In association with Denovo: Some pointers on the tech to consider when starting your own practice

The idea may have been swirling around in your head for a while. The vision of you hanging that handwritten sign above your desk in the spare room that reads “[your name] Solicitors”. You might have even picked the office location, or maybe you’re enjoying the thought of working from home long term. Whatever you’re feeling and however your vision looks, there is a lot to consider when doing something on your own.

Many will say it’s a “daunting task” and rhyme off all the things you need to consider. Not us. Our view is that if you really want to do it, you will. Just go for it! Granted, going through the process will be exhausting. We have no doubt you will have moments of regret and times when you want to throw in the towel. But persevere, because if you leave it too late you will regret much more not doing it.

Even if you’ve already taken the plunge, you’re out there working, grinding and building up your client base, the same considerations we relate in this article exist.

Here’s a quick checklist to help you on your way.

What hardware do I need?

A reasonable spec Windows laptop or Mac will allow you to connect onto our cloud-hosted solution from anywhere with an internet connection.

You may want to consider a portable scanner, and all lawyers love a printer, despite our best efforts at selling the paperless office!

What about email?

We can research on the best domain name for your chosen firm name and source this along with an appropriate Office 365 licences.

Thinking about the name is important; we will do the rest. People looking for lawyers no longer search for names on their phone books. They use Google. Your business’s website works as the first point of reference for people looking to check your firm’s credibility. So, when you’re setting up your firm’s domain name, think about what keywords people use when they search online for lawyers. “Edinburgh Lawyers”, for example, might start sounding a bit more promising than “Jo Bloggs & Co”.

What about a website?

Your website is more than a brochure. It’s the beating heart of your firm’s marketing. It’s a shopfront, a salesperson and a source of new business. It’s an asset which will continue to deliver value and requires ongoing care and attention. You need to support such an asset with a range of activities designed to help you get the most out of your online marketing. Content marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay per click (PPC)/adwords all make up the fabric of a successful website. We recommend speaking to Moore Legal Technology to really enhance your brand.

What about cashroom requirements?

Our SOLAS qualified Cashroom team are ready to advise on the way forward with this as well. From consultancy to day-to-day queries, our team will handle all your cashroom obligations to take another stress off your mind.

What about the RIGHT software?

With software, you want to tick a few boxes. You want software that is simple to use, compliant and mitigates the administrative tasks relating to your work types. Ultimately you want everything you need in one place – case management, legal accounts and cashroom services. That’s part one.

Many providers will say they do that, but in reality, they don’t offer a whole practice management solution like CaseLoad. Many will offer a decent looking web browsing platform, tell you there are no setup/training fees, and try and sell you something that has “no add-ons with full functionality” at a low price and rolling contract. Others will try and wow you with their app that looks a bit cool but ultimately isn’t compliant with Law Society regulations. And there are some that will show you a system that works, but after you sign up you realise that it is limited in what it can do and you’re basically left to your own devices with a product that never gets updated.

After the honeymoon period is over and you realise that it doesn’t quite solve your problems, what will you be left with? That’s part two, and it’s important you don’t fall victim to it.

Advice

So, before you start spending money on the wrong tech or jump into bed with a software provider who can’t really tick all the boxes, ask yourself… Am I making the right decisions for my practice?

More information

If you are thinking about starting your own practice or are in the process of doing so, the Denovo team are here to help you get up and running. Call us on 0141 331 5290, email info@denovobi.com or visit www.denovobi.com to get some advice from our legal technology experts.

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