Friday, July 06, 2007

[New Biz] Capitalizing on a Market Inefficiency

The Big Idea:

Without giving away all of my secrets, basically, I found an inefficiency in the marketplace relating to the commercial office space that was available to solo and small firm lawyers.

My law practice is currently located in a great and affordable space in the financial district of Manhattan. However, I was recently looking to sublet office space closer to Grand Central to try to minimize my commute. As you may know, commercial rents have sky-rocketed in New York, and they have grown at a much faster pace in Midtown as compared to other areas of Manhattan.

The sublet spaces I saw that were (marginally) affordable, were horrible, and the nice spaces were completely out of reach. So much so that, for the same price it was going to cost me to move my office to Midtown, I calculated that I could lease a very nice car and pay for a driver to take me directly to my downtown office every day. No joke.

I figured that I can't be the only lawyer in New York experiencing this problem. So instead of moving to Midtown, I decided to rent another 5,000sf
to run a lawyers only professional office suite in the downtown office building where my office is presently located.

And while I am clearly not the first person to come up with this idea, what I plan to do is to put systems in place to resolve many of the common frustrations solo and small firm lawyers have with marketing, practice development and small firm economics. Instead of just selling a commodity (office space), I will be selling the value-add of community, support and activities that will help solo and small firm lawyers be more successful.

I'll expand more about the business model later on.

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