I am the sole owner of a six-attorney estate planning practice in Phoenix, Arizona. The five associates have been with me from five to fifteen years. I just turned fifty-five and would like to retire when I am sixty-five either by selling my practice to another firm or to one or more of my associates. I would like to receive some remuneration for the sweat equity that I have invested (goodwill). I have tried over the years to setup my practice in a way that it is not “just me.” I changed the name of my firm to a trade name that does not include my name, arranged the lawyers names on our letterhead and website alphabetically, and eliminated designations such as principal and associate. I believe that I have made it difficult for clients and prospective clients to know who the boss is. I hope that this will make my firm more salable and appealing in the future. I would appreciate your comments.
I took a look at your website and thought it was pretty easy to see that you are the firm. For example:
I suspect that you are the rainmaker and in spite of any advertising that the firm does and your website most of the firm’s business comes from your referral sources, past clients, and your reputation.
I believe you have to do more than what you have done to institutionalize your practice. Here are a few suggestions:
If you are able to accomplish many of the above suggestions you will be on your way to institutionalizing your practice.
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John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC
Posted at 08:18 AM in Marketing, Strategy, Succession/Exit Strategies