Less Can Mean More When You Niche Your Law Firm Practice
Very interesting read in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal online about a small financial services firm that discovered fewer clients could mean a much more profitable practice -- and a chance at living a real life outside work.
Two female financial advisors launched their own firm 12 years ago in a Kansas City suburb. At that time, they admittedly took “anyone who breathed” as clients. Within four years, they had 600 clients and $33 million in assets under management.
And they were working themselves to death, never taking a vacation and rarely spending time with family.
After one of the partners delivered her baby prematurely, which she blamed on work stress, the partners made a radical decision to niche their practice, paring down the 600-member client list to only their top 30 clients.
They met in person with each of their 30 ideal clients to explain their desire to truly focus their practice on meeting the needs of this top tier, who were all wealthy individuals going through life transitions like marriage, divorce, retirement and the sale of a business.
All of the clients they wanted to keep embraced their new vision and stayed on, even though the firm raised their fees substantially. Over the next two years, the partners met with the rest of their clients to explain their new direction. Most agreed to leave because of the higher fees. Some even referred new clients to the firm because they were a better fit.
Over the ensuing years, the partners carefully grew their business, taking on qualified referrals from their existing base. Today, the firm has 110 clients and $150 million in assets under management.
The partners say they have found a comfortable work-life balance, and enjoy getting to spend more time with their clients. Their advice to other advisors who want to create a dream niche practice: “Realize you can’t be all things to all people. Get super clear about whom you want to work with and then take a leap of faith.”
I have been telling attorneys for years that niches lead to riches. Most lack the courage to take that leap of faith; perhaps this real-life example will inspire you to build that lifestyle law firm you’ve always dreamed of.