Four Important Trends Impacting Small and Mid-Sized Firms

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If you are a small or mid-sized law firm, being able to quickly pivot to prepare for or adjust to trends within the legal industry can give you an advantage over larger firms. To help guide you, here are four important trends your firm should know to prepare for success for any uncertainties in the near future.

1 – The Way We Work Is Changing

Over the past few years during the Great Resignation, many people changed jobs and many are working on a hybrid schedule or from home. It is likely that these changes are not going anywhere anytime soon. What this means for small- and mid-sized firms is that staffing for marketing technology or data quality roles has become more difficult. Firms are struggling to find high-quality workers and when they do, these workers come with significant costs and can be difficult to hire, train, supervise and manage.

There are also issues with ongoing turnover, requiring law firms to repeat the hiring process sooner than they would like. Firms are now realizing the difficulty of this and are turning to outsourcing as a cost-effective and efficient hiring solution. As a result, talent outsourcing at top law firms has significantly increased.

2 – The Right Technology Is Critical

Because in-person networking and business development have been slow to return to pre-pandemic levels and more individuals have become comfortable with the convenience of online learning through webinars, law firms have adjusted to a digital-first marketing strategy.

As a result, more firms than ever before are looking to switch CRM systems or implement one for the first time. Some of these firms are looking to make a move to the cloud to reduce the overhead and maintenance associated with on-premise software. Others want more sophisticated business development tools like pipelines, dashboards or integrated eMarketing software.

Choosing the right CRM system is crucial – see our guide to selecting the right CRM for your law firm.

3 – Data Quality Is Essential

Because of the challenges in hiring, staffing and the increasing focus on technology, the importance of data quality has never been higher. If you have bad data, it doesn’t matter how sophisticated your technology is, you will have challenges reaching and communicating with your key audiences. As data significantly degrades every year – in the past, research suggested that about 30% of data degraded each year, but since the pandemic, it could easily be more than 50% — it is just as important to invest in your data quality as it is to invest in the right software. Small to mid-sized firms that invest in data quality will have an advantage over larger – or any – firms that do not.

4 – Planning Ahead Is Vital

Is a recession coming? Who knows? Maybe it’s already here. Some big tech companies are having mass layoffs in an effort to focus now on profitability over rapid growth. The benefit for law firms is that there may now be an increasing pool of qualified candidates to hire. However, it may also be an early warning sign for what’s to come.

So, how can you prepare for a potential recession? Make strategic hiring decisions now and think about the functional areas you can outsource (CRM, data stewarding, eMarketing, etc.). Also, think about what is on your “must”-do list versus your “would-like” to-do list, and prioritize – and staff – accordingly.

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