By deploying these strategies, solo attorneys and micro-boutique law firms can be more competitive in attracting and retaining clients.
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) July 24, 2012
According to Harvard Law School, 35% of US lawyers are sole practitioners. Another study using data from the American Bar Association and American Bar Foundation estimates that 68% of all attorneys in private practice in the US are sole practitioners or in firms with ten or fewer attorneys. A solo practice or micro-boutique provides attorneys with autonomy, flexibility, and independence.
In his New York Times Bestseller, Drive, Daniel H. Pink notes that autonomy is a key element of human motivation. Being able to work remotely or at home without a dress code, having the flexibility to run errands during the day, and working with clients on one’s own terms can all be very appealing. Indeed, the number of solo attorneys and micro-boutiques (SAMB) is increasing as attorneys leave larger law firms or decide right after law school to start their own practice.
But while reaping benefits from running a solo or small practice, attorneys confront a different set of marketing, client acquisition, and overhead cost challenges. Three major issues involve: 1) how to market to and gain the trust of clients by conveying the prestige, stability and professionalism so valued in the legal community; 2) how to acquire new clients without the large marketing budgets of bigger law firms while juggling the constant, time-consuming needs of existing clients; and 3) how to keep overhead costs down, especially during dry periods. Wilson Tandiono, President and CEO of Intelligent Office San Francisco, asserts that “an SAMB can overcome these challenges with the right set of solutions from a virtual office service provider.”
In recent years, virtual law firms have become more ubiquitous, as seen by the increasing number of attorneys working from home. Clients who are looking for legal services have used virtual law firms more readily, but their credibility is often questioned. Partnering with a virtual office service provider (VOSP) can help small or solo law practices address credibility concerns in several ways. Among the more common strategies used to enhance a firm’s professional image are:
- Obtain a prestigious business address by renting a mailbox at a VOSP. A professional address commands respect and projects a certain level of success and longevity for the business. The law firm can then use this address on its business cards, website, business listing, and marketing materials. Certain VOSPs will even allow the firm’s clients to drop off and pick up documents at that business address without the attorney even being present – clients need not know that the attorney is not in the office.
- Meet clients or conduct depositions in a professional meeting space. The attorney may not want to meet clients at his or her home, for security reasons, or at a busy coffee shop to discuss confidential matters. VOSPs rent out hourly office suites and meeting rooms so the attorney can conduct private meetings. The attorney’s clients will be treated to a professional, upscale office environment that is more conducive for such conferences. If the attorney has a high volume of client meetings, however, then a full-time office suite—offered by some VOSPs—may be more economical and help save time that would be spent commuting from meeting to meeting.
- Use a professional call answering service. During calls, clients do not want to hear kids or lawn mowers in the background. Neighborhood noise is distracting, unprofessional and often annoying to clients, especially when they are paying a premium rate for the attorney’s services. With the right call answering service that announces calls to the attorney, he or she can decide whether to take the call or pass along a message to the caller. A good, personalized call answering service projects a more established business and ensures that the firm’s clients are treated well.
By deploying these strategies, an SAMB can be more competitive in attracting and retaining clients. Stay tuned for the second installment in How Virtual Office Solutions Can Give Solo Attorneys and Micro-Boutique Law Firms the Competitive Edge.
Intelligent Office’s executive office suite, virtual office, conference room rental, and virtual receptionist solutions can provide support for entrepreneurs, mobile executives, professional services firms, independent contractors, satellite offices, and small and home-based businesses. Virtual office services can help businesses save on overhead costs and gain flexibility while projecting a professional presence. Visit Intelligent Office’s Virtual Office San Francisco location at 100 Pine St, or call 415-745-3300 for more information.
About Intelligent Office:
Intelligent Office is the leading virtual office service provider for mobile executives and small businesses in North America. The company is headquartered in Boulder, Colo., and has over 50 locations in North America. Intelligent Office helps clients grow their businesses and work smarter by combining professional staffing with the physical and technological infrastructure of a virtual office. For more information on services, go to http://www.intelligentoffice.com. You can also follow Intelligent Office San Francisco on Twitter at @IntellOfcSF, or visit the company on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/IntelligentOfficeSF.