Starting a new venture is exciting, but it can also be challenging: how do you go from having an idea to a successful business? As lawyers and entrepreneurs, we are often asked how to create successful products and a successful startup. Our latest venture is a new web platform and app that quickly and easily connects consumers and attorneys for common legal concerns—from divorce and bankruptcy, to personal injury and immigration—called Hotspot Law.
Our idea came from discovering a need: in today’s market, finding the right attorney is critical, and at the same time, attorneys need inbound clients in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Connecting the two parties in an effective manner is our mission. Based on what we’ve learned over decades of combined experience, here are three key strategies we suggest in creating a winning, successful startup:
Know your market
The first step for any startup should be knowing who you’re selling to. Market research, informal conversations and everyday life problems: creating a beneficial solution for your target market is key. With Hotspot Law, we know the market for both consumers and attorneys is strong. With 182,296 active lawyers in New York, the densest state for lawyers in the country, and with a national 14.5% increase of attorneys from a decade ago, it’s clear lawyers are selling services into a very competitive market. At the same time, attorneys—both independent and small firms comprising five or fewer people—are struggling to find new business.
In spite of the increased amount of lawyers across the nation, consumer satisfaction is at an all-time low. According to Lawyerist, less than 10% of clients who call a law firm will speak to a lawyer. And at least 40% of people who leave a voicemail or fill out a web form wait two or three days before they hear back. The market for Hotspot Law includes the countless consumers who are not satisfied with the state of legal services. With over 1.3 million attorneys in the United States, the market for attorneys is considerable as well. Hotspot Law is here to streamline this connection and improve the overall experience for both parties.
Build great teams
Startups thrive when you get one critical thing right: people. Find people who not only have the experience and skills the job demands, but who are passionate and curious about the world in which you work.
In the case of Hotspot Law, our team is uniquely qualified to bring this product to market. I am a longtime New York City attorney focusing on FinTech and cryptocurrency issues, and am on the faculty of Hofstra Law School. Co-Founder Oleg Yavorovskiy has created multiple successful startups in the healthcare, retail and financial services spaces. Head of Marketing Jason Mongiello is an accomplished marketing professional with nearly a decade of experience helping startups grow and prosper.
Finding and retaining the right talent is the key to a successful startup. Dedication, creativity, a deep understanding of market conditions and consumer demand, as well as a positive attitude are key attributes to look for when it comes to creating successful teams.
Provide a high-quality solution
It’s not easy to come up with a game-changing product or service: we only suggest having a startup business around an idea that is truly exceptional, that has been tested by users, and that will have a positive impact. Hotspot Law took over two years of developing, testing and building to get right. Today, the platform is available to anyone who needs legal assistance with the click of a button—and the attorneys that want to reach them. Using a simple interface, where the consumer may simply type in the legal area they are seeking, along with their city or zip code, the program culls the best local lawyers, along with times available from which to choose.
In most cases, the consumer may book a same-day appointment where a confidential phone line is established and the attorney calls at the agreed-upon time. The consumer may book one or multiple consultations at no cost. These consultations help the consumer gather information to make an informed decision about their legal rights and options. For the attorney, a new stream of leads is created. Hotspot Law is the only platform of its kind allowing consumers to book consultations directly with attorneys same-day. Attorneys benefit from a new stream of inbound business at the time(s) that work for their schedules as well.
Turning Vision to Success
Startups need to have a vision of what’s possible in order to be successful. The team’s vision for Hotspot Law is to improve and modernize the legal landscape, making it more effective for consumers, more viable for attorneys and to increase justice. When it comes to creating a successful startup business, it’s all about finding, understanding and filling a strong need in the marketplace. In this case, it’s increasing justice for all, one case at a time.
By Felix Shipkevich, CEO Hotspot Law