The decision to take your practice from a start-up to a scale-up is not for the faint-hearted. While your growing practice may have a successful business strategy, we know other factors require consideration before taking that next step. Scaling up requires strong and focused leadership, a market with an appetite for your offering, dedicated finances, and the ability to create automation and streamlined processes are all equally important.
To help you on your way to growing your firm, we have identified four things common to firms that have successfully scaled.
Stand out … and in a good way
A crucial first step is ensuring your value proposition is valuable. Once you have data proving that there is strong demand for your offering, be sure you also have a strong understanding of your client demographic. Your marketing platforms and style will need to resonate with this audience. You will need to actively communicate with this audience, explaining how your firm can help them in their time of need to draw new clients to your practice. Don't keep what you do a secret; shout it from the rooftops.
Show me the money!
While we are always looking for ways to reduce unnecessary expenditures, it is also a fact of life that you will need to spend money to make money. Having the cash flow to allow investment in the areas that matter, such as innovative and robust tech, the best staff for the job, strong marketing campaigns, processes and infrastructure that will accommodate your business' scaling needs, is vital. Consider the viability of outsourcing. As your practice grows, the ability to wear many hats becomes less feasible. Outsourcing non-core functions will allow your team to focus on their core activities without wasting time on tasks outside of their expertise and ensures that payroll costs do not blow out.
Keep your eye on the prize
Now that new clients are making their way to your practice, your service offering needs to be delivered consistently and economically. Employing the right technology to help you automate documentation and streamline administrative and billing processes within your practice is fundamental to creating a streamlined machine. Minimising, if not eliminating, the number of touchpoints required to deliver your service is key to driving efficiency and profitability within your practice.
The right culture for success
When starting a new enterprise, the desire to achieve a common goal generally sees the formation of a team with a strong vision and a sense of camaraderie. One of the typical hurdles is maintaining that culture as the number of employees grows. Establishing a set of company values your team can stand behind is key for a growing practice. Employing people who share and live the firm's focus, beliefs, and mission is vital to ensuring that the 'vibe' that existed during the early days continues to flourish as the firm grows. Regularly taking a read of your team, listening to and acting on concerns and feedback will go a long way to preserving a positive culture a keeping staff fulfilled and engaged.
Scaling your practice requires a great deal of planning; even then, the unexpected can and often does happen. The great thing is that the scaling process can be achieved to suit your firm. Take the time to ensure that you have a strong foundation for growth; employ the right technology, processes and team with the necessary financial resources. Your groundwork will play a significant role in your future expansion and profitability.
Contributed by Settify, empowering lawyers to have brilliant first client meetings every time!