Attract Home Job Clients with an IKEA Gestalt

Sometimes, the transition from your mom’s basement to a more professional office with hot tub, bar, and a vending machine can be a bit hard to do. Sure, you could coffice sporadically from Starbucks as a transition, but there are better alternatives for the full professional office experience. While many new firms shop at IKEA for furniture and accesssories, most firms stop there and don’t extend the IKEA gestalt to other areas of their practices—including officing at IKEA. That’s too bad.

IKEA makes money by buying things in bulk and leaving it up to the consumer to cart things home and build them using wordless instructions and tiny tools. It’s not a tough leap to apply it to your practice, especially to help all the DIY folks who like to practice law as a hobby or buy legal documents at a supermarket. While Home Depot presents too many challenges to set up an office, IKEA comes with built in offices with nearly everything an attorney needs. Here’s our plan to get started.

Start Slow

It may be exciting to set up shop in a corner of an IKEA store, especially when the Leksvik desk has that “new look” smell and feel. But start slow and office about once per week for a few weeks before expanding to two to three times a week. One, most IKEA employees won’t care or notice. Two, some repeat shoppers may think you’re a bit freaky. The repeat shopper is a good source of referrals, so don’t let your office space get too “lived in” and skanky. If you’ve spent too much time in the Hemnes showcase, try switching out a few days at a Bestä Bur workstation.

Provide Self-Help Instruction Sheets for Clients.

Clients love infographics that make them believe they too can practice law. Which makes an IKEA-like self-help instruction sheet nice to produce and easy to spread virally. Take our Skada sheet for personal injury. Nice.

Rename Practice Areas

While your practice may include traditional areas such as family law or bankruptcy, traditional practice areas no longer resonate with most savvy home-job legal consumers. Change the names to something exotic or IKEA-sounding, and specify a distinct product, such as “divorce” or “injury.” Good choices: for divorce, use jävlarna; for personal injury, use personskada, or skada for short.

Splurge for Meals

At 99 cents for a plate of Swedish meatballs, why not? Offer clients a plate of Gravlax or shrimp toast. Want a hot dog or cinnamon roll? One buck. So what if a client walks into office and is met by the smell of cinnamon-scented salmon hot dogs? I don’t see the harm in that.

C. Hank Peters ("Chank") is an attorney whose background includes a rural, small-town, solo practice in Minnesota. He uses his practice experience from the late 1970s to advise attorneys who want to establish a lean and client-focused legal practice. He is one of a few legal marketing attorneys online and remains the inspiration for the website Big Legal Brain.

1 Comment

  1. Guano Dubango

    March 14, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    I would like to meet a Nordic or Germanic type woman. Perhaps this IKEA idea is a good entree for me. Now that Seal is separating from Heidi Klum, perhaps she or someone of her quality may become available to me.

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