Growing or scaling your law firm? What’s the difference?

By Claudia King, CEO + Founder

 

Are you confused by the terms growing and scaling? These two words are often used interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings.  With a deeper understanding you will see why scaling your law firm is better.

What is growing?

When you get too much legal work to do yourself, usually you hire other lawyers and admin staff to help you.  This means you are increasing your firm’s revenue (yay!) but increasing costs at the same rate. The big problem is it takes a lot of your time and effort to grow your firm. Growing your law firm also has a lot of complexity associated with it. And complexity leads to stress and burnout and no fun.

Here’s what growing your law firm looks like:

What is scaling?

Scale is when your firm earns more without spending significantly more. It’s about simplifying what your law firm offers (ie not specialising in 26 areas of law and not serving 30 different types of clients) and adding clever efficiencies to get more done in less time. Instead of taking on more staff to serve more clients, your law firm is set up with repeatable, scalable systems and software to serve your clients better than before. This elegant simplicity will help you to make more money, have more impact on the world, and have more freedom to do what’s important without the stress and overwhelm.

Here’s what scaling your law firm looks like:

 

How can you get started scaling your law firm?

Simplicity is key to scaling your law firm. We don’t realise how complex our law firms are until we start looking at how many different types of clients we serve and services we offer - no wonder there is so much stress and overwhelm in the legal industry!

Here are three steps you can take to start simplifying your law firm to scale it:

 

Step 1: Focus on solving a problem for one ideal client.

Narrow your niche, and then narrow it again. This doesn’t mean you have to instantly give up all the other legal work you do. It is about marketing yourself to one type of client to solve a key problem for them. This means you can put your firm’s offer (ie your service or solution) to them in a way that speaks to the pain they’re facing - you can’t do this if you’re targeting a wide audience. Remember: when you can explain your ideal client’s pain better than they can, you become the expert.

 

Step 2: Create a repeatable, scalable way to get your ideal client.

You need to set up a marketing funnel to build an audience that is full of your ideal clients. Getting this set up takes a bit of time initially, but once you’ve nailed it you have a powerful new client machine to scale your law firm. You will directly see results by increasing your marketing spend. Wouldn’t it be empowering to know that for every $1 you spend on marketing, you get $5 back?

 

Step 3: Create an online legal solution to solve your clients problem.

Once you know who your ideal client is and what their biggest problems are (that you can help with), you can really create something special to help them get results. Parts of your legal solution can be automated, and other parts will need the human touch and your legal brain. Sketch out what this solution could look like and remember to think big. How can you solve your ideal client’s problem using your unique combo of skills, expertise and experience in a way your competitors can’t? You are sitting on a goldmine of intellectual property - you just need to learn to tap into it.

 

What are you waiting for?

Now is the perfect time to start scaling your law firm. Very few law firms are doing this yet (they are focused on “growing”), so the opportunity to cream your competition is staring you in the face….but it won’t last forever. And the sooner you start, the sooner you can reduce stress, anxiety and overwhelm in a big way.


If you want to create a repeatable, scalable way to get new clients, join me on 15 May for my LIVE webinar called 5 Reasons Your Law Firm’s Website Doesn’t Attract New Clients - I'll show you how you can turn your existing law firm’s website into a new client machine. Register by clicking here.