How Small Law Offices Can Compete With the Big Firms

One of the misconceptions typically maintained in both business and law is the idea that being smaller means you are unable to compete with larger organizations. While this might hold true in some respects, being a small firm does have its advantages, as you can often employ a few simple strategies to improve your viability and ensure your firm’s competitiveness when it comes to attracting and securing clientele.

In reality, it comes down to thinking big in terms of how you’ll approach your practice, instead of feeling outgunned by the number of lawyers and areas of practice available in these larger firms. In order to help you make 2016 your biggest year yet, we’ve compiled a short list of stratagems that have worked for many small firms across the United States.
 

Stay Innovative

Large firms find plenty of reasons not to move beyond old operating systems and traditional office procedures. It might be that they have discovered a successful model and don’t feel it necessary to upgrade the way they do business, or they balk at the “expense” of expanding themselves technologically – neither of which make sense when you consider how streamlining processes improves efficiency, and saves both time and money.

As a smaller firm, this gives you a serious advantage. Not only are you able to make faster decisions on upgrading your technology by virtue of not having to consult the in-house IT department, but any upgrades you make will offer you a higher return on your investment, and enlarge your capabilities in a shorter amount of time.

Don’t believe it? Find out for yourself by receiving a practice automation demo.
 

Learn How to Market Yourself Locally

If you have areas you excel in, or are considered a subject matter expert in, you’ll want to explore new ways of reaching out to potential clients who need help with these matters. To begin staking your claim on people searching for the services you offer locally, optimize your website by inserting high-value SEO (search engine optimization) keywords into your site’s content, and also optimize your firm’s listings on major search engines, including Google My Business, Bing and Yahoo!.

Beyond your website’s landing pages, you can also draw new clientele through blog posts on subjects you’re an expert in, and look for opportunities on social media through paid ads or searching for law-specific hashtags and engaging users in your area.
 

Be Personal and Human

No matter what type of business you’re involved in, having the ability to provide extraordinary customer service, fair value and a trustworthy reputation is key to word-of-mouth advertising, which The Nielsen Company states as the “holy grail” of successful advertising. So whatever gains are made through social media and website optimization, they pale in comparison to marketing from friends and family.

There are a few ways to go about this and improve your firm’s selling points:

  • You handle every aspect of your clients’ cases versus handing them over to paralegals or junior partners
  • You return phone calls within a reasonable amount of time, and encourage clients to use secure client portals through your case management software
  • You keep your overhead low and pass these savings on to the client, offering more value for their money
  • You give your clients confidence in your abilities by speaking to them directly, being candid about your fees, experience and the potential of winning their case

Being a small law firm doesn’t mean you can’t compete against the goliaths in the law profession, it only means you have to use smarter, more effective approaches, and avoid mistakes. To help you avoid these mistakes, read our whitepaper on “The 5 Biggest Mistakes Lawyers in All Practice Areas Make (and how to avoid them)”.