Over the last few years, industries all across the globe have witnessed an eminent change in their performance. The legal industry is one of them. Among these changes, the most significant has been the transformation in the business development areas. if we break down this term, business development can be simply summarized as the ideas, initiatives, and activities which help in making a business better. These initiatives or ideas could include aligning strategies with an aim to increase revenue, expand business, increase profit by building strategic partnerships and much more.
The pandemic had a significant impact on the activities performed in the legal industry. There was a sharp and rapid change when all the work turned virtual. Daily tasks such as client meetings or even court hearings which happened F2F were conducted via zoom meetings or videoconferencing. It is true that the economy crashed when the pandemic occurred, but nevertheless they had to perform to the best of their abilities to make the sector stay above waters.
The transformation in the legal industry, or any industry for that matter, is majorly influenced by a trend in the market. Currently, this transformation, in the legal market, has enabled clients and other prospects of law businesses to choose and connect with their preferred attorney or law firm via any web-based network or platform. These platforms are found across the web in the form of new-gen websites, helping law firms and lawyers to connect with their prospects. These platforms are basically a large pool of professional attorneys and legal experts which prospects can choose from.
Now that we have established the growing demand and popularity of these platforms, we should consider how law firms can revamp their business development strategies to keep up in the game.
Firstly, we need to understand that any prospect who approaches us is looking for a legal support provider who has a specialisation according to their needs. Our prospects may approach us through offline means, but since we are speaking about business development strategies, improving the online aspect of a law firm is as crucial as improving the offline functioning. Providing just add-on client services or competitive pricing is no longer sufficient, firms need to have a strong plan to cover all their business strategies.
As a law firm owner or an individual lawyer, a business development plan helps in laying the foundation of our law firm’s sustainable growth and expansion. It acts as a framework to set things in a systematic motion. Laying down an effective plan requires time and opinions of attorneys and other employees, extensive data about the law firm also allows in learning the performance over a period of time. Below we have discussed some of the business development strategies which legal firms should abide by, if they want to succeed in 2023.
The importance of a well-designed website- in today’s age, digital adoption has increased massively. It has been spreading across business sectors and industries. Hence, having a well-designed website for our law business is important. A website acts as the first touchpoint, it is the first thing which potential customers views about our business. We can even call it the face of the business, as it creates a difference in how a potential customer will learn about our business. An unorganised or poorly designed website does not grab attention of many, hence turning away potential clients. According to a survey, a person takes just a few seconds to look at a firm’s website in order to decide whether they would approach a business or not. Therefore, we have to understand that our website should make a difference in just these seconds. High-quality images and videos create a great impression on the viewers mind, hence improving our chance of making them our clients. On the other hand, we can also make sure that our service offerings are clearly defined, so as to create easy navigation.
The essence of relationships with clients- it stands true that in order to get new clients, we need to ensure that our current clients are served well with the best services. If our current customers remain happy with the services they are getting, they are likely to recommend our firm or business to their friends or to anyone else. Even a 2020 Legal Trends Report mentioned that someone looking for an attorney will likely trust recommendations from friends or loved ones before they look for their online reviews or any other social handles. Therefore, to ensure we get maximum possible referrals from our current clients, we need to prepare and implement a client-centric strategy to establish and maintain strong client relations, during and even after their case. We need to make sure that our firm delivers exceptional client experience.
Necessity of operational efficiency- to keep up with the efficiency, we will have to consider tracking how our staff works and how many working hours are spent on which activity. For instance, if attorneys are spending most of their time on administrative tasks rather than case-related tasks or vice-versa, this will have to change. We need to make sure our staff functions smoothly, and does not get overloaded with work. To maintain operation efficiency, we can set clear instructions about our staff members’ responsibilities across the spectrum of operations. A team which is well-synced will have complete awareness of their roles and hence will be able to ensure that their law business operates efficiently.
Focusing on branding and marketing- our law business has to become a brand. For this, we need to ensure our brand elements are consistent. For example, using one logo on our website and across publications. There are limitless opportunities which law businesses can employ in order to succeed. Considering how individuals have become alarmed about saving the environment and concerns related to it, we can also use it to our law business’s benefit. We can implement practices which rule in favour of the benefits towards environment, and hence market our firm as a sustainability-promoting, no-paper law firm and have the same featured in a local newspaper or magazine. Depending on our target audience’s demographics, we can even invest in digital or traditional marketing strategies.
Offering new services- the strategy is an effective one when it comes to business development. But also, the same cannot be done overnight. We cannot start a new line of legal services at our firm in just a matter of days. But we can start with determining the gaps which may be present in our law firm’s business, such as shortage of resources or skills required to enter new market, and then find the relevant tools which would be required to provide these services. Adding new services to our portfolio will educate clients about the improvement in our performance.
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