As published on LinkedIn on March 21, 2023. With banking upheavals and a new pending wave of recession concerns, I’ve heard from several professionals in the past week who want to jump-start or launch a new practice.
What I tell my clients and want to share with others is that if you are trying to grow a practice, there are several essential questions to ask yourself before hitting the start button. Here are just a few of them.
Ask about potential.
Is there potential in this arena, and are existing clients going to use more or less of this? How does this work fit in with the rest of my firm’s work? Are there synergies, and is it something the firm can support regarding conflicts, staffing, and profitability lag time?
Ask about what it is you are selling and to whom.
What is it that I am selling? Specifically, what practice area, who are my potential clients, what title do they hold, what do they do, read, attend and care about? The more granular the details that you can focus on, the better. You may have more than one “core practice,” and that’s okay, but if so, think this out and do it for both.
Ask if it will bring you satisfaction.
What do I do well, and where do I differentiate myself? What leaves me feeling, “I enjoy doing that work.”
Ask how you will get the business.
How do I get my business today? Is my business coming through referrals from other law firms, other clients who were happy with my work, or the firm’s alums who think highly of me? Knowing where you’re most likely to get work and which types of matters are the most profitable is essential. You may have to adjust this if you are starting a new venture.