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Your guide to business development strategy in the legal sphere



Business development, although a broad concept, it basically implies on the growth, progress, and expansion of a company, taking care of a series of elements with an ultimate purpose of obtaining all the objectives that are presented with the passage of time. For any company, whether small, medium or multinational, business development comes as a necessity, as they are the ones that provide, through a great financial cycle, the financial stability that is necessary to maintain a population.


Through our article today, we will be highlighting the essence of business development strategies, while presenting strategies for law firm development to employ in their businesses.


Generally, we relate the growth of a company with its productivity, the higher the productivity, the higher ability on the firm’s part to provide the product or service in a stable manner. For an apt business development, it is a necessity to include having higher productivity over time, where other factors grow correlatively, such as customer portfolio, physical space, employees, profits and the chances of success within the sector or niche.


But why do we want companies to grow? To answer this, let us understand two perspectives, how growth of a business influences the company and how it influences the sector where the company is developing.


For our first perspective, business development provides with advantages, such as increasing opportunities in the specialty sector or in the niche to which the company belongs. Furthermore, it allows for product expansion and productivity growth. A company which is growing, will surely also experience increase in participation, awareness and capitalization of the company’s brand. The list doesn’t end here, business development allows for chances of innovation and provides companies with an edge of standing out from the competition.

Moving on, development of a company also marks a huge importance to the region where it lies. Firstly, the development of a company will automatically boost the economy of its locality, which will also influence the economy of the country. If a company grows while increasing its labour strength, it will stimulate the creation of jobs in that region.


Moving on, for development of organisations, various stages must be fulfilled. The stages of business development can be located from the birth of the company to its decline, closure or bankruptcy. Let us have a look at the stages which make up this development cycle.


The initial phase- also known as the start up phase, it covers the creation of the company and its first months or years. Here the business development strategies mainly focus on obtaining clients, positioning the company’s brand and organizing in an administrative manner everything necessary to obtain success in the future and initiate growth.


The survival phase- when the company has achieved a good positioning, having a larger number of clients, more physical clients, and personnel in charge, it becomes essential to keep its demand flowing. At this point the product or services offered by the company are its essence, and hence, the focus should be on integrating new objectives that will keep check on the characteristics offered by the company to increase its portfolio.


The success phase- the success phase for a company arrives when the company is stable, is generating profits and recognition within the niche to which it belongs, also called as the take-off phase. Since in this phase, the company has also entered the major leagues, it is obvious to face a lot of competition. Therefore, in the success stage, plans are laid, focusing to keeping the company stable.


The maturity phase- our business will not prosper if we do not innovate. The maturity phase of business development is all about getting out of our comfort zones, and initiating innovation.


The decline phase- when a company can no longer maintain its productivity, and its statistical results also come negative, the company is said to enter its decline phase. Under such cases, it often leads to the closure of the company.


Finally, moving on to our final segment, we will now take example of the legal industry and discuss how business development occurs here.


In all essence, the legal industry is undergoing transformation, especially since the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has provided people with direct access to lawyers. Some of the current trends existing in this sphere includes the way clients are now approaching firms and individual attorneys for accessing legal services. With such strategies, the question rises, what our business strategies should appear like?


Before we move on to various strategies, we should understand that most of our strategies should focus on online development. Times when a lawyer could handle everything themselves is now in the past. It still stands true that we need specialised attorneys, but it must be combined with online strategies, so that law firms can create a robust business growth plan to compete effectively.


Finally, lets now observe a few strategies which law firms can employ to boost their business development.


1. Importance of a client-focused firm

A client-centred law firm is one, which puts its clients at the centre of their thinking. Being client-centred allows in putting ourselves in the client’s shoes. This will allow us in looking at legal matters from their point of view, for instance, the pain points which they often come across while hiring a lawyer, and then we can think of how we can provide a good client experience, which is, in a way, efficient for our firm.


Being a lawyer our prime job remains to help clients in resolving their legal issues in a timely and affordable manner. With a client-centric approach, we can build this. When we as lawyers will be able to build trust with clients, it will make it easier to get the information we require. Building a good relationship with client will not only leave them satisfied, but it will also increase the law firm’s chances to generate more clients from the recommendations their current client base will provide. To create a client-focused law firm, we should primarily focus on the following-

  • Simplifying legal issues- this implies presenting the legal issues in such manner, eliminating all jargons, so that the ordinary client can understand their problem and the law which surrounds the problem.

  • Explaining the legal process- when beginning any case with a client, we should be prepared to help them understand the typical legal process. Along with this, every attorney should also have a standard process to distribute to new clients. The office hours, fees, expectations, and any responsibilities should be explained to the client in a well-written manner.

  • Being empathetic- when tackling several cases at once, it can get a bit challenging to listen to clients and relate to them. However, lawyers who can remain empathetic are more likely to tap into the root issue and solve problems.

2. Marketing, a necessity

For every business, in any sphere, marketing is the practice to perform, in order to be close and attract potential clients. A law firm marketing plan generally consists of marketing tasks such as digital ads, SEO, blogging and now podcasting too. Apart from the previously mentioned obvious ones, marketing strategies can also be tailored according to a law firm’s needs. Since this task can be too consuming, many firms automate tasks in relation to marketing. But even after this, marketing our law firm can easily consume a lot of our time and energy.


The objective here is to determine which methods are most effective, depending on our marketing goals, and then kick-starting our marketing activities. As an individual lawyer, or a law firm, we need to understand, that the market is full of lawyers, we need to stand out, and hence, developing a strong positioning is important to convey messages to our customers and other potential clients. As a solution, we can start by creating a website which is user-friendly and supports the languages which the clients speak. Moreover, we can focus on creating content which is plagiarism-free and then share it with the clients. Embracing the social media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, are much more important than we give them credit for. After performing all this, we nee to monitor our efforts on a regular period, while looking for any downfalls, if any, and hence overcoming them too.


3. Legal technology- a necessary investment

Legal technology helps law firms in many ways to increase efficiency and accuracy, thereby allowing law firms to improve their workflows and achieving new business opportunities. Services such as contract lifecycle management, legal matter management, tasks and workflow automation and much more can be achieved by legal tech solutions, hence increasing productivity and providing unbeatable competitive advantages.


 

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