Have you considered starting your own practice? The pull towards being your own boss, making the decisions on how the firm is run, and being able to decide which cases you take on can be strong and can, some days more than others, be extremely appealing. It is, however, an endeavor that you should thoughtfully consider.
Are you ready to take the plunge and open your own practice? We help so many attorneys who are in your exact same boat, let us help. In our blog here we want to review some questions to ask yourself first.
1. What are your goals? Having a clear vision of your goals will serve you well in this undertaking. These will act as guideposts for all of the major and minor decisions you will make as you establish your practice. Why are you starting your own practice? How will your firm be different from others? Set your sights on your business mission and development. Do you have a specific vision for it? This can be essential to setting up your firm for success.
2. Are you financially ready? Dreaming is free, but opening a firm costs money. Before you can make those dreams of having your own firm come true, you need to make sure you have your finances in order.
First, how are you going to fund the startup costs associated with setting up your practice? Lay out the expenses you are going to need to cover up front. This may include insurances, fees, office space, office furniture, support staff, marketing costs, and more. Get a clear idea of what it is going to cost you to open up your firm, how much you will need as a cushion prior to your firm generating revenue, and how you are going to cover these costs.
Second, what do you need to live on and support yourself. We see too many attorneys, new and established, forget to pay themselves. We do not want you to be one of those attorneys. Even if your salary goals are small to start, such as just covering your mortgage payment, it is important to create the healthy habit of paying yourself in your monthly overhead.
3. Do you have the support you need? A supportive team can be critical in establishing your own firm, but not always tied to those physically in your firm. Although you may want to hire first, you may need a guide first. Especially when you are a DIY-er.
Surround yourself with those that are going to coach you, support you, and guide you through the exciting, but overwhelming process of opening your own practice. Do you have a mentor? Do you have a strategic performance coach? Having someone who has gone through establishing a law practice, as well as someone you can bounce ideas off of as you go through the process yourself, can provide you with guidance and an overall feeling of confidence as you make important decisions.
You do not and should not go this alone. Get the support you need to make your practice the success you want it to be.
At Practice42, we help set law firms up for success. From working with you to get a clear vision of your goals to providing support and mentorship, we can help guide you through the process of not just setting up your own firm, but setting it up to thrive. We encourage you to schedule a free Strategy Session with our team to find out more about what we can do for you.