Starting A Bankruptcy Practice – If I Did It Today

I recent ran read a blog post by Chris Brogan entitled, If I Were A Realtor. As most of Chris’s posts do, this one made me think about the process of starting a bankruptcy practice if I were to do it today.

I’m a bankruptcy lawyer, and I like to think in terms of the evolution of communication. Blogging, podcasting, social media, stuff like that.

So what would I do to build my practice if I were starting from Square One today?

  • I’d start a blog about personal finance in my town or city
  • I’d take pictures of local businesses and residents, then I’d post them on Flickr for people to see and comment on
  • I’d record my thoughts when I left the courthouse each day (careful to keep names and case-specific particulars out of it) and post those audio thoughts as podcasts
  • I’d read every local blog I could find, and then I’d start to share my comments on their posts when appropriate
  • I’d find everyone in my community on Twitter, and I’d listen to what they had to say
  • I’d put up screencasts and videos explaining every single line of a bankruptcy petition, then I’d put them on YouTube for people to watch and understand
  • I’d educate people about bankruptcy in a way they could understand

Here are the things I wouldn’t do:

  • I wouldn’t copy my competition
  • I wouldn’t wear a suit and a tie unless it was comfortable for me to do so
  • I wouldn’t force my clients to bow to my whims
  • I wouldn’t revert to legalese and technical terminology because nobody understands it
  • I wouldn’t compete on price

We’re in that time of year when we all seek rebirth of some sort, a fresh start in our businesses. Imagine what you’d do differently this time around, and do some of it.

What’s stopping you?

Comments

  1. katherinehavener says

    This post is so helpful. We're about 6 months into our bk practice and are grateful to learn from you. Thanks for your blog.Also, can you explain what you mean by "you wouldn't compete on price?"

  2. Jim says

    Jay – Great ideas here. I've never used Flickr for business – can you elaborate on how you use it and how you would direct people to your pictures for comment?

  3. Jim says

    Jay – Great ideas here. I've never used Flickr for business – can you elaborate on how you use it and how you would direct people to your pictures for comment?

  4. says

    This post is so helpful. We're about 6 months into our bk practice and are grateful to learn from you. Thanks for your blog.

    Also, can you explain what you mean by “you wouldn't compete on price?”

  5. JayFleischman says

    Congratulations on your new bankruptcy practice. When I say that I would not compete on price I mean that I would not use the cost of my service as my differentiation point – there's always someone who is willing to charge less than you.

  6. says

    I agree wholeheartedly on not competing on price. One, because a price war would not be beneficial for you or for your competition. Two, because it's much better to compete on quality. People are willing to pay more for something that they consider higher quality, and many people translate low price to mean inferior product. I think it's interesting that you have your list of things that you'd do if you were to start a new process. How many of these things are you currently doing? Is there any reason why not to do them for an already established practice?