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Running a small law practice can be overwhelming. In addition to being a (or the) revenue generator, you also have to be the boss and manage the business side of things too. Fortunately, small firm clients understand that since they're paying less, their lawyers are not going to have all the perks of big firm lawyers.
Unfortunately though, those same clients certainly won't understand if your small firm doesn't have all the same perks for clients as a big firm would. After all, you're not cutting costs to put more money in your pocket. When it comes to wooing new clients, small firms may need to make sure their appearance matches their big promises.
Big Things Come to Small Law Firms
It is certainly true that small firms, and even solo practitioners, can handle some rather big cases on their own. However, to do so properly, a small firm needs to be set up to handle big projects using third party vendors or a team of contract attorneys. When a client comes to a small firm with a big case, it can help to stress to the client that the firm has the technology and outside support to handle the matter just as cost effectively as a big firm.
The office appearance can matter quite a bit to clients. While small firms don't need to be in brand new office buildings, don't expect big clients to want to sign a retainer inside a coffee shop, or to drink tap water. Having a professional-looking office, with a receptionist, waiting area and conference room with nice refreshments, shows clients that you have an established business and won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
Your People Matter
The right support staff and associates can make all the difference in a small practice looking to land big clients. With the right team, just about any legal matter can be handled well. The name of the game is people management, or essentially just not stretching the team too thin by taking on more work than they can handle. While you don't need the same level of support staff as a big firm, having a solid paralegal, secretary and associate can help to ensure a potential big client's matter will get the appropriate level of attention.