How I Got My First Client-Advice for Beginning Businesswomen
How do you go from no client to a thriving estate planning practice in two years time in the worst economic climate since the Great Depression?
Today, Los Angeles lawyer Sona A. Taiyants tells us how.
I started my law firm in the summer of 2010 without a single client. Two years later, I run a successful estate planning practice.
I funded my practice with $10,000 from our family savings. It was a big decision and I clearly remember thinking: “I need to either make it or get another job.”
I couldn’t bear the thought of taking more money out of our savings.
That would spell failure and failure terrified me.
More importunely, my fear of failure was my biggest motivator.
I had $10,000 in capital to start my business but I wasn’t at all prepared to run it.
This won’t surprise any lawyers, all of whom know that law schools focus heavily on teaching legal theory and very little about practice, while completely ignoring business concepts.
Many lawyers see opening a law firm as a natural progression of their career. Their thought process goes something like this: I’m a great lawyer I know a lot. I work hard to make money for the partners of my firmI will start my own firm and keep all the profits.
Most of us don’t realize that having a successful law practice and being a good lawyer are two completely different things.
My lawyer friends spend a lot time sharpening their lawyering skills, even though they don’t have a clue about running a business, managing staff or getting clients.
It’s quite possible to be an amazing practitioner and starving solo lawyer.
Over the past two years, I learned a lot about what it really takes to run a law firm and I’ve learned as much from my mistakes as from my triumphs.
Here’s what I did.