In business, both will require you to gain market share little by little and compete with those who have been in the business for quite some time. The business of legal firm is as red as any red ocean can be (if you subscribed to the blue ocean strategy) but there are still a lot of way for you to have your piece of the pie (Whew!!! That's a lot of saying in one paragraph). You will need to be savvy in getting that share or get burnt in your quest to fight with the big boys or even those who are small but have been there longer than you. You may not get it with one or two years but it you are patience enough, you will at least establish yourself, little by little.
I have been fighting for market share from the day I open up my door for business. My aspiration is to be able to do all type of legal business and not just depend on one source. In the current economic situation, where certain sector such as property is just waiting for the sound of the death knell of a few famous developer (never mind how much they publish stories of managing to sell a few hundreds units of their properties), everybody need to have a different skill sets. My office realised this a few years back when our two partners firm admitted two other partners who are good in their own field.
One was just finishing her company secretarial course then (which she already finished now) making her able to advice clients on corporate matters and secretarial matters on companies. The other is very well verse in banking law and a few other law with connection in most banks in Malaysia. We capitalised on their skills and managed to create new income streams either through our existing clients or new one and even some which they brought on themselves. They capitalised on us being in the business for quite sometimes and the strength of our business which is able to part-finance the advances needed for such files coming from banks.
As for my partner and I, we have adopted the value add-in approach in which we added new skill sets to our resume. Currently, I am taking my masters in Islamic finance and my partner is finishing her masters in law which is skewed towards intellectual property. We believe Islamic finance and intellectual property is the next frontier for legal business in Malaysia. We already have quite a few clients in both type of law although we are still have not finished with our education. Once we can carry the title saying we have eudcated ourselves in those particular branch of law, we believe there are more doors to be opened.
Who says there are no fish in a red ocean?