Are you considering starting a legal services business? You have a whole host of options available to you.
You can do almost anything within the legal field, from providing a specialized service to providing affordable legal help.
As you start your business, you have many important decisions to make and will need business legal advice. Each of these decisions will impact your ability to start a business that is strong and will last for years to come.
Read on to learn more about how to start a legal services business and thrive.
1. Type of Legal Services Business
There are many types of legal services businesses on the market. There are some that sell legal services to people at a fraction of the cost of an attorney’s hourly rate.
There are other legal services businesses that support attorneys, like document translations, courier services, notaries, and more.
Your first step in deciding your legal services business is to decide what type of business you’re going to have. How can you decide?
You can decide based on what appeals to you the most. After all, if you’re going to start a business, it better be something that you enjoy. If you don’t, you’re just going to create another job you dislike (and you’re the boss).
You also need to decide based on data. You have to pick an opportunity that shows clear growth. It would be like starting a yellow pages business in today’s world. You’ll pick a business that won’t get off the ground.
2. Target Market
Your next step in developing your business is to decide on your target market. Knowing the type of business will help you narrow that down, but you still have to get more specific.
For example, you decide to start a legal services business where you sell affordable legal services. You have a wide array of audiences to serve.
You could target small businesses who need legal services. You could also target consumers who are concerned about identity theft and need legal services. You could sell a standard family plan for estate planning.
You have many options if you’re serving attorneys. Do you just choose to focus on business attorneys? You might offer legal translation services and target immigration attorneys and international business law firms.
The more specific you can be with your target market, the easier it will be to explain what you do for a living and form whom. People will remember that and be more willing to refer business to you.
3. Create a Partnership
You still have another big decision to make. Again, this depends on the type of business you choose.
For some legal services, you may have the option to have an independent business or buy a franchise. When you’re selling legal services, you have a choice as to which pre-paid legal service you partner with.
You’re going to have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each option you have in front of you. You then have to decide which disadvantages you’re willing to deal with and which ones are dealbreakers.
Take the choice between opening a franchise or starting an independent business. A franchise offers a complete business system that has been proven to work in other markets. You also license the right to use an established brand.
Those are huge advantages. The disadvantages are that you have to pay a franchise fee, which could be steep. You also have to follow the guidelines set by the corporate office exactly. There is no room for flexibility.
That being said, it’s difficult to start a new business and a new brand from scratch. It’s easier if you have established relationships with your target audience, but you do have to keep in mind you have to invest in marketing to get your business off the ground.
If you plan to sell legal services, you’re going to need to choose the right company based on the strength of the company and the training and support provided.
4. Write a Business Plan
You’re not quite ready to start your business. You still have to make sure your business is profitable. That’s what a business plan will help you do. A business plan is a detailed document that goes over every aspect of your business.
You have to spend time identifying your competition and learning what they do well. That helps you position and price your services.
A SWOT analysis will help you learn what the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats are to your business.
It’s important to know that the strengths and weaknesses refer to the internal aspects of your business. Opportunities and threats are about the external aspects of your business. For example, a strength is that you have a great network to support your business. A threat is that the economy is weak.
Your business plan also includes financial spreadsheets like your startup costs, monthly costs, profit and loss statements, and revenue projections.
5. Marketing Your Legal Services Business
The reason why you have to do so much work is to make marketing easier. You have clarity as to who you are marketing to. You can target your marketing efforts to your specific audience.
For example, if you sell legal services and target businesses, you can network at chambers of commerce and advertise online. You can also get quality legal leads for your business.
Business Legal Advice for Starting a Business
Starting a business requires a lot of decisions before you even get your first customer. You have to deice the type of business, your audience, how you’ll get clients, and how you’ll beat the competition.
You’re still going to have to structure your business. It’s best to seek business legal advice because your decision will impact your liability and taxes.
Each decision is important, so you want to take your time and get as much information as possible.
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