If you are thinking of setting up in business to offer your expert legal knowledge and assistance to individuals and organisations, it is imperative that you do things right the first time, as it can often be near-impossible to correct any big mistakes when you start up!
- Website - the first thing you need to do is set up your own website so that your new and existing clients have a way of contacting you through the World Wide Web. But don’t design the website yourself, pay a professional to do it for you. After all, you wouldn’t ask your office cleaner for legal advice, would you? In other words, stick to what you know and let the experts take care of the stuff you don’t;
- Social media - you would be surprised by the number of law firms that have active social media accounts on services such as Facebook and Twitter. These online services enable your client base to better engage with you and vice-versa, because they provide a mutually-convenient platform for any questions or subjects to be raised without the need for a fully-fledged telephone or email conversation;
- Online marketing - once you have your website and social media accounts set up, it is essential that you have a plan of action regarding your online marketing strategies. An individual or firm that designs your website will usually be able to point you in the direction of an online marketing firm that can help you get your marketing campaigns off the ground and show you where you need to focus your attention.
- Don’t have an office - I know that sounds crazy, right? The thing is, you could operate from your own home and have a virtual office. In a nutshell, virtual offices are mailing addresses where the providers forward on any post to you. But the great thing is that most offer other services such as meeting room hire, which is great for seeing clients that you don’t want to invite to your home;
- Don’t have a phone line - the Internet comes to our rescue again! Presumably you will have either a personal landline or mobile phone. What you can do is have a telephone number that is diverted to your personal line, and you only pay for the cost of any calls received (in some instances you don’t have to pay a penny);
- Don’t have a receptionist - if you get yourself a “virtual assistant”, they will deal with your telephone calls, post and emails, and process these incoming communications according to your requirements. Now you don’t have to worry about meeting a client or going to court and simultaneously dealing with enquiries from potential clients!
Even the Yellow Pages is hardly used by people anymore. To illustrate the point I am making; my local Yellow Pages book is now about a fifth of the size it used to be 10 years ago!