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So, you’re tired of working for other people and want to start your own law firm. You have the experience, the knowledge, and the skills, but do you have what it takes to make your business a successful one?
Starting your own personal injury law firm isn’t always a simple process. There are a few crucial factors to consider if you want to give yourself a proper head start.
First and foremost, you need a steady stream of clients in order to get started. Without enough willing to follow you to your new firm, it will be incredibly difficult to succeed. Since you can’t solicit clients while still at your current firm, how are they supposed to bring their business to your new doors?
The key is to have strong, trusting relationships with several clients already. They have to make the decision to follow you over to the new practice, but your years of positive work with them should make this possibility a reality. This might mean that you need to stay where you are for a while longer, but you can’t expect to make it on your own without this initial aspect.
Making a Plan
Next, you need to develop a solid business plan that you will present to a bank. Never place your own money into a new firm, this is a recipe for financial disaster. Should your practice fail to make the income it needs to keep running, paying a loan back is a lot easier than being broke.
Your money is another aspect of your personal business plan, but should be used as capital. It is highly recommended that you have enough capital to cover one year’s worth of your current salary. This ensures that any loss you incur within the first year is covered.
Build a Website
No firm is complete, or as successful, without a website. This simple yet effective marketing tool is how potential customers will identify your firm, understand what services you offer, and find contact information for your office.
Several online companies offer the ability to build your own website, saving on your initial investment in the practice. There’s plenty of information on how to make your site stand out as well excellent examples to build off of, but you can find more here.
There are multiple ways you will invest in your new practice, with the first being its physical location. Ideally, you should rent something as inexpensive as possible that still provides the space you will need. However, the location of your office still plays a key factor.
An office suite or existing office that is willing to sublet makes an ideal place to set up shop. These types of spaces usually come with their own furniture, which cuts down on your initial cost.
The next part of your investment will be in technology. You need a powerful computer with ample storage for yourself, as well as a server capable of providing enough power for when you expand. You already know how document heavy a personal injury practice can be, so place an extra emphasis on the storage required.
Finally, you need to invest in both case management software and all-purpose cell phones. The software is a critical component to keeping all of your documents well organized for legal and court requirements, while the phones ensure you are constantly in touch with both attorneys and your office.