6 Ugly Truths About Growing and Scaling a Law Firm – And How to Overcome Them
This might not be the first time you’ve heard me say this, but I’m going to say it again, “law firm growth is 90% mental and 10% mental.” I say this because it’s true. Before you can begin the process of growing and scaling your firm, you need to get into the mindset to do so first because it won’t be easy. Once you’ve gotten in the growth mindset you need to understand that it’s one thing to grow a small law firm, it’s another thing entirely to scale and grow a law firm to new heights. I want to help attorneys achieve the same financial freedom that I have been able to attain, so I’m going to share with you the 6 ugly truths about growing and scaling a law firm – and how you can overcome them.
Truth #1: There’s Never a Perfect Time to Grow a Law Firm
This is one of the most common excuses that I hear when attorneys tell me why they haven’t started growing their law firm is “I’m too busy right now,” or “I need to get my ducks in a row first.” The thing is, there will never be a “right time” to begin the process of growing and scaling your law firm, so don’t wait! Instead, make the decision to grow and scale your firm and stick to it by marketing your firm and recruiting staff.
Truth #2: You Won’t Be Successful Without a Clear Plan to Profitability
This catches a lot of attorneys off-guard. I’ve been able to successfully grow and scale US Legal Groups by taking a step back in revenue, so we can ultimately take 5-steps forward. You may start off making less revenue in the beginning, because your associates need an appropriate amount of time to scale. In my opinion, this is something you need to be willing to do in order to grow your revenue exponentially. Many attorneys go into business without a clear plan on how they will achieve profitability. They think that they can just “wing it” and things will work out. The problem with this thinking is that it leads to law firms scaling too quickly without a solid foundation. Growing and scaling a law firm for long-term profitability doesn’t happen overnight. You need to have a clear plan on how you will achieve profitability, understand it will take some time, and be willing to stick to it.
Truth #3: It Takes Time to Grow and Scale a Firm
This is something that I tell all of my clients. You can’t expect to see results overnight. In general it takes about 90-120 days to get an additional practice up and running. This will give you time to get your revenue scaled up and handle your marketing. It’s very important to be marketing your firm during this time, because that is what will really drive growth. Use this time to focus on getting marketing tasks in order or hiring a marketing agency to help you. We’re confident we can help you successfully market your firm so you are set up for success.
Truth #4: The Bigger the Market, the Harder it Will Be to Break Into
Believe it or not some of the markets that I’ve seen tremendous success in are underserved markets. Why? There’s a lack of competition. This makes it easier to rank a website organically and it is usually less expensive in the PPC space than a competitive marketplace. Expanding in underserved markets has also allowed me to scale my practices much quicker. For example, one of my largest firms, New Mexico Legal Group>, is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with a population of close to 1 million people. One day an attorney at that office came to me to let me know she was moving 3.5 hours south to Las Cruces, New Mexico, and wanted to know if we could open an office there. So I did some research and decided to give it the green light. In almost no time at all we were able to successfully scale from 1 to 5 attorneys in a much smaller market, with a population of a little over 110,000 people. Not only were we able to expand our divorce and family law practice into Las Cruces, but we were also able to launch a new practice vertical in probate and estate planning in a very short time. While underserved markets tend to get overlooked, I’d encourage you to look again.
Truth #5: Talent Acquisition isn’t Easy
Finding high quality talent can be a lot harder of a task than many think. If you have internal talent that is willing to make the move and help you expand into a new market or knows any attorney in that area, that is always ideal. You can also advertise for attorneys or search for local talent. Feel free to reach out to me if you’re interested in the email I’ve used to poach many attorneys.
Truth #6: You Will Face Challenges
This is one ugly truth that you can’t escape. No matter how prepared you are, challenges will arise throughout the process of growing and scaling your law firm. The key is to not let these challenges get in the way of your progress. Instead, use them as learning opportunities to make your firm even better.
It Won’t Be Easy, But It Will Be Worth It
I hope that this article has helped shed some light on what it takes to grow and scale a law firm. If you’re thinking about scaling your firm, or are in the process of doing so, I want to leave you with this thought: It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. So don’t give up, push through the challenges and know that we are always here to help. If you’re interested in growing and scaling your law firm with us, please schedule some time to connect with me and we can create a strategy together.