This is a ‘work in progress’ article which you can watch as it grows. For some time now I have been analysing the different stages of law firm growth. I have noticed certain commonalities with different stages of the law firm growth process. There are similar challenges, opportunities and threats, which if not overcome, lead to a solicitor working there way back to their previous level on the Law Firm Growth Ladder. However, if a solicitor takes the time to put in place the required systems and processes, they can very quickly move up several rungs of the Law Firm Growth Ladder.
I have tried to summarise the different stages of the Law Firm Growth Ladder and, perhaps more importantly, what you need to do to shortcut your progress to the next level and beyond.
Please feel free to send me your thoughts or questions so that I can keep growing the ladder! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Level 1 – The Start Up Law Firm
Overview of Level 1
- Feelings of excitement, of breaking free and doing what you have always wanted to do.
- Turnover £0 to £250,000.
- None or one assistant.
- Hammering old contacts and colleagues to gain some new business.
- A small brochure website.
- No automated marketing systems.
- Time starved.
- Doing many menial tasks.
- Work only comes in when you hit the phones, emails or LinkedIn. You are riding The Law Firm Marketing Roller Coaster which is a horrible thing to do.
Opportunities to fast track your progress to Level 2 of The Law Firm Growth Ladder
- Delegate menial tasks as quickly as possible (even before you can afford it) to free up your time to work on growing the business.
- Spend time every day working on the growth of your law firm.
- Put in place some automated marketing systems that bring you clients with the marketing effort outsourced (Google Adwords, Email Marketing).
Level 2 – The Growing Pains Level
Overview of Level 2
- You are excited at the prospects of growth.
- Turnover bracket £100,000 to £5000,000
- You recruit your first fee earner (often a former colleague).
- What got you here from a marketing perspective won’t get you to stage 3.
- You now need to start using some automated marketing systems to generate sufficient work for yourself and your fee earner.
- Time poor – now time spent managing, doing own work and trying to run your law firm.
- Stressed – now responsible not only for your own income but that of your new recruit.
- Income can go backwards before going up if you don’t improve your marketing and systems.
- Some solicitors can’t get past this stage and quickly let their fee earner go, going back to Level 1 and vowing to never employ anyone again. With some planning and automated marketing this does not have to happen.
Opportunities to fast track your progress to Level 3 of The Law Firm Growth Ladder
- Recruit your next fee earner as soon as possible to take your case load away from you. Then you can focus on growing your law firm..
- Most people spend far too long in this stage. This could/should be a period of only 12 to 24 months but in most cases it becomes many, many years.