You leave a firm, an in-house position, the government, or another employer to finally hang your shingle and go solo. What do you need to know to ensure success? Well, we asked the lawyers of Twitter their thoughts and advice on the topic. Here are the top 10 responses:
- Income goes up and down but pay yourself the lower amount until 3 month saved in reserves. Then increase your salary a little until 6 month reserves.
- Keep your overhead low. Identify low cost resources that fit the way you want to work (billing software, admin support (if needed), calendar, scheduling meetings, email).
- Be a person. Clients hire people.
- Learn accounting. You are responsible for the money/the IOLTA.
- Get clear on your positioning. Be able to articulate: I provide X service for Y market.
- Develop and nurture relationships with lawyers at big firms (for referrals).
- Not all clients are worth having.
- When you are short in cash there is a tendency to ignore client red flags. If you wouldn’t take the case if you were flush… don’t take it!
- Rome wasn't built in a day... give yourself grace. Work from home as much as possible until you're comfortable enough to afford a store front/office rent. Make life very easy for your clients; emailing, calling, zooming to eliminate office visit.
- If you’re not drawing a W2 salary from your firm, put 1/3 of every receivable into a separate savings account from your operating account. It makes paying quarterlies a breeze.
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