How to organically grow your business

Posted in Latest News on 11 Jun 2024

The legal marketplace is now so diverse and broad that it can be hard to know where to focus when looking to grow your business.  

Here at Douglas Scott, we work with various firms up and down the country and of varying sizes, helping them fill vacancies. One of the main reasons firms have vacancies is the need for growth. However, it can be difficult to know where to grow and what to avoid, a recent report from LexisNexis has sought to shed some light on what good law firms are doing right now to expand.   

The Bellwether report, published annually, outlines three key areas in which law firms can grow to be more successful. One conclusion the report does make immediately is that most small law firms are looking to grow organically over the next five years: nearly two-thirds (60%) of firms are planning for this. This is a significant increase from last year’s figure when only 40% of firms were looking to increase their size. At the spearhead of this vanguard is technology: 56% of firms were planning or had already spent more on technology designed to streamline processes and make their workforce more efficient. 40%, however, are still planning to grow their workforce with new hires alongside this, and firms are also looking at other areas, such as marketing and business development, to grow. Firms are under increasing pressure from clients to respond to them efficiently and provide accurate information on the work that has been carried out. Technology is an excellent tool to help achieve this. The report says that it can help reduce time taken on administrative and regulatory jobs and allow staff to concentrate on the client side of their role. However, it is still crucial for firms to find the right technology to complement their staff, and with concerns and questions around artificial intelligence continuing to dominate the news headlines, ensuring staff are using the right technology will be crucial to its success.  

Investing in information is another area in which law firms might be looking to grow. One of the significant challenges law firms face is trying to keep up-to-date with a developing market, with 70% of respondents saying that keeping current with changes in the legal industry is their greatest challenge. One-fifth of respondents are turning to the internet to research trends in their field – however, this brings with it its risks, such as inaccurate or out-of-date content. As such, 34% plan to spend money on practical guidance and 29% on legal research to keep their teams up to date. This is especially necessary to stay current with client expectations, which 83% of law firms said had increased in recent years. One final area the report highlights is retention. While this might seem counterintuitive, if a firm wants to see sustained growth, keeping people on board is a crucial concern for firms. However, this report reveals a surprising level of loyalty amongst small firm staff, with only 10% of lawyers looking to move to larger firms in the next five years. 32% were looking for promotion at their current firm, while 80% were looking to stay in the small firm structure, and 90% had high satisfaction with their work. While growing a firm can be a massive project, ensuring that you keep your current staff happy and willing to work for you is another primary concern.  

This report shows that law firms are finding new avenues to grow, especially as the economic situation of the past few years stabilises. However, it’s also essential to think about what makes your law firm a success. The report highlights a note of caution around this, ensuring that you continue to succeed in what you are doing is a vital part of what will make your firm a success. 

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