The biggest concern of people running small law firms is how to enhance the revenue-earning ability of their agency. A legal professional after getting some client referrals decided to open her own law firm in Delhi. As time passed, the lawyer was faced by the problems of rising operational expenses and competition from other local agencies as well as other law firms in India. The instinctive reaction of the owner was to take steps to reduce overhead costs. In order to rise and gain a place among the top law firms in India, it is essential that some best practices are adopted which have a direct impact on the major factors that affect revenue generation. In this article, some valuable information is being presented here which will help law office owners.
1. Install A Practice Management Software
All firms must install practice management software to streamline their workflow and process. These systems help in automating various functions and synchronizing the efforts of all the people involved in a case. Moreover, these software packages accurately measure the time spent on handling a particular matter and therefore help in generating faultless bills. The positive impact that practice management solutions have on productivity makes it essential that small and single partner firms invest in them.
2. Devise A Range Of Fee Structures
A common mistake committed by most small legal firms in India is to employ a uniform fee structure for all types of clients. The billing method must be chosen according to a particular situation as this will ensure that the agency never faces a paucity of cash. Study and understand all types of fees arrangements such as hourly billing, retainers or a flat amount for the case. This will be helpful in selecting an appropriate structure for a particular case.
3. Devise A Marketing Plan
Running a legal office is similar to running a business and in order to generate more clients and increase profits, having a marketing plan is mandatory. The new owner of the Delhi-based legal firm must first get a website apart from creating profiles on various social network channels. She must focus on a few practice areas and use the virtual channels to build the image of the enterprise knowledgeable and trustworthy entity in them. Contributing articles on these topics to various forums will also be helpful. She can also attend legal seminars as well as social functions to network with potential partners and clients. This will ultimately help her agency get a place among the best law firms if not the country.
4. Hire Specialists For Focus Practice Areas
Most top law firms in India were started by individuals or partners possessing expertise in a particular practice area. This helped in establishing themselves as leaders in specific segments before expanding their operations to other areas. Small agencies must adopt a similar approach and hire people who specialize in their practice area. It will help them discharge their duties more effectively and open up the way for charging higher fees.
5. Have A Sound Client Intake Process
Having a sound client intake process is necessary for all organizations including legal service providers. It is seen sometimes that even though more leads are being generated, they are not converting into actual cases. This happens because the leads were not screened before being accepted. Agencies must establish a system which helps them understand the expectation of prospective clients. This will give them an idea about whether they have the ability to handle the issue or not.
6. Take Help Of Cross-selling Marketing Strategy
Cross-selling is a marketing strategy which involves offering another service to an existing customer. This tactic can be successfully employed by legal firms also. For instance, when an individual uses the service of an agency for starting a business, the lawyer can offer the client the services of a copyright or an intellectual property lawyer for safeguarding IP assets. This practice, if used by law offices in India, can guarantee healthy returns for them.
7. Take The Help Of Freelance Professionals
Keeping all professionals on payroll can be financially stressful for small enterprises. They can hire full-time employees for critical positions and engage freelancers for other work. They can ask freelance lawyers to work for them on an as-needed basis. Many times small law offices in India are unable to take up a case because they do not have the required professional with them. Freelancers can help avoid this problem and also improve the earnings of the agency.
8. Invest In Efficient Billing Management
Delays in generating bills and following-up on client payments are just a couple of problems that legal advisors face. As mentioned earlier, the practice management software will be helpful in automatically calculating the time and fees. Similarly, auto-generated email reminders asking clients for payments must also be set. Owners must stagger the billing dates for even cash flow and must generate a bill as soon as a matter is completed.
9. Be Transparent In Client Dealings
The most important suggestion that can be given to any new owner is to be completely transparent in dealings with clients. Communicate in clear terms the fee amount and the payment structure before taking up a case. Give a detailed account to a potential client about the manner in which the issue will be approached and what can be expected. Finalize right at the beginning the modes and the frequency of conveying new developments. This will minimize the scope of conflict and billing delays in the future.
The top law firms in India have reached their present position by making periodic assessments of their organization. This helps them in improving their productivity and enables them to provide more efficient services, which has a positive impact on their profits.
Amy Jones is a professional legal expert working with Ahlawat & Associates. A company that provides best corporate lawyers in India in a convenient manner. She is a passionate writer and loves to share legal-related tips.