Are you thinking about setting up your own divorce legal services business, but are unsure about how to proceed? Does it seem a bit overwhelming? I know many people are fed up with being dictated to by a boss, and tired of being tied down to an inflexible schedule; they dream of self-employment as a way to have freedom, independence, and the ability to choose their own hours of work. But leaving behind the security of a regular paycheck and other benefits such as a pension or a profit-sharing program can be really scary. Still, if you are willing to take the leap and get out of the “rat race”, and are up for some dedicated work, you can realize your entrepreneurial dream.
As the founder of the Divorce With Dignity business model, I have some words of advice about setting up your own divorce services business. Let me share with you seven steps to planning and creating a successful small business of your own.
- Think of a name for your business. It’s best to keep it short to make it easier for people to remember it. And it should be clearly descriptive of what you do.
- Figure out how much money you will need to set up the business. Start simple to keep costs as low as possible. You don’t have to get the fanciest machinery or furniture; you can always upgrade in the future.
- Gather your start-up money. If you have enough in your savings or from a severance package, that’s great – but most people are not in this position. If you need to raise the money, there are various options and you will probably need to use more than one of them. You might try getting seed money from your family, find a business partner, or secure a small business loan.
- Decide how much you should charge for your services. Do some research within your industry to see what the going rates are. When you are first starting out, you may want to keep your fees in the lower part of the range to attract clients and get some income flowing. As word about your business starts to spread and you become established, then you could be in a position to raise your rates.
- Market your services. Start with setting up your website, and then get marketing materials that will send people to your site. Find out where others in your field advertise, as these will probably be tried-and-true strategies. Investigate how you can use social media (including blogs) to reach your target audience. You might also try direct marketing, referral partnerships, and professional networking.
- Develop and embrace self-discpline. This will be a major key to your success. For example, you can have a flexible work schedule, but you have to also ensure that you work the required amount of hours to grow your business. In your new-found freedom from your old 9-5 job, it’s easy to while away the hours doing something other than working on building up your new business. Don’t let that be your downfall.
- Believe in yourself and don’t allow yourself to be discouraged. Every business owner makes mistakes and every business goes through rocky periods. Resolve to learn from those experiences and become stronger. The more work you put into your business, the more rewards you will eventually obtain.
One way to make setting up your own divorce legal services business easier is to have a lot of the groundwork done for you. When you become a Divorce With Dignity affiliate owner and join our network of divorce legal services professionals, you will get help with many of the steps listed above. You will already have a nationally-known and well-respected business name that is easy for people to remember and succinctly describes what you do. Your one-on-one personal training will include topics on how much money you will need to get set up, what to charge for your services, how to market your business, and how to run the office. You’ll get a personalized page on our website, which will provide you with client referrals. On-going support, training, and advice via Divorce With Dignity Network conference calls can bolster you as you build your business. Visit our website to learn how you, too, can set up a successful legal services business that advocates for peaceful divorce – with dignity!
The author of this blog is not an attorney and the information contained in these blogs should not be considered legal advice. The information provided here is based on the experience of the author and some of her clients whose actual names are not mentioned. Do not hesitate to seek the advice of an attorney if you have any legal questions.