Diamond and Diamond Lawyers Share 10 Tips to Growing a Business
The first year of business for any organization is full of trials and occasional tribulations that test every business idea to the fullest extent to see whether or not it’s viable and can function in the real world. One person who understands the difficulty is none other than one of the leading lawyer’s at The Diamond and Diamond Law Firm, Jeremy Diamond.
Jeremy Diamond has been in the industry for over two decades and knows a thing or two when it comes to running a successful business. Led by Jeremy Diamond, Diamond and Diamond Lawyers is the number one law firm in the city of Toronto, where Jeremy Diamond has to compete against more than 50 other personal injury law firms.
Jeremy Diamond has been through the trench that is the first year of a business and he’s offered his advice on ten things that every business needs to understand during this tumultuous time. Here’s what Jeremy Diamond had to say:
1. Security and Encryption is a top priority
Diamond and Diamond has a number of clients and their security is the most important issue at the law firm. Diamond and Diamond protects clients security with an amount of encryption software and programs in order to create a firewall against any potential hackers who are on the lookout to do harm.
However, this isn’t solely an issue that law firms must deal with. Malware can run rampant and hackers are unpredictable. We see this with recent security breaches at Target and Yahoo!. The latest attack has been the ‘WannaCry’ software that is crippling outdated PC’s. This is a threat that must be at the forefront of every business strategy in order to provide a wall of defense to protect both customers and employees.
2. Hire those who get value in the work they do
Hiring people can make or break your business in the first year. You need to go after people who have a passion and an intrinsic motivation for the work that they perform on a daily basis. You don’t want to just hire a secretary; you want to hire the best secretary. It’s okay to hire slowly so you can be sure you’re hiring A player’s and not B level players. If you are hiring for a position and none of the applicants fully satisfied you, it’s okay to walk away and not hire anyone. Outsource it for now if you can and search later. When Diamond and Diamond takes on a client, they entrust in us their lives and personal information and it’s important to hire lawyers who are both compassionate and the best at what they do.
3. Watch your competitors but don’t obsess over them
Competition is an important tool to push businesses to be innovative and to provide the best customer service possible, but it’s not everything. In business, you need to run your own race. Understand how the industry works before you launch your business, but don’t tailgate behind them to see where small advantages are.
There are more than 50 personal injury law firms, in Toronto. If Diamond and Diamond focused on each of them, we would be exhausted and never get anything done. Keep in mind that during your first year your business is a little under the radar too, this provides you time to find your footing a little bit.
4. When you see loyalty, nurture it
Loyalty is hard to come by because, in the world of business, people are often out for themselves. If you discover an employee who lives and breathes your business, show your appreciation to them and nurture that loyalty. Reward them with promotions, provide them comfortable benefits, and allow them to grow as people to continue developing their skill sets. Whatever you do, don’t suffocate them or make them feel unimportant.
5. Be ready for uneasiness among those who are used to the status quo
You’re launching your business because you want to innovate part, or all, of the industry. This is admirable and a difficult, but doable, task. However, not everyone may see it as admirable. As a result, you’ll find people who have been in the industry for years who are wholly uncomfortable with the idea of change.
As a response, you need to either try to get them fully on board or remove them. When you have employees who are unable to fully commit to your business, especially in your first year, it will absolutely hinder your growth. Every employee is vital to the success of a business early on, so it needs to be an all hands on deck effort.
6. Guard your online reputation with your life
An online reputation is a factor that businesses never had to deal with even twenty years ago, but today it’s everything. There are dozens of ways that people can rate your business to damage your reputation on sites like Yelp or Yellowpages. These websites shouldn’t be viewed as your enemy, but as a tool to increase your client base. By providing a high level of care and commitment to its clients, Diamond and Diamond is able to garner a strong review profile.
Websites like Yelp force your business to cater to clients in a way that businesses have never had to before. This means that customer service is everything. You can foster a strong relationship among customers through generous customer loyalty programs, friendly staff, and by always maintaining their best interests. Everyone gets a bad rating here and there, but when you do don’t let it hurt your mindset. Keep pushing to be the best.
7. Learn everything about your target customer
Your target customer is the DNA of your business. Dig deeply into statistics about your target market so you know their habits and interests and as a result, you can optimize your business for them. If there isn’t great information on them already, conduct your own research through surveys. Talk to your market and cater to their needs.
8. SEO and Adwords are the pillars of any marketing strategy above everything else
The presence of the internet is heavily felt by every businesses pocketbook. If you have a strong online presence there’s literally no end to the growth that your business can have. Companies like Amazon and eBay were unheard of in history outside of rare phenomenon such as the East Indian Trading Company. Your marketing efforts should be fully geared to optimizing your search engine rankings through keywords and phrases that are typically used by your target market. A heavy focus on online marketing tactics will boost you high above your competition.
9. Believe in your instinct and try not to waffle
Even with the internet age, sometimes your gut is still the best indication of what you should do. Try not to become stuck on a decision for too long and simply go with what your gut instinct is telling you to do. Often times our instincts can guide us down the right path. After all, if it wasn’t for instinct, Apple wouldn’t be nearly as successful as it is today due to Steve Job’s belief that customers don’t actually know what they want. Whether or not you subscribe to that belief yourself, his example proves that instinct does hold weight.
10. Start a business about something you love
Passion is what makes up the drive behind all of the best businesses. When you’re passionate about your business, you can create a culture around your brand, resulting in loyalty or ‘true fans’. Customers respect when a business owner is passionate about what they bring to the table because it increases the quality of everything from your product down to the customer service.
Another important factor of being passionate about your work is that when the going gets tough, you can grind through it. Business is for Type A personalities who thrive on ups and downs in life because there is always going to be a rollercoaster of intense periods of high and low. When you’re passionate, you’ll be able to survive the low periods and stay optimistic for the future.
Honorable mention: Get 7 hours of sleep a night. Sleep deprivation is not a virtue
Losing sleep isn’t a means to success; it’s only a means to damage your cognitive function that’s so important to making key decisions. The first year your business will dominate your life. It will be all you think about as you try to grow it to a sustainable level, but this doesn’t mean that it needs to dominate your physical well-being. Give yourself a solid seven hours of sleep a night so that you can approach the morning well rested and eager to go.
Jeremy Diamond of The Diamond and Diamond Law Firm has used these tips to launch his law firm from its early beginnings to the national success that it enjoys today. In total, Diamond and Diamond has expanded to 12 offices nationwide. The firm has been prominently featured in Forbes, Business-Opportunities and TG Daily. Jeremy Diamonds believes this expansion was only possible through his commitment to his clients, his employees, and his passion for all that is personal injury law.