I have of it."
And so it is with the solo practitioner who aspires to grow a law firm. Jefferson, who excelled in many fields, also was once a solo practitioner.
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