When it comes to selecting consulting services for law firms, there are multiple ways to assess your options. While it is easy to choose the first consultant that crosses your path, it is much better to get a handle on what they can offer you and the type of partner they will be for you long term. As a small law firm, you don’t have the time or resources to waste. So, how do you find the right consulting service for your law firm?
Identify your Goals
Consulting services for law firms can be incredibly useful, but they are not going to cure all your problems. You need to analyze what you are aiming to achieve for your business and the type of assistance you need. Often this means identifying the reason that part of your business may be struggling. If you are contracting consulting services to survey employee job satisfaction when the source of your problem really lies in poor business planning, then you will end up spending valuable resources and not solve the core issue.
Always have clear goals even if they are basic ones. This will help you narrow down your options by making it much easier to track down a consultant that offers the services you need for your goals. There is no guarantee that any given consulting company is qualified to advise on every type of problem. It is much better to figure out what you want first rather than ending up with a consultant who has no experience solving your firm’s issues.
Research The Candidates
With any key decision, you need to do your research. Make sure you look at the online reviews of each law firm consulting firm you are considering as well as ask for references and case studies similar to your project. Far too many people forget to look at other customer reviews or in-depth information about the consultant’s past experience. There are two reasons research matters: the first is to find evidence backing up whether or not the consultant’s services are of high quality. The second is to verify whether or not they have experience in the areas your firm needs and how much.
For example, if you find review quotes on the consultant’s site that don’t appear to come from real businesses or repeat themselves over and over again, they may not be real reviews. In the same vein, if there are reviews from a variety of real companies praising the consultant’s business sense and results, that is a good sign that they have had a high success rate solving their client’s problems.
Hiring a law firm consulting service without knowing much about them is a recipe for disaster. The more you know, the better you can prepare yourself to work with them, and the more efficient the process will be.
Set Your Budget
You need to establish your budget parameters at the beginning of any discussion with a law firm consulting service. The consultant’s hourly and fixed fee rates will directly impact how long you can sustain their services. If a law firm consulting service is going to charge you twice as much per hour than you budgeted then you will only be able to afford to have them for a short period of time and may not achieve your goals.
Budget is critical when you need consulting services for law firms that are undergoing significant changes or shifts in direction. If you spend too much on the consultation, you might not be able to afford to implement the strategy changes recommended which could delay your plans. On the other hand, if you are not paying very much, the advice you are getting could be of poor quality or based on less-than-ideal data.
Finally, analyze what you are spending your money on. No two consulting services will offer the exact same services. Make sure you aren’t paying for a particular type of consulting service that doesn’t apply to your situation.