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2 years ago

9 tips to open your law practice and succeed

Anne-Laure JOUBAIRE | Eliott & Markus

Many young lawyers and accountants dream of opening their own practice, because it is synonymous with freedom and success. There are many advantages to becoming your own boss, but it is important to study your project carefully beforehand, in order to be well prepared and avoid disappointments. Here are nine tips from Eliott & Markus for entrepreneurship and success.

ADVICE N° 1: IDENTIFY YOUR MOTIVATIONS

If you are working within a law practice, a bad working atmosphere or ethical conflicts may be at the root of your desire to leave. In these cases, a change of domain or a resumption of practice may suffice to restore your dynamism. If you really feel like a business leader, meeting founders will allow you to check the validity of your decision.

ADVICE N° 2: POSITION YOURSELF

Determine the area and clientele you are targeting. You can create a general practice in the provinces without too many difficulties, but it will be easier to make your place in a niche market in large cities. This is particularly important, as customers nowadays expect tailor-made services and local relationships. Proposing innovative offers, such as packages for start-ups or online services, can also be a way to stand out.

ADVICE N°3: ASK FOR ADVICE

Not everyone knows how to build a business plan, communicate, prospect or invoice, even if the entrepreneur is a very good professional in his field. Many organizations can help you, such as the Entrepreneurial Bar or the Club of Young Accountants and Auditors who provide training.

TIP N° 4: SURROUND YOURSELF

Entrepreneurship alone quickly leads to overwork and deterioration in the quality of work. Joining forces with other reliable and complementary partners is a sure bet, provided that you agree on the distribution of the company's shares. To avoid being overwhelmed, rely on external professionals from the beginning for support tasks (accounting, communication, etc.), in order to concentrate calmly on developing your practice.

TIP NO. 5: BE FORWARD-LOOKING

To avoid financial difficulties linked with starting an activity, make savings to ensure a regular income, unless you can count on copyrights or teaching hours. Another important item not to be overlooked is logistics needs (IT, software, office, insurance, expenses, etc.), which are often underestimated. Co-working can be a solution for the beginning of your business, sharing premises will save costs and eventually bring you customers through the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

ADVICE N° 6: DEVELOP THE CLIENTELE

It is preferable to start your practice with at least a few years' experience, both for the expertise and reputation acquired with clients. 80% of the development potential of new firms would come from existing clients. The links forged with your colleagues will allow you to have recommendations and perhaps files. However, if you are used to dealing with big cases, expect a period of adjustment. Going bac to less important cases will be inevitable, but you have to be vigilant and avoid cases that are too time-consuming. Finally, adjusting your fees is a common practice to build client loyalty. Word of mouth then does the rest.

TIP N°7: BE VISIBLE

You will need to be visible on the Internet, with a website or blog, be listed in business directories and of course, be active on social networks. To solidify your reputation, you can also organize a launching event. Joining a professional association and attending conferences to demonstrate that you keep up to date with the latest legal news and technological innovations will give you a competitive edge. Volunteering with associations or writing in local newspapers will help you become known.

TIP #8: BE AWARE OF THE CONSTRAINTS

Although the entrepreneur's life is hectic, it is also difficult at times. Administrative burden, customer prospecting, lack of liquidity, short weekends can sometimes be constraining, and it is important to prepare for them because backtracking is often complicated!

TIP #9: ENJOY!

With a well-built project and good preparation beforehand, entrepreneurship, independence, the possibility of choosing your files and collaborators but also of increasing your income are undeniable advantages. In the end, standing on your own feet seems to be an extraordinary experience that few regret. So, what are you waiting for?


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