Who are the business gurus you are relying on?

22610766_SThere are lots of people out there who are self-professed gurus. If you are running a law firm, you will hear from lots of self-professed gurus. They will claim they can help you.

Before you engage one to help you, be sure to check them out.  Who are there?  What qualifications do they have? Do they understand the legal business? Do they understand the vision and dynamics of your law firm?  What level of success have they had? These are all the kinds of questions you need to be asking before you spend your time, energy, and hard-earned money with them.

Some of the common gurus who will likely solicit you are as follows:

Internet Gurus – There are lots of individuals and businesses out there who will profess to know the ins and out of the internet. They will explain how they can help build you a webpage, increase your placement on the search engines, or even manage a pay-per-click campaign for you. Before you engage somebody to do this, you ought to do a lot of research. There are lots of folks out there who are self-professed internet gurus who really have limited experience. There also some folks out there who know what they are doing, but who probably charge too much for what they do.

Headhunters – There are lots of headhunting agencies who profess that they can help you fill open positions at their firm. They will explain that they have a thorough process to find quality candidates. They will claim they can take this off your shoulders and make it easy for you for a small fee. Of course, the fee is generally a cut from the first-year salary.  What if the employees only stay with the firm for a few months? Will the fee be worth it? Do these headhunters really have candidates better than you could find if you placed an ad yourself online? Why is it that the head hunter can find an applicant better than what you couldn’t have found yourself?

Business Coaches – There are lots of so-called business experts out there who can purportedly help you restructure your business to make it successful. They will claim to be able to come in and motivate your employees, survey your workforce, and come up with a top-to-bottom approach to make your law firm better. What are their credentials? What kind of success have they had?  Can they really provide you information that you couldn’t have accessed yourself online through a reputable source or through a book? Do these business gurus even understand your law firm and the office dynamics? Or, will they gather a little information and then provide half-cocked advice?

Supply Gurus – There are a lot of supply companies that will claim they can save you money. From office supplies, ink and toner or copy machines, supply gurus come in all shapes and sizes. Can these folks really save you money? Would you be better to simply buy these supplies online yourself, just like many people book a trip online versus paying for a travel agent?

Marketing Gurus – There are lots of marketing companies out there who may claim that they can give you solid marketing tips, PR, and other notoriety in the community. What are their credentials? Have they worked with a law firm before?  Can they really do anything for you that you couldn’t have done yourself?

At the end of the day, some of these so-called gurus can help. for example, most firms will need to employ an accountant and a payroll company. Successful law firms also employ lots of different individuals and companies to help make their firm better, like computer networking and repair service. This is especially true when the firm cannot hire people full-time to take on these roles within the firm.

But the reality is that many of the so-called gurus are not as knowledgeable as they claim. Many of these folks can lead you in the wrong direction, cost you lots of money, and do more harm than good. Thus, if you are going to hire one, it’s important that you do careful research about their credentials. It’s vital before you start relying on their advice that they fully understand your business.

Versus hiring these outside gurus, it is often preferred to hire people to take on these roles within your firm. By having people take on these roles within the firm, you will hopefully have somebody who is devoted to helping your firm succeed and who knows the landscape within it. At the cost that some of these gurus charge, it might even be more cost-effective.

But more important than this, it’s important to trust your own instincts. It’s your law firm. You have put your name and financial future on the line. You likely know your business better than anybody. Do you really need a guru to help you in the first place?

If you have any other thoughts, do not hesitate to share them below.

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