Business management

Business development for law firms

Business development activities grow your firm and help it stay competitive. This guide sets out how to create a strategy, attract clients and market your practice.

Create a business development strategy

Your strategy will keep your firm’s development on track and make sure progress is monitored.

It can include:

  • growth objectives
  • who your target market is and how you can meet their needs
  • how to build awareness of your brand
  • how success is measured, for example how marketing activity results in new business enquiries

Learn how to prepare a strategic plan

Find out how to implement a strategic plan

Read about the challenges of implementing a plan in practice

Customer service

Focus on customer service, making sure that:

  • your clients feel listened to
  • your clients know you by name
  • your offices are welcoming
  • timeframes are realistic and services are delivered on time

Having a customer service policy can help regulate:

  • how often staff should contact clients
  • how quickly enquiries should be responded to
  • how to deal with client complaints

You may consider setting up a discount scheme to reward customer loyalty or encourage referrals.

Our client care resources can help you to provide a good standard of service for your clients.

Flexible opening hours

Flexible opening hours can attract clients by giving them the opportunity to speak to you before and after their working hours. This will also allow your staff to work flexibly.

Our practice note on flexible working discusses employee rights and types of flexible working your firm may like to consider.

Accreditation

Getting an accreditation shows clients that your firm follows best practice.

Lexcel is our legal practice quality mark for client care, compliance and practice management. 

Cross-sell your services

Use client data to improve customer relationship management.

You can categorise clients into contact groups based on their areas of interest. You can then tailor promotional and cross-selling efforts can then be tailored to meet their needs.

For example, you could suggest complementary services or send targeted messages to certain client lists.

Make sure all marketing is compliant with GDPR.

Market your firm

Make sure all your marketing materials and advertisements look professional. Working with a designer can help you stand out.

Awards

Put your firm forward for awards and promote your success if you win:

  • use the award logo on your communications
  • announce it on social media
  • hold a celebratory event
  • write and promote a press release

Website and social media

Your website should be clear. You should make sure:

  • the services you provide are easy to find
  • staff profiles are up to date and link to service pages
  • you don’t use legal jargon

You can take steps to make your firm easier to find online. For example, you can:

  • use Google My Business to improve your firm’s Google ranking – it will appear in Google’s local search results
  • share insightful content to draw readers to your site
  • promote your unique offering as a firm
  • create and share videos about your services
  • use effective calls to action on your site, for example ‘Call me today for a free consultation’

Make sure your profile on Find a Solicitor is up to date.

Use social media, for example Twitter and LinkedIn, to:

  • keep people updated on your firm's progress
  • share wins
  • promote any thought leadership articles your firm has produced

Our practice note on social media sets out the benefits and risks of using social media and covers how to set a social media policy.

Build your network

You may choose to:

  • attend networking events and conferences
  • arrange drinks, activities or sporting events with contacts at different organisations
  • speak at your firm’s events or local or sector-based events
  • write for your website or the local or trade press

Make the most of training and mentoring opportunities to improve your formal and informal networking skills.

Lawyers for your business connects you with potential clients for a free consultation.

See our tips for expanding your business overseas

Starting your own business

This three-part series sets out what you need to consider when starting a new law firm:

Looking to develop your business? Douglas McPherson suggests five development strategies that don't involve networking.

Watch our webinars on:

Our Financial Stability Toolkit helps firms to address common financial issues.

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