LATA will be aggressively courting small- to mid-size law firms. This will be done through a mixture of advertising, networking, website traffic, and phone calls. Many of our target firms have at some point needed a temp attorney but the previous options have been limited and somewhat of a compromise. LATA will provide a service that has not been fully developed up until now. Once firms are aware of this improved service offering, LATA is confident that they will be able convert interested firms into clients.
LATA's competitive edge is its concentration on the legal market, specifically attorneys. While concentrating on such a narrow skill set reduces the overall market size, it allows LATA to better serve those customers that are within this space. LATA will offer a higher level of service and attention than a general temp agency could offer. This higher level of service will be translated into a more predictive screening process for choosing attorneys. Using Steve's experience as a practicing attorney, as well as cutting edge HR techniques, will develop a more accurate method of predictive interviews (structured behavioral interviews). Additionally, Steve's legal background will allow him to develop the behavioral situations that attorneys are likely to encounter.
Steve will be able to add value through the training process that he develops to allow the temp attorney to seamlessly jump into a project and exceed all of the expectations that the firm has. These expectations will be developed through the relationship that LATA forms with the firm when they enter into a contract.
Although there are a fair amount of attorneys in the Portland market, it is still a close knit group of professionals. The bar is a self regulating association with its own rules of conduct which creates ties within the legal community. Because of these circumstances, many attorneys know each other within the community, especially the longer they practice in the area.
Having the legal community so close knit will be a competitive advantage for LATA because Steve practiced in the community for 10 years and has developed a large network of colleagues. LATA will have developed instant credibility because of the years of law practice that Steve has under his belt. This credibility will help LATA overcome any initial reluctance a firm might have regarding hiring a temp due to the trust bond that Steve has established while practicing in the Portland community.
LATA's sales strategy will be based on an initial disbursement of materials that showcase our services. Once this peaks the interest of the law firm LATA will use personal selling techniques to bring in customers. Steve will be able to communicate to sales leads our elite level of interviewing, training, and general convenience that we offer firms. While at first glace it may appear inefficient for the president to be doing all of the sales qualifying and closing, yet it actually is quite logical. Most of the relationships that LATA develops will be premised on the assumption that they are long term so time spent by Steve with a firm up front will pay off in the long run as we turn the initial customer into a long-term customer.
Another strategy will be using statistical evidence to show how LATA can save the firm money by using our service and by passing the normal hiring process or work project process. By showing the prospective firm quantitative data that LATA can reduce costs, LATA expects to to turn the lead into a closed sale.
LATA will be charging firms an hourly rate that might initially seem high, but after you factor in the costs of interviewing, payroll, and training, it will seem quite reasonable. For LATA it will be on the high end of the margins continuum for the industry, but it will be earned as LATA will be doing more training than most temp firms. While an attorney is presumably already trained in legal research, writing and other legal activities, LATA will be training them in ways in which they can make their transition into the organization more seamless.
The first two months will be setting up the office and developing the interviewing process and training courses. LATA will also have the website online by the end of month two and the printed material ready to go. All of the advertisements will be submitted so by month three LATA will be "online" (so to speak). Months three through five will be slow but steady. LATA will have some temp activity that will increase as it becomes more visible. By month six things will be ramping up and will keep LATA quite busy. By month 12 or 13 things will have gotten quite busy and Steve will be looking to hire a new sales person so he can focus on business development.
The first four to five months will be a bit heavy administratively, but LATA believes that the administrative expense will be worthwhile as it will allow the company to grow more painlessly when it gets busier by month six.
LATA will have several milestones early on: