I am regularly approached by attorneys who feel that they will soon be ready to start their own firm. If you recall my frequent “jumping out of an airplane” metaphor, sometimes I think people come to me for that push out of the plane.
I can’t tell anyone for sure whether they will be successful in starting their own firm. It is definitely a big step, and people usually think about leaving the security of their employment for months or years until they actually do it. I can tell you that no one ever feels ready, but here are some signs to help you know whether you might be ready to start your own firm:
1. You have a steady stream of clients and established referral partners.
2. You are highly organized and self-disciplined.
3. You are comfortable with financials, and you are fiscally conservative.
4. You also have a nest egg to help in taking the financial risk.
5. You have competency in your area of law.
6. You are comfortable stepping out of the background and promoting yourself to others.
7. You feel you are ready for more professional challenges.
8. If you plan to hire, you are comfortable with managing others.
There are certainly other qualities to think about, but in my opinion, the more of these you have, the better off you’ll be! Best of luck to all the budding legal entrepreneurs out there.