Are you about starting a freelance paralegal company? If YES, here is a complete sample freelance paralegal business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE.
Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a freelance paralegal company. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample freelance paralegal marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for freelance paralegal companies. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.
The paralegal cum legal support industry has been in existence from as far back as the 1970s and has brought about a major shift in the way law can be practiced and has equally stabilized the huge costs that is associated with the legal industry.
As long as you know what you are doing – either generalist or specific – this isn’t an expensive business to start up. However, just like any business; it is imperative that before you start up this business that you conduct a thorough market research so as to familiarize yourself with the industry trends.
If conducting a market research might be overwhelming, then consider hiring the services of a business consultant especially one who has experience in the industry you intend to go into so that he or she might be able to look at all the possibilities of the business and if you are likely to succeed in the niche you intend to offer.
Even though this might look like a simple business to start up, you shouldn’t overlook writing a business plan because it is important that you have an overall plan in place regarding the business which will allow you not only make the right decisions but also ensure that you remain focused in the business. It is for this reason that a sample freelance paralegal business plan has been prepared below.
A Sample Freelance Paralegal Business Plan Template
1. Industry Overview
The paralegal profession is considered to not only be a very important part of the legal team but it is one whose roles have been expanding rapidly to other sectors such as training, technology, education etc.
According to the American Bar Association, there are more than 1 million licensed attorneys in the united states and more than 85 percent of them practice in small to medium firms, therefore relying heavily on paralegals in order to be able to deal with increasing litigation. In the national market, there are more than 272,000 paralegals in existence.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is expected that the employment of paralegals and legal assistants will increase at about 17 percent in the year 2022, which when compared to other occupations is very fast.
According to the Bureau, most employers are trying to reduce costs whilst also increasing the availability of legal services by hiring paralegals in place of lawyers. Areas such as foreclosures, intellectual property, elder issues, healthcare, bankruptcy, international law, environmental law as well as criminal law are likely to increase in their demands for paralegals.
According to statistics, there are nearly 2,500 paralegal firms in the United States that engage in the drafting of legal documents for clients. The legal support service industry generates revenue of nearly $1.9 billion every year, while ensuring that jobs are being provided to more than 15,000 people.
The industry is defined as a mature one and it is expected that its future growth will be at par with that of the country’s economy. The industry is also immune to negative trends in the economy.
Even though the largest employers of paralegals are private law firms, other organizations such as banks, insurance companies, corporate legal departments, real estate and title insurance firms have also made their mark in the legal support service industry.
More corporations in order to cut costs are expected to increase their in-house legal departments. Also, paralegals that are specialists in areas such as medical malpractice, real estate, Product liability and bankruptcy are in high demand. Aside from corporations, it is also expected that agencies in the federal, state and local government as well as the courts will have a need for paralegals.
However, while there might be a need for paralegal services, they are to a large extent limited by the business cycle. This means that during an economic downturn, demand for legal support services especially for areas such as drafting of wills, estate planning, real estate transactions and other forms of litigations are expected to decline.
In economic downturn, demand for paralegal services in areas such as divorces, bankruptcies and foreclosures are expected to be on the increase especially as paralegals are likely going to provide the same quality service as a lawyer would but for a cheaper amount.
Freelance paralegals are different from traditional paralegals only in how they are employed and not the tasks that they perform. A freelance paralegal carries out tasks within the discretion of the client and cannot operate independently within the organization.
One huge benefit as starting a freelance paralegal business is the fact that one does not need too much capital to start and run the business efficiently as the business can be run from home, from a shared workspace or even from a rented facility.
If you are therefore looking towards starting your own freelance paralegal service in the United States, it is important that you carry out a thorough market research in order to understand the industry trend; so that you do not end up setting up your business in the wrong location or focusing on the wrong target market.
New York is a thriving metropolitan city where there are a lot of law firms and other businesses that will enable you start and run your business without struggling to generate revenue unlike if you intend to operate your business from a rural area.
2. Executive Summary
B&G Paralegal Service Inc. is a freelance paralegal firm based in New York. Our vision is to ensure that we not only meet but also exceed the expectations of our clients and to ensure that we get at least 10 steady clients by the end of our first year in business.
We also intend to be among the top five paralegal firms – traditional or freelance here in New York within 5 years of establishing our business. The sole intention of establishing B&G Paralegal Service Inc is to not only ensure that we offer quality services but that we also generate enough revenue to enable us remain profitable for as long as we wish to remain in business.
We understand that the industry is filled with intense competition as most of the services offered are nearly the same except for specialist paralegal firms and so we intend to look into offer other kinds of services that will be specialist in nature so that we can also stand out from others in the industry.
The fact that this is a service business means that we have to let our work speak for itself and therefore will not compromise on the quality of our work especially since we aim to not only attract but also retain a certain number of customers in our first year of running our business.
Because we understand the importance of business structure to a business, we intend to go all the way in ensuring that we hire only the best and experienced hands into the various positions that will be available to our firm. We understand that only with the right business structure can we effortlessly achieve all our goals and objectives.
We intend to provide for our employees a conducive work environment that will enable them work at their best. Our pay and other welfare packages will rival any similar startups here in New York. Our management team is the best in this business and we went through a thorough process before picking those that we felt understood what is at stake and know how best to help us achieve our desired goals and objectives.
B&G Paralegal Service Inc is owned and run by Ms. Bella Hackey, an attorney and Ms. Gold Subb, a paralegal. Ms. Hackey has over 15 years in the legal industry and a Master’s Degree in Business Management and Ms. Subb has over 8 years’ experience in the legal support service industry. With their experience, both will be able to ensure that all the goals and objectives of the firm are duly met.
3. Our Products and Services
At B&G Paralegal Service Inc, we intend to offer several services so that we will be able to generate the revenue needed to ensure the sustainability of our business. Our major revenue will come from producing documents for our various clients – attorneys and individuals that have ongoing paralegal needs in our area of operation.
However, we also intend to create multiple sources of income and will offer consultancy services because our intention of starting this business is to ensure that we make profits as is permissible under the laws of the United States of America.
Below are some of the services we intend to offer;
- Direct documentation for attorneys and individuals
- Consultancy services
4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
- Our vision is to ensure that we not only meet but also exceed the expectations of our clients and to ensure that we get at least 10 steady clients by the end of our first year in business. We also intend to be among the top five paralegal firms – traditional or freelance here in New York within 5 years of establishing our business.
- Our mission is to become the foremost leader of freelance services for our target market by building a solid business structure regarding those we hire and those that will manage the company so that we will be able to achieve our goals and objectives.
Our Business Structure
Even though we will be running a freelance paralegal service, it is imperative that the quality of our services be top notch in order to enable us to build a standard paralegal service that will be able to compete against others in the same industry.
In this vein, we understand that getting it right from the beginning is very important, which is why we are willing to go the extra mile in ensuring that we hire employees that are hardworking and competent enough to be able to occupy certain relevant positions in the firm.
Our vision and mission has already crafted out how we intend to build our business structure in order to ensure that we are able to achieve our intended goals and objectives. We are ready to not only get the best hands but to pay the right amount to make the positions that we have available attractive enough for them as long as they are willing to help us attain our goals and objectives.
With the services we intend to offer and with the intense competition in the industry, we will first employ only those we know will fit right into our mission. We however intend to expand as time goes by especially when we expand our services. Below is the business structure that we intend to build at B&G Paralegal Services Inc.,
- Managing Partner
- Associate Partner
- Human Resources and Admin Manager
- Marketing Team
- Customer Service Executives
5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
- Responsible for the day-to-day management of the business affairs of the firm
- Identifies the short term strategies of the firm in order that it remains aligned to the realization of the long term goals that have been established
- Guides the firm towards meaningful growth and profitability
- Builds a strong relationship with clients and understands their concerns with a view towards enhancing the business and its bottom line
- Prioritize and review the work of subordinates in the firm
- Maintain confidentiality of clients’ information at all times
Human Resources and Admin Manager
- Sources for and hire only competent employees on behalf of the firm
- Conducts necessary training and carries out performance appraisals on employees on a regular basis
- Ensures that the administrative functions of the organization flows smoothly
- Conducts periodic marketing survey in order to identify new opportunities for the firm
- Crafts effective marketing strategies and policies for the firm and ensures its implementation
- Engages in marketing activities online and offline on behalf of the firm
- Ensures that the financial aspects of the firm are in order
- Prepares and provides financial analysis, reports and statements that will be used by the firm to prepare its budget
- Ensures that the firm is able to repay its loan as at when due
Customer Serviced Executives
- Ensures that all inquiries, complaints, orders from clients are promptly attended to
- Ensures that the firm has an accurate and updated database of clients
- Has updated knowledge of company policies in order that customers might have accurate information
- Ensures that the firm is clean at all times
- Ensures that cleaning supplies are always in stock
6. SWOT Analysis
Even though more attorneys, law firms and other organizations are beginning to depend more on paralegals to help them achieve their tasks, we understand that we are in a mature industry where competition is quite fierce and so we have sought the help of a business consultant who understands the business thoroughly and who is likely to know how our business will fare in the location we intend to operate in.
The review by the consultant was done based on our location as well as depending on similar startups here in the State of New York. Below is the SWOT analysis that was conducted for B&G Paralegal Services, Inc.;
Our core strength lies in our business structure as we hired only competent employees with experience so that we will be able to deliver quality service to our customers. Our customer service is also top notch because of how much we value our customers and this will enable us to retain a huge number of the clients that contract our services.
The fact that we are relatively new means that we are still a small ship and may not be able to compete with larger paralegal freelancing services due to a tight budget that will not enable us to advertise as much as we want. The industry is also mature which means that we will be facing stiff competition from already existing small, medium and large scale paralegal firms – traditional or freelancers especially as these ones have the experience.
We know that there are several opportunities available to us in this industry especially as regards niche services and we are prepared to tap into other opportunities that might present during the course of running our business.
We are aware of the several threats that we are likely to encounter when starting and running our business; from changing industry trends, government policies, economic downturn and competition from others within the same industry; and we are prepared for any of the threats that we would face.
We are however aware that not all threats can be handled and that when faced with such threats, we will do all we can to remain focused on our goals and objectives.
7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
The legal support industry is going through a period of change due to the growth in technology that has allowed for tasks to become automated, innovativeness as regards providing legal support services as well as better analysis of the needs of clients.
Technology has allowed for more flexibility for paralegals especially those that are freelancers as paralegals can now work remotely. Traditional billing systems that were being used by legal support firms are slowly being eroded as clients see it as promoting inefficiency.
However, new technologies such as Customer Relations Management (CRM) systems and knowledge management systems have helped to manage clients’ relationship better while also ensuring that generic legal support work is not only repeatable but also predictable as regards its billing.
Also, the advent of review sites and apps has allowed clients to check out services beforehand, thereby kicking up the pressure for quality service.
There is also an increase in specialization as paralegals are moving away from generic legal tasks that involve submission of forms and preparation of documents into a specialist area that requires a degree of expertise. Those that have therefore chosen to offer specialist skills have found that they are not only able to attract clients on the long term but that they are also able to distinguish themselves from competitors.
8. Our Target Market
When it comes to certain documentations, certain individuals, attorneys and law firms who do not have in-house paralegals all seek external paralegals and so this is not a service that can be restricted to just attorneys and law firms. The fact that we know who we are going to be offering our services to has allowed us to strategically position our business in this area of New York.
To however avoid any assumptions, we intend to conduct a thorough market research that will enable us have a clear understanding of who our target market is likely to be and what it is that they would be expecting from us. The result from our market research shows that we would be offering our services to the following groups of people;
- Law firms
- Public Interest Organizations
- Insurance companies
- Real estate and title insurance companies
- Finance Institutions
- Corporate legal departments
Our Competitive Advantage
We intend to build a business that will not only retain at least 10 clients in the first year of business but also one that will ensure that we are amongst the 5 foremost paralegal firms here in the State of New York within 5 years and in order to achieve this, we have come up with competitive strategies that will enable us compete fairly in the industry.
Our intention here at B&G Paralegal Services, Inc is to ensure we provide quality services for our various clients. In providing quality services, we will aim to not only meet the expectations of our various clients but we intend to surpass it as well.
One of the competitive advantages we have is in the solid business structure that we have built. Our management team does not only have vast experience on how to handle those under them, they are also highly competent and greatly align with our goals and objectives; therefore understanding what is at stake and how we can achieve our stated goals and objectives.
We intend to ensure that we recruit employees who can work in a fast paced environment and who understand what it means to goals and objectives. We will ensure that not only will our employees work in a conducive environment but that they have better welfare packages when compared to their counterparts in similar startups.
We understand that to be able to retain at least 10 customers in our first year of business, our customer service must be top notch and we are ready to ensure that we do all it takes to give our clients only the best service – either from our work or from our response to them when they make inquiries or want their complaints resolved. The above strategies we believe will enable us stand out from others.
9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
The aim of establishing B&G Paralegal Service Inc, is to ensure that we build a brand that will enable us to maximize profit in the legal support industry and to ensure this, we intend to retain as much as 10 clients in our first year of business. We therefore intend to generate income by offering the following services;
- Direct documentation for attorneys and individuals
- Consultancy services
10. Sales Forecast
There will always be individuals and attorneys who require documentation and do not have the expertise or time to do it themselves and so will require the services of a paralegal.
Our strategic location in the State of New York has enabled us to not only penetrate our target market but also to generate enough income that will enable us recoup our investment and also grow our business in our first year of operation.
We are therefore expecting a strong growth during the beginning of our operation. Our thorough examination of the industry has enabled us to come up with the following sales projections which were based on the information gathered regarding similar start-ups here in the State of New York.
Below therefore are the sales projection for B&G Paralegal Services Inc based on our target market and the location of our business;
- First Fiscal Year: $120,000
- Second Fiscal Year: $210,000
- Third Fiscal Year: $400,000
N.B: it should be noted that the above projections were done based on what the current trends in the industry are and on the assumption that all other conditions will remain the same for the projected periods. This therefore means that we have not made provisions for direct competition or the downturn of the economy. To this end, the above projections might in time become lower or higher than the stated projections.
- Marketing and Sales Strategy
Every entrepreneur, business person and corporate organization knows the importance of marketing because not only does it enable a business to generate the revenue needed to run the business, it also ensures that more people get to be aware of the business.
It is therefore important that careful planning be made as regards the marketing of the business. Regardless of the marketing plan in place, it is important to also have the right marketing strategies that will enable this plan come to fruition.
Also, having the right marketing strategies will ensure that we are able to penetrate our intended target market, gain a huge share and also compete favorably against our competitors here in New York.
In order to have marketing strategies that are effective, we intend to conduct a thorough market survey that will allow us understand the market that we are going into, which means that we will not only know who our target market is and what they expect from us but we will also get to know who our competitors are and what we should expect from them.
Even though we might seek the services of a marketing consultants to help us look at our marketing plan and craft the right marketing strategies that will help us achieve our goals and objectives; we also intend to hire a marketing team that will not only help develop marketing strategies but will also monitor and modify ineffective marketing strategies.
In summary, below are some of the marketing strategies that will be adopted at B&G Paralegal Services, Inc.;
- Ensure that we send a brochure and or formal letters regarding our services, rates and contact information to most of our target clients here in New York
- Engage in activities that will announce our presence and create awareness for our business
- Empower our marketing executives to engage in direct marketing
- Ensure that we join relevant associations and professional organizations for the benefit of our business
- Use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin to advertise our business
11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
No matter how much quality service we are offering, without the right publicity, we will not make as much earnings as we want for our business and so having the right publicity and advertising strategy is very vital to our image and our bottom line.
The paralegal industry is very intensive and so we will ensure that our publicity strategies not only penetrate our intended target market but also ensure that we are able to carve out a huge share for ourselves that will enable us to compete fairly against our competitors.
In order to achieve our publicity objective, we intend to hire the services of a publicity consultant who has experience in our kind of industry to help us create publicity strategies that will not only promote our image positively to our clients but will ensure that they trust our services enough to patronize us.
We intend to deploy several publicity modes when promoting our firm here in the State of New York. Below are some of the publicity and advertising strategies that we intend to use to grow our business at B&B Paralegal Service, Inc.,
- Ensure that we distribute handbills and fliers in strategic places around and in the hub of our target market
- Make use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin in order to promote our services
- Attend law conferences and seminars as well as other forms of seminars that concerns our business in order to pass out business cards and network with the aim to promote our business
- Participate in and sponsor relevant community programs
- Place adverts in local media such as newspapers, radio and television stations
12. Our Pricing Strategy
Even though there are no set rates for paralegal services especially ones that are freelance, there are still rates that are considered to be average depending on the kind of service and the kind of customer requiring the service. And so even though we will be striving to ensure that our rates are affordable, we will not be offering rates that will have a negative effect on the quality of our services.
Before we set our various rates, we will ensure that our rates are within the average industry rate. We however, in the first 3 months will ensure that we offer an additional service to whatever service is required of us in order to be able to gain the attention of more customers.
- Payment Options
At B&G Paralegal Service Inc, we have an all-inclusive payment policy and this is because we are aware of the fact that our various customers will have different preferences depending on what suits them when it comes to payment. Below are some of the payment options that we intend to make available;
- Cash payment
- Payment via online payment portal
- Payment via bank transfer
All our payment portals will ensure that all of our various customers are able to pay without any sort of hitches.
13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
Even though this is majorly a business that will be providing services, there are a certain number of items that we will be expected to spend our money on so that we can provide effective and efficient services. Also, there will be fixed bills to take care of such as utility bills and paying the salary of anyone we will be looking to employ.
Below is a breakdown of how we intend to spend our start-up capital;
- Total fee for registering and incorporating the business in the United States of America – $750
- Obtaining of licenses, permits as well as accounting software and services – $2,000
- Cost of hiring a business consultant – $1,000
- Insurance policies (general liability, errors and omissions and workers’ compensation) – $2,000
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (payment of salaries and utility bills) – $60,000
- Marketing and promotion expenses (printing of fliers, ads and website banners) – $3,500
- Lease payments and improvements for at least 3 years – $20,000
- Office supplies and equipment (stationeries, computers, phones, furniture and lighting) – $1,500
- Other start-up expenses (phone and internet bills, utility deposits) – $2,000
- Cost of launching a website – $500
- Cost of throwing a grand opening party – $1,500
- Miscellaneous – $5,250
From the above breakdown, it should be noted that we would need at least $100,000 to be able to successfully set up our freelance paralegal business here in the State of New York. It should be noted that the above amount includes the salary that will be paid to those that we will employ as well as other operating and overhead costs that we will need to offset before we start generating revenue.
Generating Funding/Startup Capital for B&G Paralegal Service, Inc
Ms Bella and Ms Gold are both seeking to raise the sum of $100,000 in order to start and run the business. The two have been in the industry for a long time and so will not need any new partners when looking to source for funds for their business.
They have both decided to restrict the sourcing of their start-up capital to just three sources; The areas where they are looking to generate their start-up capital from are;
- Generate part of the start-up capital from personal savings as well as sale of stock
- Source for soft loan from family members are friends
- Apply for bank loan
N.B: The sum of $30,000 was generated from our private savings and we have also been able to source for $10,000 from family members and friends. We have approached the bank for $60,000 and the interest rate and agreement regarding the loan will be discussed further during negotiation. The business loan is for a period of 7 years with a 5% fixed interest rate.
14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
Just like any other business, our main purpose of starting this business is so that we could maximize profit that will ensure that our business is sustained for as long as we want till we are ready to exit the industry. We also have expansion plans in the works where we hire more people and go into other profitable niches that will ensure that we generate enough revenue to keep our business going.
We intend to ensure that the quality of our service never drops and that we keep re-investing into the business to boost our bottom line and be able to compete with others in the same industry.
We understand how important clients are to any business and we do not intend to take ours for granted. We are not looking to only attract enough customers in our first year of business, we are looking to retain at least 10 long standing customers and we know that for this to be achieved, we not only have to meet the expectations of our clients but we have to ensure that we exceed it as well.
We will ensure that all those who work with us especially those directly involved in taking orders from clients, attending to inquiries and taking care of complaints are doing so with the aim of ensuring customer satisfaction at all times.
Because we want to remain in business for as long as possible, we intend to ensure that our bottom line remains protected and boosted after a while by further going into other types of services that will enable us to have multiple sources of income.
We intend to ensure that a certain percentage of our earnings re-invested into the company and a certain percentage is used to service our loan, so that we do not remain indebted more than the period we intend.
We know that having a solid business structure is vital to the success of any business and so we do not mind going the extra mile to ensure that we hire only those who are competent into the various positions that will be available at our firm.
All our employees will be well taken care of especially when it comes to their welfare packages which will be the best when compared to what similar startups are offering. The above measures when deployed well will help in our sustainability and expansion strategy.
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Registration: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
- Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
- Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Conducting feasibility studies: Completed
- Generating capital from family members: Completed
- Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Graphic Designs and Printing of Promotional Materials: In Progress
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
- Opening party/launching party planning: In Progress
- Establishing business relationship with vendors – wholesale suppliers/merchants: In Progress
- Purchase of trucks: Completed