What are the Benefits of Going Solo?
Going solo has so many advantages that I’m not even sure where to start this blog post. But here goes. Without further ado, here are some of the advantages of going solo:
1. Flexibility. As a solo, you get to set your schedule. You don’t have to go to an office and sit at your desk from 9 to 5 (or more realistically 8 to 7). You decide when you work and when you don’t. If you want to take an afternoon off to attend your child’s school concert or want to finally work on that passion project that you keep putting off, you can absolutely do that. When you’re the boss, you set your schedule.
2. Bossy Pants. Speaking of being the boss, that’s you. YOU are the boss. There is no one that you need to run your decisions by. And you get to make some pretty cool decisions – like what to name your firm, what to post about on social media, who to hire to design your website. You get to make big decisions that will impact your business. Because after all, it is your business.
3. Quick decisions. As a solo, there is no red tape to cut through as you make decisions. Do you want to try a new type of software? Or purchase a course to uplevel your legal knowledge? Or hire a consultant? These decisions are entirely up to you. You do not need to write a memo to justify your case and then wait for approval. If you want to do something, you can do it right away.
4. Scale up or scale down. If you are planning to take a vacation in 3 months, you can decide to slow down your client intake so that you are not doing legal work while you are gone. Or better yet, if you look at your schedule and aren’t sure whether you can take that vacation, you can opt to hire help (either on a full time, part time or contract basis) to step in while you are gone. You get to decide how busy or not busy you get to be.
5. Pick and choose clients and files. This is one of my favourites. No more getting stuck working on files that do not interest you or for clients that don’t make you feel great. If you are not interested in a certain file or a particular client, you can choose not to do the work and refer it out instead.
Note from the trenches: if you have a bad feeling about a client during your initial conversation, it’s likely best not to take on that work. 99% of the time, those red flags are there for a reason and you will regret taking on that particular client. Trust your gut.
6. Less expenses = higher profit. Thanks in large part to technology, going solo is very inexpensive. In addition, more and more lawyers are setting up shop while working from home or while renting temporary office space. By their very nature, solos have fewer expenses than lawyers who own larger firms.
This is great news for solos. The more money that you bring in and the fewer expenses that you have equals more money in your pockets at the end of the day.
Although there are specific challenges to consider when deciding to go solo, there are many advantages as well. Which are you most excited about?
I was trained on Bay Street and worked in Big Law for nearly a decade before going solo. I now help other solo/small firm lawyers launch and build their practices, through 1:1 consulting. I help lawyers implement a marketing strategy, hire help, overcome mindset blocks and build a profitable firm that suits their lifestyle. Interested in learning more? Check out my services page.