Targeting SMEs

Market Intelligence: Where to fill the gaps in legal services for SMEs. Opportunities for the right firms to generate profitable work.
The Legal Needs of Small Businesses

Based on a YouGov survey of 10,528 small business owners (i.e. with up to 50 people), but most of this applies to larger SME's too.  
  • £9.79bn - the total losses to small firms due to legal problems
  • 40,000 legal problems in the last 12 months, but with numbers falling.
  • One third of respondents contacted support providers that were unable to help them.
  • Almost 50% would only use a legal service provider as a "last resort."
  • Just 4% believe that "not" finding a suitable lawyer has affected growth of their business .. so it's perceived that lawyers don't make a difference that matters?
  • 87% viewed lawyers as not cost effective
  • The statistics don't put lawyers in a good light, but the report also highlights opportunities for lawyers that are prepared to target new business here effectively ... with the right strategy, services and support.
To download this 99-page LSB report just register on this page.

Conclusions of the LSB Report:
  • There needs to be greater clarity of the services offered by the legal profession to small firms.
  • Organisations providing legal services to small firms need to be more proactive and communicate their offerings much more effectively if access to the legal system is to be improved.
  • The legal profession needs to make stronger strategic ties with other key business support providers.
  • Small business owner-managers would also benefit from their own representative organisations raising the importance and potential contribution of legal services to help them set up their business, develop it and enhance their business performance.
  • Legal professionals would benefit from closer ties with small business owners through education and educational institutions.
  • There needs to be a strong communications initiative at the level of the legal profession and with small business groups as a whole.
Inpractice UK Conclusions & Recommendations
  • Small businesses can be demanding clients to keep satisfied, but once you get recognised as the "go to" lawyers in your area, the results can be very rewarding, both financially and in the warmth of the local relationships established.
  • There is a need for a more innovative approach to meeting the legal business needs of small business owners but not enough law firms have taken time out recently to consider afresh what can be offered now; potentially making more use of what a more diverse workforce and wider mix of skills in the legal office - and technology - can offer as expectations continue to change.
  • Most law firms fail to define their services effectively for this particular group (because it's difficult) and / or to take the time to communicate them in a way that appeals to the busy and demanding business owner.
  • Similar considerations apply to larger SME's, so this is about services for business more widely.
  • There is an opportunity to capture a significantly larger proportion of legal work from SME's in many parts of the country because there is demand that lawyers are failing to target effectively.
To explore how we can help your practice to develop propositions to target new business from SME's in your area, call Allan Carton on 0161 929 8355 for a preliminary discussion, free and in confidence. 
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