Small and Medium size firms who ‘find their niche’ have a long way to go

22 Aug 2014

The success story of Cheltenham-based Wiggin in The Lawyer during August has a lot to say on both the state of the legal market in general and the opportunities available for boutique firms, if they have the correct strategies in place. A relatively small firm focused on the media market, Wiggin have just posted a 22.3% rise in revenue and 80% rise in net profit, for the financial year 2013/2014. They are currently in their fourth year of a five year plan, so how have they embraced their boutique status to drive growth?

Know your niche

By targeting exclusively media and film clients, Wiggin are able to make a strong argument to those clients that they should be instructing them, rather than larger firms. Wiggin see the narrow market and their narrow client base as a strength, rather than the weakness some traditional law firms might view it as. As mentioned in the article, it is likely that many clients are also starting to come round to this way of thinking when offered the specialised expertise Wiggin are able to provide.

Have a plan, then have another plan

Wiggin are not only nearing the end of a five year plan that has seen them produce the reported growth and embrace their niche, they are also about to embark on another planned stage of growth. Even if you are successful currently, the Wiggin lesson teaches us all that it is necessary to know how you are going to be successful tomorrow.

Manageable growth

Within Wiggin’s figures are the revealing statistics that last financial year they added two partners and two equity partners with the total figures now twenty-three and eleven, respectively. This is clearly manageable growth for the firm, evidenced in their revenue per partner numbers.

Define your offering

Wiggin have not only targeted specific clients but have done so by further defining their business offering, thus making it easier for those clients to come on board. Incopro, for example, aims exclusively at content protection and monitoring. As the article notes, Wiggin are willing to launch further businesses as new focused opportunities within their niche are identified.

Be willing to outsource

Wiggin are entering their 10th year of a deal to outsource secretarial services, clearly a sign that this has worked for them. The article also mentions further outsourcing on the firm’s part, highlighting Wiggin’s ability to cut internal costs by recognising areas that are better served by being left to external experts.

Don’t follow the herd

Wiggin are based in Cheltenham and whilst they maintain a London office, their main base represents a huge saving in core costs. Whilst their London office costs £61 per square foot, a huge saving is achieved by basing the bulk of the team away from the city, with their main office costing just £25 per square foot.