The idea may have been swirling around in your head for a while. The vision of you hanging that handwritten sign above your desk in the spare room that reads ‘[fill in the blank] Solicitors’. You might have even picked the office location, or maybe you’re enjoying the thought of working from home for the long term. Whatever you’re feeling and whatever your vision looks like there is a lot to consider when doing something on your own.
Many will say it’s a “daunting task” and rhyme off all the things you need to consider when going it alone. Not us. Our view is that if you really want to do it, you will. Just go for it! If you really want it, the energy, costs and time will be mustered from a part of you that you probably didn’t even know existed. And do you know why? Because, as clichéd as it may sound, if you follow that vision and put in the work, you will get to that special place where you will be truly happy in your job.
Granted as you go through the process you will be exhausted! We have no doubt you will have moments of regret and times where you want to throw in the towel. But persevere, because if you leave it too late you will regret not doing it much more than taking the chance to be truly happy.
Even if you’ve already taken the plunge, you’ve done it, you’re out their working, grinding and building up your client base, the same considerations I talk about in this article exist. My advice is to read on.
Starting anything on your own is always an exciting idea. But with great start-up ideas, come great responsibilities. Understanding and fulfilling the legal responsibilities is a slog but I don’t think we need to tell you how to navigate that part. You already know what it takes and if not, there are plenty of articles out there that are only a google search away.
As much as you have a responsibility to yourself to get your new business off the ground, we have a responsibility to give you the best advice on what you need to prepare from an IT perspective. And we aim to do that prior to providing you with affordable, secure and easy to use legal case management and accounts software. We want to help you to run your new firm as smoothly as possible from anywhere and from any device without blowing your budget!
Here’s a quick checklist to help you on your way:
A reasonable spec windows laptop or Mac will allow you to connect onto our cloud hosted solution from anywhere with an internet connection.
You may want to consider a portable scanner for legal documents and all lawyers love a printer, despite our best efforts at selling the paperless office idea.
We can research on the best domain name for your chosen firm’s name and source this along with appropriate Office 365 licenses to get your mailboxes ready for the new firm.
Thinking about the name is important and we will do the rest to get the best email domain. People looking for lawyers no longer search for names on their phone books. They use Google to do the job for them. Your businesses website works as the first point of reference for people looking to check the credibility of your law firm. So, when you’re setting up your domain name for your firm think about what key words people use when they search online for lawyers. If you think in that way, ‘Edinburgh Lawyers’, for example, might start sounding a bit more promising than ‘Jo Bloggs & Co’.
Your website is more than a brochure. It's the beating heart of your law firm's marketing. It's a shopfront, a salesperson and a source of new business. It's an asset which will continue to deliver value and one which requires ongoing care and attention. You need to support such an asset with a range of activities designed to help you get the most out of your online marketing. Content Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC)/Adwords all make up the fabric of a successful website. We would recommend speaking to Moore Legal Technology to really enhance your brand.
Our SOLAS qualified Cashroom team are ready to advise on the way forward with this as well, from consultancy, to day to day queries our team will handle all your Cashroom obligations to take another stress off your mind.
When you start looking for your software provider you want to tick a few boxes. You want software that is simple to use, compliant, and can help mitigate the administrative tasks relating to your work types. Ultimately you are trying to introduce something to help solve the 3 problems all businesses face – save time, improve efficiency and generate more profit. That’s part one.
Many providers can do that. Many will offer a decent looking web browsing platform, tell you that there are no set up/training fees, and sell you something that has “no add-ons with full functionality” at a low price and rolling contract. Others will try and wow you with their app that looks a bit cool but ultimately isn’t compliant with law society regulations. And then there are some that will show you a system that works but after you sign up you realise that it is limited in what it can do for you and your basically left to your own devices with a product that never gets updated.
After the honeymoon period of introducing new software is over and you realise that it doesn’t quite solve your problems and the super-enthusiastic salesperson that hounded you moves on to the next catch – what are you going to be left with? That’s part two and it’s important you don’t fall victim to it.
Our job at Denovo is all about understanding your business plan, your objectives, your vision and working with you to give you the best system that works for your practice. As a start-up we know your preference is to have everything you need in one place. That’s why we built CaseLoad – a Case Management System that works seamlessly with an industry leading Accounts System. Both of which are fully compliant with Law Society regulations accounts rules, customisable for your size of practice and built in an environment you will be very familiar with. We package that up with a strategic plan to ensure you get the most value from the software, following implementation. No matter what size of firm you are or how much money you spend with us, we are in partnership and that means you get full support from our expert team.
What makes Denovo’s approach to partnering with start-up firms different is that the we don’t wait for you to sign on the dotted line before we start giving you the support you want and need. No. It starts from the moment we start interacting with you.
The way we see it, is that if we are going to delve into this process together, the last thing we should be doing is putting pressure on you about opening your wallet! You need to know that we are the right fit for each other, that we share the same vision and that ultimately you can see yourself working with us for a significant period of time. This has to happen first, primarily because we appreciate how important cashflow is for a start-up business, so we want to work with you to ensure you find value in our product and service before fully committing yourself. We’ve worked with start-ups all over the country, so we know what you need at that stage in your business planning.
So, before you start spending money on the wrong tech or jump into bed with a software provider who can’t really tick all the boxes, ask yourself… Am I making the right decisions for my practice?
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