Your firm is quiet in your traditional areas of law. The conveyancing department is busy, but not completely flat out, your family department is busy dealing with all the coronavirus divorces coming through and your private client team are occupied handling probate matters and new wills as more people start to come to terms with their own mortality. But profits are down and you are thinking of new ways to create revenue streams. What potential options do you have?
Here are some ideas:
Recruit More Staff and Increase Advertising
Take on more staff into the busy departments in the hope you can handle more work. Increase your marketing budgets and step up your advertising efforts to generate increased enquiries.
New Areas of Law
Move into new areas of law. Now is a good time if you are finding free time each day to work on new project. Take a look at your competitors – what are they offering? Do a search online for potential work types – there is a very useful app you can install to the Chrome internet browser called “Keywords Everywhere” which gives you lists of keywords being searched around specific topics. What could you easily move into with existing staff? Are there specialist areas you could advertise for from your current offering? This morning I was searching for IP Lawyers as we have a cybersquatting issue on one of our sister sites. I was fascinated to see how few IP solicitors actually have “cybersquatting” on their websites or “domain name disputes”. It took me a while to find a few specialists to request a quote from.
Buy a law firm. Take over a practice, open a branch office, move into new areas of law already covered by the seller and increase your staff. Alternatively I could have written “increase your risks, bump up your overheads, get more staffing & recruitment headaches and all for a bit of extra profit.” Buying a law firm carries specific risks and is not always suitable. You need to have cash & resources available to invest and also the time to manage the larger entity.
Recruit Consultants on an Ad Hoc Basis
In a similar way to moving into new areas of law, consider taking on consultants to handle specific types of work and then market those areas to your existing clients and new leads. Using consultants can be a low cost method of expansion without risk, but bear in mind that consultants who do not benefit from work coming in tend not to hang around for long.
Set up a Network
Low risk option – simply refer work across to another firm in a reciprocal arrangement as and when it comes through. Major disadvantage of losing control of your client of course, but a cost-free solution.
Do Nothing and Be Happy
At the moment everything remains very quiet unless you have been fortunate to find yourself in an area with a busy property market or lots of commercial property lease negotiations etc.. An argument could be made for simply sticking as you presently are and seeing what occurs as time goes by.. Even if you move into new areas of law, these are likely to be quiet for the time being.