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ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm Business Plan Research Paper

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Updated: May 24th, 2021

Executive Summary

The proposed “ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm’ would start its journey through its web portal aim to provide legal service for the foreign workers and local employers for commercial and immigration law areas and it would be a virtual legal service center operated through web-based technology instead of traditional office space.

The owners of the company are business graduates with a small investment and one of them would be self-employed, but the company staffing would be hired through online outsourcing instead of traditional in-house employees where the attorneys would be work as freelancers and the company would be a limited liability company with 60% and 40% share.

Several Law firms appeared online who indirect competitor of this company for resource similarities, but the “Ogletree Deakins” is the direct competitor of this law firm for both resources and service similarities. The company starts with self-finance and goes for financing from any bank or venture capital after the first year of operation and pays tax associated with the self-employment category.

The operational management of the company would engage substantial measurement as well as continuous analysis of the internal processes with critical tools and significant techniques to managing the supply chain aimed to mobilize logistics.

The quick-shifting dynamics of the ICT integration in the business procedures of the law firm, this company would facilitate the attorneys to take part in the legal process outsourcing, alternative fee-earning opportunity and even to mergers or acquisition with foreign law firms where clients would get a remarkable cost-cutting opportunity with direct communication.

The projected income statement of ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm shows net profit before the interest, taxes will be $328816, and net income will be $322997. The balance sheet demonstrates the net worth of this firm will be $341997 while total assets and liabilities will be $590880 and $258883 accordingly.

Introduction

The political economy of illegal immigration has threatened globally due to the new immigration policy of the Trump administration in the USA as well as Brexit the UK’s withdrawal from the EU would generate a new dimension for the Law Firms working with labor and immigration law. Online Law firms providing legal support for undocumented immigrants have a tremendous market in the USA although corporate law, pension, and employment law, as well as IP law, has a rising public sphere with a large volume of legal process outsourcing approach with attractive fees arrangements.

The proposed “ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm’ has been organized to provide legal service and consulting to the less privileged working group along with the undocumented immigrants who are living within the USA and abroad. Rather than the high lawyer’s fees, the company would penetrate the market with competitive price-tagged service offerings and would attract the target group to reduce their attorney’s cost extremely due to the information and communication technology (ICT) integrated innovative business model of the company. BBC reported that the estimated number of undocumented illegal immigrants in the USA is around eleven (11) million that included 750,000 children and young people while the new policy addressed deportation by engaging new 10000 agents to strengthen security in the borders and immigration (British Broadcasting Corporation 1). The ongoing vulnerability and continuous threats of deportation of the existing illegal immigrants needed emergent legal support and the “ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm’ has aimed to address this market potential.

The business model of the proposed law firm is just a virtual legal Service center operated by engaging web-based technology instead of traditional office space and employees it would gather clients, lawyers, and virtual assistance for administrative tasks in the online platform to interact, exchange views, make payment and receive legal service delivery.

Nowadays, the government of the United States concentrates more on the national security for which illegal immigrants need legal support to work in this country and get benefits through the legislative process. At the same time, workers seek better jobs, but a large number of employees do not have proper documents; consequently, they prepare forge and fake papers, which worsen the security dilemma. Thus, foreign workers face serious problems in the USA with frequent changes in immigration policy or security measures.

On the other hand, the government has already introduced a new H-1B visa system to recruit skilled labor force in the tech industry, but many competent workers fail to avail of this opportunity as they do not have the right information regarding this project (Woog). The entrepreneurs are going to establish the “ABC Online Legal Consulting Service” to provide legal support to foreign workers along with national employers. This company will operate from a single website and target thousands of employees to assist them. This Legal Consulting Company will ensure superior standards of performance, reliability, professionalism, expertise, and service excellence at affordable service charges.

Organization Structure

The organizational structure of the company has deeply concerned with the nature of the business, virtual product line, and its operation; being a business graduate with the small investment the entrepreneur is reluctant to engage full-time employees rather the freelancers and virtual assistants would be the major operational force of the company.

The owner of the company recognized that the internet most amazing tools to materialize his desired business of online legal service provider for the Americans and expatriates illegally residing in the USA to mobilize all of them in a single platform for their legal service as well as Legal advice. The product line of the company consists of several web services such as documentation, licensing, tax return filing, company formulation, IP protection, and private law matters while an array of independent immigration attorneys would be available to provide custom legal service to ensure every individual need for court trails.

At the startup, the company would not recruit any full-time employees but engage several virtual assistants who would be efficient to provide customer service for 24 hours on the company’s website and would attend the chat and phone calls. The major framework of this online law firm would be based on open-source software integrated by a freelance IT professional where the clients would be registered by two-step verification and could place an order for their desired service and they also enjoy the liberty to choose attorneys from the independent attorneys registered with this company. The accounts, HRM, and to some extends advertising through website optimization of the company would be managed and administered by integrated software, any disorder or error with the web-based operation would be guaranteed by the software provider and the owner himself would look after all through the operation until any paid manager hiring.

Organizational Structure.
Figure 1: Organizational Structure. Source: Self Generated.

Before coming into operation, the company would seek local authority to registering licenses for a single-member limited liability company (LLC), tax identification number; take membership of the local bar association, as well as shifting regulatory requirements for online legal practice.

Background of the Owners

The Entrepreneur-1 is a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from the US University and now continuing Masters Degree as a part-time student from a third country and living with F-1 student and applied for an M1 visa by admitting in the Optional Practical Training (OPT). The Daily Caller reported that only 17% of the college graduates have a suitable job in the USA while 83% goes for odd job or unemployed. The Entrepreneur-1 considers that the US economy has failed to recover the vulnerable economic condition generated from the global financial crisis and the US job market has highly destabilized; therefore, it would not be wise to waste time by seeking a job rather it would be a time-worthy step to start an online business. As an international student in the USA, Entrepreneur no.1 has closely observed the distressed lifestyle of the illegal immigrants and decided that need emergency legal support online and that could generate good revenue; therefore, he aimed to implement this project.

Entrepreneur-2 is the classmate of Entrepreneur-1 in the same University and an international student in the USA; hearing the business concept from Entrepreneur-1, he agreed, appreciated, and decided to contribute 50% investment. The Entrepreneur-2 has engaged in an on-campus job as a result he could not participate in the operation. They agreed that Entrepreneur-1 would own 60% of the share while Entrepreneur-2 entitled to 40% of the share.

Organizational Chart

Being a multi-faceted online law firm, the organizational structure of the company would design a dynamic strategy for coordination among the practicing and non-practicing legal professionals are analogous to drive a small startup to a large one with diverse categories of product and service line. The entrepreneur has already learned from his academia that the leadership of the organization is the vital force to manage and administer different segment of the organization including planning, operation, and management, and to engage highest efforts to achieve the short-term and long-term goals and the owner himself work as the leader of the law firm. The organizational chart of the law firm has designed as follows-

Working Group Benefits Qualification /
Requirements
Job Responsibilities
Entrepreneur-1 himself works as CEO Owns 60% shares Business graduate
  • Managing people concerned with the firm;
  • Provide motivating training to the workforce to attain organizational goals and values;
  • Continuous efforts to improving client service quality;
  • Sophisticated sales strategies by analyzing client’s behaviors and needs;
  • More and more integration latest software and digital marketing campaign, and professionalism
Entrepreneur-2, (don’t participate in the operation) Owns 40% shares
  • Participate in the meeting;
  • Provide consultation and suggestion;
  • Check time to time progress;
Virtual assistants (technical) US$ 7.50/ hourly Freelance working experience with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) skills and Good command in writing and speaking English;
  • Successful Lead Generation
  • Continuous Content Moderations
  • Technical Support for the dynamic web;
Virtual assistants (administrative) US$ 6.00/ hourly; estimated workload 100 hours per month Online working as a freelancer to perform the administrative task with good command in writing and speaking English;
  • Appointment setting with the CEO;
  • Time to time telemarketing;
  • Attending chat and inbound and outbound call answering with the customers;
  • Taking surveys;
  • Providing email and customer support;
Virtual assistants (law clerk/ legal secretary ) US$ 600/ month Law student or law graduate but not yet enrolled for practicing
  • Independently prepares all sorts of legal drafts and documentation
  • Prepares notes and reports pointing concerned law and its sections exactly fit for every case
  • Independently summarize facts and findings, trial briefs, evidence and witnesses, dates, and motion;
Independent attorneys 30% of the sales LLB degree with practicing license and must be a member of any local Bar Association of the United States
  • They are responsible to provide additional paid services, such as preparing documents, drafting or filing suit
  • Provide other legal advice to the foreign workers

Table 1: Working group, benefits, qualification, job responsibilities. Source: Self-generated.

Marketing

Marketing is the major lifeline of a company and the “ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm’ would emphasis on cost-effective digital marketing rather than the traditional way the company engage its strategy for online marketing with dynamic tools available in this area such as –

  • Content Marketing: Content marketing is the most effective tool for the legal service providers online, by adding appropriate content with details of services and facilities offered would attract more and more clients as well as improve branding;
  • Digital Analytics: The Company would conduct vast market research that collects the data those potential customers use to search online law firm which is called keywords, identifying the keywords the content would be written carefully to search engine optimization;
  • Mobile Optimization: The digital marketing strategy of this law firm would engage its efforts for not only but also optimize the web in a user-friendly manner by which the Internet users from the mobile phone and tablets could visit the company’s website very easily and could get SMS message for a different marketing campaign;
  • Social Media Strategy: The Company also emphasizes the social media platforms by posting regular updates and news with rich content of the law firm.

Market Research Analysis

To establish ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm (LLC), the marketers have prepared a questionnaire with 18 questions and distributed it to foreign workers to get an idea about the market, assess market demand, and gather more information regarding target customers. Since this legal consulting firm would be operated online, the marketers have included several questions regarding online service to know the perception of the foreign customers towards online service. The marketers receive feedback from fifty foreign workers, and the result shows 76% of respondents believed foreign workers experience legal problems in the USA and this online legal consulting service would be useful for them.

The Survey

To what extent you think legal consulting service online be helpful

Among the 50 respondents, 14% respondents strongly agree legal consulting service online would be helpful, highest 56% of respondents believe that online consulting would be helpful, 10% of respondents do not have a clear conception in this regard, 16% of respondents seem online consulting would not be helpful and 4% respondents strongly disagree with the statement.

Comment: The result shows 70% of people think online legal consulting services would be helpful, which indicates that there is a prospective market for online legal service providers.

To what extent you think this online legal consulting service is useful for foreign workers

Here, 12% of the respondents strongly agree that online legal consulting service is useful for foreign workers, 48% of respondents believe that online consulting service is useful for foreign workers, 6% of respondents were not interested in response this question, 20% of respondents disagreed with the statement and 14% respondents strongly disagree that online legal consulting is not useful for foreign workers.

Comment: from the result of the survey question, it is found that 60% of respondents think online legal consulting service is useful for the foreign workers, which indicates that foreign workers have confidence in online legal consulting service and they will use its services.

To what extent you think foreign workers face challenges in the USA

In giving feedback to this question, highest 42% of respondents strongly agree that foreign workers face challenges in the USA, 34% of respondents agree with the statement, 4% of respondents do not know in this regard, 14% of respondents disagreed that foreign workers face challenges in the USA and 4% respondents strongly differ with the statement.

Comment: from the feedback of this question, it can be concluded that foreign workers need legal support and there is a potential market while 76% of people believe foreign workers experience legal problems in the USA.

To what extent you think the service of ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm is more convenient

Here, 18% of respondents strongly agree with the statement, highest 52% respondents believe that the service of ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm is more convenient, 10% of respondents do not have any idea about other service company, 12% of respondents seem the service of this law firm is more convenient and 8% respondents strongly disagree with the statement.

Comment: The objective of this question is to assess the market position and it indicates ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm (LLC) is one of the most convenient solutions for foreign-born workers in the USA.

To what extent you think this service is economical

In response to this question, 12% of respondents somewhat disagreed that this service is economical, 16% respondents strongly disagreed with the statement and 8% of respondents do not aware in this regard; on the other hand, the highest 42% of respondents strongly agreed that this service is economical, and 22% respondents strongly agreed that this service of ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm is economical.

Comment: The purpose of this question is to identify the market position and the result shows that ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm (LLC) is one of the most economical solutions, which will influence the foreign-born workers in the USA to take its service.

To what extent you think this service is better than the existing ones

Here, 32% of the respondents strongly agree that the service of ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm (LLC) is better than existing ones, 24% of respondents believe that this service is better than existing ones, 6% respondents do not know about other companies, 26% respondents disagreed with the statement and 12% respondents strongly disagree that this service is better than existing ones.

Comment: This question aims to observe the perception of the foreign workers towards other similar companies to assess market competition; the result indicates the market is too competitive and ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm (LLC) needs to broaden service range and improve quality.

To what extent you think that the charges of the online consulting service should low

Highest 38% of respondents strongly agree that the charges of this online consulting service should low, 30% of respondents just agreed with the statement, only 2% of respondents have no opinion; on the other hand, 16% of respondents seem it should not seek low price and 14% respondents strongly disagree, as they believe it should charge a high price for service.

Comment: ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm (LLC) needs to consider low service charges while aggregate 68% of respondents think the charges of the online consulting service should low.

To what extent you think the price is the main consideration to decide to use this service

Among the 50 respondents, the highest 44% respondents strongly agree that price is the main consideration to decide to use this service, 30% of respondents believe that price is a major consideration, 8% of respondents have no opinion, 10% of respondents seem price is not the main consideration and 8% respondents strongly disagree with the statement.

Comment: The main reason to ask this question is to assess the effectiveness of the pricing strategy and the result shows the price is one of the prime factors to foreign workers to use the service of ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm (LLC) and charge of service is suitable to the foreign workers.

To what extent you think foreign workers could manage without using online legal consulting service

In response to this question, 20% of respondents strongly agreed that foreign workers could manage without using online legal consulting service, the highest 36% of respondents agreed with the statement, and 6% of respondents do not know; however, 20% of respondents disagreed that foreign workers could solve the problem without using, and 18% respondents strongly disagreed with the statement.

Comment: This question aims to identify market demand and the result shows that the market of online legal consulting service is high, but still a significant part of the population depends on alternate legal consulting service; therefore, it has to organize integrate marketing campaign to develop market and aware foreign workers.

To what extent you think the quality of the service is important to foreign workers

According to the respondents, highest 62% of respondents strongly agree that the quality of the service is important to foreign workers, 30% of respondents just agreed with the statement, 2% of respondents have no opinion about quality, while 6% of respondents seem quality is not the main consideration and only 4% respondents strongly disagree that quality of the service is important to foreign workers.

Comment: This question aims to assess the importance of quality to foreign workers and the result indicates that ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm (LLC) has to ensure high standards.

To what extent you think the quality of service plays a vital role to retain customers

From the answer to this question, the highest 66% of respondents strongly agree that quality of service plays a significant role to retain customers, 22% of respondents just agreed with the statement, only 2% of respondents do not have any idea, 4% of respondents seem quality is not an essential factor and 6% respondents strongly disagree that quality of service plays a crucial function to hold clients.

Comment: This question has formed to analyze the impact of quality to develop a loyal customer base and the result demonstrates that ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm (LLC) has to maintain a high standard.

To what extent you think foreign workers need prompt legal service

Here, 54% of the respondents strongly agree that foreign workers need prompt legal service, 28% respondents agreed with the statement, 6% respondents do not know; on the other hand, 8% respondents disagreed, and only 14% respondents strongly disagree and believe that foreign workers do not require legal service on time.

Comment: From the feedback of the survey question, it is found that an aggregate of 82% of respondents seem timeliness of the service is important to foreign workers and other clients of this online law firm; therefore, it should maintain deadline carefully.

To what extent you think existing services are satisfactory to foreign workers

From the answer to this question, highest 34% of respondents strongly agree that existing services are satisfactory to foreign workers, 26% of respondents just agreed with the statement, only 6% of respondents do not have any idea, 24% of respondents argued that existing services are not satisfactory and 10% respondents strongly disagreed with the view of this question.

Comment: This question has formed to assess the position of the competitors in this industry and the result demonstrates that respondents provided mixed responses; thus, there is a prospective market, but it needs to guarantee a high standard.

To what extent you would like to use our services once again

In response to this question, the highest 40% of respondents strongly agree that they would like to use our services once again, 34% of respondents seem they will use this service in the future, 8% of respondents can’t decide, 10% of respondents disagree with the statement and 8% respondents strongly disagree that they would not like to take its services once again.

Comment: The main purpose to raise this question is to assess customer loyalty and the result shows aggregate 74% of respondents would like to use our services once again; consequently, there is a potential market, but it needs to maintain quality.

To what extent you think you give information about our service to other foreign workers or friends

According to the respondents, the highest 30% of respondents strongly agree that give information about our service to other foreign workers or friends, 22% of respondents just agreed with the statement, 24% of respondents not sure, 10% of respondents seem that they would not recommend this service to a friend and 14% respondents strongly disagreed with the statement.

Comment: Since a significant part of the respondents seems they will not recommend service to other foreign workers or friends, ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm (LLC) should offer commission for reference.

To what extent you think that foreign workers would rely on a new company:

In response to this question, 18% of respondents strongly agreed that foreign workers would rely on a new company, 24% respondents agreed with the statement, and 14% respondents are confused; however, the highest 36% respondents disagreed and 8% respondents strongly agreed to state foreign workers would not depend on a new service provider.

Comment: from the feedback of this question, it can be said that ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm (LLC) needs to concentrate more on the market development program and increase the budget for promotional activities to aware foreign workers that law clerks and attorneys have long experience in this sector.

To what extent you think that a new service provider could give wrong information or commit fraud

From the answer to this question, highest 36% of respondents strongly agree with the statement, 34% of respondents just agreed that a new service provider could give wrong information or commit fraud, only 8% of respondents do not have any idea, 12% of respondents argued that they would not get the proper information from the new owner and 10% respondents strongly disagreed with the question.

Comment: This question has formed to find out foreign workers desire from a new company and the comment illustrates 70% of people think the new company could commit fraud or give wrong information; thus, ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm (LLC) needs to provide payback guarantee and ensure accurate information.

To what extent you think foreign workers switch off its service at any time

Among the 50 respondents, 30% respondents strongly believe foreign workers switch off its service at any time, 20% respondents just agree with the statement, 14% respondents do not know, 24% respondents disagreed and 12% respondents strongly disagreed that foreign workers switch off its service wherever they want.

Comment: The result shows foreign workers could switch off its service at any time; thus, ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm (LLC) needs to focus on customer relationship management.

Sales Forecasting

It will earn $581880 per month in the first year:

Unit Prices Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Month 5 Month 6
Total Sales $48490 $48490 $48490 $48490 $48490 $48490
Unit Prices Month 7 Month 8 Month 9 Month 10 Month 11 Month 12
Total Sales $48490 $48490 $48490 $48490 $48490 $48490

Table 2: Sales Forecast. Source: Self generated.

Potential Customers

The new immigration policy of the Trump administration has threatened illegal immigrants in the USA, but it does not mean that the business of law firms working with immigrants has thrown in a vulnerable situation rather it would expand in a new area to work the foreign workers (British Broadcasting Company). Policymakers, researchers, and attorneys know very well that the fertility rate of the country reached its lowest point in the last hundred years and the US demography has sustained at its current level depending on both illegal and legal immigrants. Thus, whatever the new administration’s political statement is, there is no way to maintain the sustainability of the demography as well as the gigantic US economy without increasing the rate of immigrants were the only security measures required for the terrorist and Islamic radicalism orientation of the immigrants.

Narrowly all the citizens of the United States including both illegal and legal immigrants who need legal service for their legal status, including employment, medical, taxation, and social security are the Potential Customers of the company, but in a broader sense, all global citizens access to the online and required the services offered by the company are the Potential Customers.

Advertising

Though the budget for advertising is very limited, the markers of ABC Legal Consulting Company will adopt different advertising tools to attract foreign workers and other customers. The markers mainly focus on the online advertising system, such as use search engine optimizer, set up pages on Facebook and Twitter, add in different websites, write content for blogs, and so on. The purpose of the owners to use online media is to become familiar to the foreign workers, minimize advertising costs, and develop a large customer base in the USA labor market. Website of ABC Legal Consulting Company is also used as an important communication media while foreign workers will have the opportunity to get necessary information about its service, for example, the benefits it will bring to the expatriates, the legal status of the foreign-born those residing in the USA. The owners of this consulting company seem foreign workers will be interested to take its service if they aware of their problems and the path of the solution; it is also important to provide information to the foreign workers about the lawyers of the company to ensure them that lawyers are capable enough to solve their legal dilemmas.

Furthermore, the owners of ABC Legal Consulting Company will carry out an integrated marketing campaign to develop the brand’s image and aware foreign workers and other customers (employers) about the new policy, their rights, wage, discrimination, the importance of legal documents, provision of laws, service range of this firm, qualification, and experience of the lawyers, price structure, and visa process. The purpose of this multi-media campaign is to aware foreign workers regarding the fraud practice of the scam company, and to influence them to use their funds in the right way to take legal support. The following table gives the projected cost for advertising using social media-

Integrated Marketing Budget for ABC Online Legal ConsultingFirm
Online media purpose 2017
Custom design and template creation $100
Limited Charge for Blog (2 posts) $80
Initial Page Set-up in Facebook and Twitter $50
Content Management $80
Facebook Ads to endorse $175
IMC over the internet, which include expenses for campaigning through social networking sites, website maintenance, e-mail, devolvement of search engine optimization, etc $175
Monitor Social Media (Minimum Charge) $60
Studying the target audience of the campaign through a market research survey $50
Press kits, brochures, and posters $70
Billboards/hoardings and other outdoor ads and promotional tools $80
Expenses for Public relations $120
Other costs of the advertising department $50
Costs for prize winners $110
Total Budget for Social Media Advertising $1200

Table 3: Budget for IMC Campaign of ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm. Source: Self-generated.

Here, it is important to mention that the owners will not consider any print media, radio, and television for advertising; however, it will use Brochures and posters, billboards, newsletters, Yellow page, Facebook, and Instagram to some extent.

Competition

Before starting a new business, it is essential to identify the competitors in the market and analyze their strengths, opportunities, and competitive forces; after having those data the company would design a strategy to encounter the market competitors (Bergen and Peteraf 157). The collected data would assist to understand the comparative strengths and weaknesses of the rivals in the US market, to identify the competitive moves and countermoves to the competitors to attain practicable experience to fight with the competitors and to conquer the market segment. (Bergen and Peteraf 157). The theoretical approach to identifying the competitors would be based on the framework of direct-indirect and substitution of product and service providers with common characteristics in the market shown as below-

Market Competitors Mapping. 
Figure 2: Market Competitors Mapping. Source: Bergena and Peteraf (160).

In the USA, there are hundreds of law firms and chambers with billion dollars turnovers working in different sectors including the corporate arena (Josten). Large law firms are not direct competitors of this online legal consulting firm. The online law firms of the USA like “Freshfields”, “LegalZoom”, “Mills & Reeve”, “Minter Ellison”, “Norton Rose”, “Shearman & Sterling” has web-based legal service providing facilities for multiple health, insurance, HR, tax and different documentation; the “Online Legal Consulting Firm” has the similar products and services to offer online, but none of them provide illegal immigration support. On the other hand, “Ogletree Deakins” of the USA has an online legal service providing facilities with Immigration compliance; Thus, Ogletree Deakins is the direct competitor of “Online Legal Consulting Firm”

Ogletree Deakins started its journey in 1977 with the association of some practicing lawyer in the USA, but came into online operation in the recent years and get a gigantic gain in over 45 states of the USA and overseas countries like Canada, UK, Mexico, and European Union. The company focus on labor and employment law as well immigration consultancy and mobilize its client both offline and online but don’t provide open price offerings at their website for their services on the contrary “Online Legal Consulting Firm” would offer most competitive pricing at its website to attract clients. Despite the hidden charges and load of the extra burden of attorneys’ fees, the “Online Legal Consulting Firm” would engage an analytical approach of the price charged by the company and its competitors and identifies the simultaneous reflection of the legal marketplace with changing demand and supply-side attributes that would ultimately motivate the client to align with the company.

Assess competition using Porter five forces model:

Porter’s five forces for ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm
Figure 3: Porter’s five forces for ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm (LLC). Source: Self-generated.
  • The threat of New Entrants: At the same time, the new entrants will get many facilities because the United States is a top destination country for foreign-born workers while above 25741 thousands foreign workers employed in the USA; prominent law firms will try to provide online consulting service to control this industry. The threat of new entrants is high due to small start-up costs, low operating expenses, no special legal formalities to operate a business through an online support center;
  • Bargaining power of customer: The bargaining power of the foreign workers will be too high because they have prior knowledge about the job market situation in the USA. Besides, most of the law firms have already started to provide online legal consulting service; therefore, foreign workers will have an opportunity to switch off its service;
  • Rivalry among competitors: ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm (LLC) will face intense competition while many renowned law firms offer the same service; rivalry among existing law firms is moderate;
  • Bargaining Power of Suppliers: The supplier’s power is very low in online legal consulting service;
  • Threats of substitute: Since foreign workers have to take legal service if they face any problem, they need to contact legal advisers; therefore, the threat of substitute services is low. However, a significant part of foreign workers is still interested to take service directly from law clerks to collect information, process visa, get a job permit, and prepare documents.

Pricing

ABC Online Legal Consulting Company will offer services at a very low price because it has to attract a large number of foreign workers to strengthen the business. The marketers of this legal consulting service will set-up a pricing strategy considering the result of the market survey. In the first instance, it will offer some free services to increase the number of visitors; here, free services include providing the latest information regarding law reform and immigration policy, the duty of employers towards foreign workers, rights of the employees in the workplace, and so on. Ordinary customers or foreign workers who visit this website for the above-mentioned information could get service just by searching information from the content of this web-page or contracting with the admin panel.

ABC Online Legal Consulting Company will charge for further services and foreign workers along with other customers need to sign-up on this site to become a member. Additional paid services include preparing legal documents, designing plans, filing cases, and so on. The following table gives more information regarding pricing structure-

Service name Service description Price range
Membership The cost of membership is dependent on how foreign workers decide to use its services
  • No cost for signup
  • No membership charge for common information
  • $5 for general member
  • $60 for a golden member
  • $10 for additional paid services
General question Answer to the question related to employment law problems, the background of the service providers or lawyers, wages, harassment and victimization, job description, bonus and commission disputes, and work hours, no-match letter
  • Free in most of the time
  • Charge only incur while additional paid services require to the clients
Free Initial Consultation New issues in policy delivery and representation for foreign workers, discrimination in the workplace
  • Free legal advice, and assistance
Designing plan to obtain an H-1B visa, right employers, or design another career path by checking the resume of the workers
  • It has to keep the prices fairly low
  • Usually $50 to $200
Preparing legal documents It includes finding the Job by contacting the company or providing a list of the employers, completing a permit application form consisting of family information. Also, preparing legal documents to get a work permit after getting job offers and complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form
  • It will charge $50 to $1000
  • Charges could increase to ensure the quality of services
  • 20% discount is allowed for old customers or who come in reference
  • The cost of documentation is dependent on the quality
Drafting and filing case Wage and hour laws, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), wages and entitlements, leave, superannuation, dismissal, redundancy, discrimination, no-match letter, issues affecting contractors
  • Usually $500 to $2000
  • The company is going to charge foreign workers a higher service fee when they seek fixed or any special renowned Attorney for drafting or filing a case
  • Credit offerings for loyal customers
Explanation of policy the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, role of Department of Homeland Security (DHS), social benefits and unemployment insurance benefits, guest worker program, and so on
  • It would not charge an unrealistic amount
  • Usually $5 to $20
  • Charge incur for additional paid services
Follow-up Services Foreign workers could drop a message or make a phone call to get further service for the same case and the concerned lawyer must contact clients as soon as possible
  • In most cases, it offers follow-up services free of cost
  • Foreign workers have to pay $5 to $100 if asks for service after 1 year

Table 4: Price structure. Source: Self-generated.

Accounting

Since ABC Legal Consulting Company will operate from a single website and will not have any physical office, it should require comparatively lower operating costs to carry on business in the USA. This company will recruit two part-time employees to maintain the webpage and upgrade the system; here, workers will provide freelance service for which it should not require to purchase any office equipment for them. Besides, the owners of this company have a limited budget to start-up an online consulting business; thus, it would not be possible to pay a fixed salary to the lawyers and another law clerk at the initial stage. The lawyers will provide service using its website and the company will give 50% commission as a service charge; on the other hand, two law clerks will get a fixed salary from the company. This legal consulting company is not going to deliver products for which it should not require transportation costs; however, lawyers will use their facility to provide additional paid services.

Income Statement

Pro Forma Profit and Loss
2017 %
Sales $581880
Direct Cost of Sales $0
Total Cost of Sales $0
Gross Margin $581880
Gross Margin % 100%
Expenses
Website design $3000 0.516%
Salary of administrative workers $16800 0.206%
Payment of technical workers $14400 2.475%
Adverting, Sales, Marketing, and Other Expenses $12000 2.06%
Web Content $1000 0.172%
Trade license and Taxes $1300 0.223%
Payment to law clerk $24000 4.12%
Payment to Attorneys $174564 30%
Service Delivery, Bill $1000 0.172%
Equipment and Other $5000 0.5895%
Total Operating Expenses $253064 43.49%
Net Profit Before the Interest and Taxes $328816 56.51%
Interest Expense $0
Taxes Incurred (1%) $5819 1%
Net Profit $322997 55.51%
Net Profit/ Sales margin 55.51%

Table 5: Pro Forma Profit and Loss Statement. Source: Self-generated.

Income Statement Clarification

Sales

According to the report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 25741000 foreign workers employed in the USA, and the unemployment rate among foreign laborers has increased by 4.8% and the foreign-born population has enlarged by 6% (May). Assuming that 10% total employed foreign workers, 2574100 foreign human resources, would require consulting service, and only 2% of them or 51482 foreign employees would use its free and additional paid-up service. It also assumes that 45482 foreign workers just visit or take free services include membership, initial consultation, and explanation of policy; the rest 6000 foreign workers would pay a total of $290940. The calculation is –

Services Number of foreign workers Per unit cost Sales revenue
Designing plan 1000 $50 $50000
Preparing legal documents
Drafting and filing case
4000 $50 to $500 $530000
Follow-up Services and General question 1200 Free to $10 $1880
Total sales revenue $581880

Table 6: Sales. Source: Self-generated.

Expenses

  • Website design: this legal consulting firm will operate online; thus, it has to expend a total of $3000 for designing a website, purchasing a domain, and creating a portal or database;
  • Salary of administrative workers: the owners will recruit two fixed general employees that are responsible to give feedback to the foreign workers and provide other free services through the website of this company; each clerk will get $700 per month. Cost for administrative workers would be $700*2*12 months = $16800;
  • Salary of technical workers: ABC Legal Consulting Company will take services from an outsourcing company and two freelancers will be responsible for maintaining the website; each technical worker will get $600 per month. Cost for technical workers would be $600*2*12 months = $14400
  • Trade license and Taxes: ABC Legal Consulting Company should have a trade license to operate the business and it will require $1300 each year;
  • Service Delivery, Bill: As it will not sell any goods, it should not require delivery cost, but some foreign workers need to collect legal documents from law clerk or Attorneys; so, it will require approximately $1000 for this purpose;
  • Salary of law clerks: From the market survey report, it is assumed that this company will get a large number of customers within 4 months from starting a business; therefore, it has to pay law clerks to provide specific services. They will receive payment on a commission basis. The salary calculation will be the number of customers they serve, multiplied by 30% commission. They will also be responsible for providing some free services;
  • Payment to attorneys: Service charge of each customer, multiplied by 30% commission;
  • Web Content: This company has to include online resources on the website; it should require at least $1000 to collect and upload user data to the webpage;
  • Advertising cost involves integrated marketing, and promotional activities to develop the brand’s image.

Balance Sheet

Assets
Cash $591880
Net value of Website $4000
Equipment $5000
Total Assets $590880
Liabilities
Current Liabilities
Accounts Payable $253064
Taxes Incurred (5%) $5819
Total Liabilities $258883
Net Worth $341997

Table 7: Pro Forma Balance Sheet. Source: Self-generated.

Balance Sheet Clarification

  • Cash: The owners of ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm will only take cash using different payment options, and it will generate $581880 from sales revenue and another $10000 comes from the investors or owners of this company;
  • The net value of Website: As foreign workers will only use the website to receive services, it will be the most important asset to this company; the value of the website including the cost of content;
  • Equipment: the owners need to purchase two computers and some office equipment, which will require about $5000;
  • Accounts Payable: The amount of total operating costs of the first year of ABC Legal Consulting Company will be approximately $253064;
  • Taxes: According to the Pro-forma income statement of ABC Legal Consulting Company, the owners need to pay 1% for their business; thus, the amount of tax will be $5819.

Finance

The owners will identify the break-even point where it operates without loss or profit; ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm will generate profit from this point.

Break-even = Fixed Costs / (Selling Price – Variable Costs) = $9564/ ($50 -$12) = 251.68

According to the income statement, the fixed costs include the salary of administrative and technical workers, costs of equipment and promotional activities, payment of the law clerks, and trade license fee. It estimates from the market survey that 45482 foreign people will just visit its website and only 6000 foreign workers will take its additional paid services, which range $50 to $500 or above; so, it considers $50 service charge. On the other hand, variable costs come from the maintenance of the website; besides, this business will start using $10000. The calculation indicates ABC Online Legal Consulting Firm needs to provide service to at least 252 foreign workers to reach in break-even point.

Source of Capital

There are many sources of investment companies and venture capital for the startups of small business, but to get such financing it is essential to recognize the long-term growth potential of the business by the Venture capitalists to assess risk while funding from the capital market for startups is very hazardous. According to the consideration of the entrepreneurs, it would be a time-consuming factor to arranging startup financing for the project rather the initial financing from own sources would save time to start the project, and after successful ran it would seek further financing from venture capital companies.

Two entrepreneurs will establish ABC Legal Consulting Company and they will supply $10000 to start-up business; here, it is important to mention that both owners are students and they will invest from the personal savings account. The investors are committed to sharing loss and profit according to the memorandum of the firm; the following table gives more information in this regard-

Name of the Investors Equity Investment Amount (US)
Investor-1 The CEO and Managing Director 50% 5,000
Investor-2 Director and Shareholder 50% 5000

Table 8: Source of capital. Source: Self-generated.

Financial Ratios

Key Ratios Formula Calculation
Current Ratio Current Assets/Current Liabilities $590880 / $258883 =2.28%
The profit margin on sales Net Income / Sales $119339 / $581880 = 55.51%
Return on Investment (Sales revenue – cost of investment) / cost of investment ($581880 – $10000) / $581880 = 98.28%

Table 6: Ratio Analysis for ABC Legal Consulting Company. Source: Self-generated.

From the result of current ratio and profit margin on sales ratio, it can be said that the liquidity position of ABC Legal Consulting Company will be stable; besides, it will have the capacity to pay off liabilities and use assets properly; moreover, the result of ROI demonstrates ABC Legal Consulting Company will be a highly profitable business in the USA.

Operational Management

Operational management indicates the critical tools, significant techniques, and key factors, which involve managing the supply chain to mobilize logistics of an organization just in time with appropriate quality and best price to ensure standard measures of performance (Dilworth 17). The implication of operations management for manufacturing companies and service industries differs from each other, as a manufacturer the “Online Legal Consulting Firm” provides digital legal documents while it provides court trail service as a service provider; as a result, both categories of operational management would be practiced by the company that generates value-added operational management for the stakeholders.

Although the small scale businesses don’t bother with operational management, in every step of the business they perform and use every element of operational management while the components of it involved every task starting from raw materials collection, product or service construction, inventory, quality, and production control, distribution and to managing customers and supplies (Dilworth 17). At “Online Legal Consulting Firm” all the products and services are customized and varies from client to client, there is no chance gather product and service before their order should be placed; thus, the operational management of the company would engage substantial measurement as well as continuous analytic of the internal processes.

Tax Compliance

The Online Legal Consulting Firm” would comply with the federal income tax regulations as well as self-employment tax associated with the limited liability companies that pointed out the income of wage more than US$108.28 would be assessed for social security and Medicare taxes. The company would involve a tax attorney to assess and produce its tax return after the first year of operation, as there is no advance income tax provision for the small startup business in the USA.

Personnel

The initial investment of the “Online Legal Consulting Firm” would be US$ 10,000 and both owners Entrepreneur-1 and Entrepreneur-2 would equally invest this amount from their sources. Though they equally invest, one of the owners has already engaged in an on-campus job, he will not actively participate in the business operation. As a result, they agreed that owner no.1 would own 60% of the share while owner no.2 entitled to 40% of the share. This firm will recruit two freelancers to maintain a website, two full-time workers, or law clerks to perform administrative jobs and give continuous feedback to the foreign workers; at the same time, independent attorneys will sign-up to join this online law firm.

Procedures

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has made dramatic changes in the modern lifestyle and even advanced human civilization while the business processes in different sectors have quickly shifted to match with the changing dynamics. The legal service firms are not apart from the web of ICT integration at their business processes and there are a remarkable number of virtual law firms operating a business through using their website based on the virtual office. The attorneys of the website-based virtual law chambers use the online law office as a means of easy and timely communication as well as collaboration with the clients and connecting the case matters from anywhere remotely. At the same time, the virtual office staff could perform their task remotely from their location and there is no burden to attend to the office timely. Moreover, the clients by login into personal account would be able to know the case status, dates and also could make payment insecure way.

Moreover, the amended Rule 4 of the US Civil Procedure has generated a one-step forward imitative for the virtual law firms by allowing electronic service of the process instead of physical acknowledgment of summons or any other compliance documentation and it made the litigation process easier for the online law firms. The attorneys of the online law chambers get a new window to handle clients out of their state and out of the country crossing the border barriers. The quick-shifting dynamics of the online law firms would facilitate the attorneys to take part in the legal process outsourcing, alternative fee-earning opportunity, and even mergers or acquisition with foreign law firms.

Conclusion

From the analysis of the market research survey and income statement, it can be concluded that starting an online legal consulting service for foreign workers is an outstanding business concept. The main problem will be conveying a message to the foreign workers to aware of the service of this online legal consulting firm to increase market demand and gain competitive advantages; as a result, it will be difficult to gain the confidence of the customers. On the other hand, this business will be prospective because above 25741000 foreign workers are employed in the USA and they need legal support for frequent change of immigration policy and security measures.

Works Cited

Bergen, Mark, and Margaret Peteraf. 2013, Web.

British Broadcasting Company. BBC, 2017, Web.

Dilworth, James. Operations Management 3E Providing Value in Goods and Services. Cengage Learning, 2013.

Josten, William. “Where is the Pressure Coming from for Small US Law Firms?” Thomson Reuters, 2016, Web.

May, Caroline. Breitbart, 2016, Web.

Woog, Dan. “Employer Rules for Hiring Non-US Workers.” 2016, Web.

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