Differentiation is getting harder
for law firms. We all know that.
Clients constantly state that they
want their lawyers to have deeper knowledge of their business and environment.
As the market changes, more and more
firms are re-examining their
business model and questioning how they are going to compete and win in the future.
Some think about doing more of the
same. Some think about doing the same thing but cheaper. Some think about doing
the same with a twist.
But how many think of doing less?
Actually stopping doing a lot of
work types and focussing on a core that they can do better than anyone else?
- Drop the unprofitable work.
- Drop the work that doesn't fit with the core.
- Drop the work no-one likes doing.
- Drop the work that can be done better or more
efficiently or in other ways (automation, offshore etc).
What's left? Could it work as a
With so much focus on consolidation
in the market, who is looking for the gaps?
Where are the agile players that can
really own market segments?
Finishing with a (very!) different
approach to any I've done before. Inspired by verse 80 of the classic of
Chinese culture, the Tao Te Ching (Ralph Allen Dale translation), I give
you "The way of the niche"
Let us create small firms
With genuine specialists
Who, without stress, can produce
More than their clients expect
Who are so happy with their practice
They have no thought of moving elsewhere
Who forgo billing targets
Because they have no need of them
Who return to honest forms
Of serving clients,
And the simple enjoyments
Of practising law
Although these firms
May be so close to each other
That they hear the tapping
Of each other's keyboards
And the ringing of each other's blackberries,
Living profitably, they will have no need to invade each other's markets.
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