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School's Out! abode migration lawyers term one report

What are our marks 11 weeks into the business of Australian visas and immigration law?

18 September 2015. Kevin Fitzsimons

It was an early school run this afternoon with the kids getting an early minute on the last day of the school term. It struck us that abode migration lawyers, having started during the last school holidays on 1 July, had now completed its first term of its prep year of business. It is therefore fitting to provide a term 1 report.

Overall: B+

Overall the business is well ahead of where we hoped – and planned – to be by this stage.  The rate of enquiry is remarkably strong – around two calls a day – and is emanating from a variety of sources including word of mouth, professional associations, referrals and Google. A good number of these prospects – around a dozen – have already entrusted us to assist them, which is immensely satisfying (we had forecast two clients by this stage). It is clear that people are comfortable with dealing with a fledgling cloud-first firm of immigration lawyers as long as a) we can demonstrate our personal professional experience and expertise b) can demonstrate that they’ll get high quality and value-for-money service from this approach and c) it doesn’t look like we’re drowning with the new responsibility of running a firm.

Technology: B

We had some early wins using technology. Setting up our principal cloud-based technology applications – the website, Google for Work (mail, word processing, spreadsheets, documents), Xero (accounts) and ActionStep (practice management) – had gone relatively smoothly and the infrastructure was comfortably in place before our 1 July start.

By-and-large, these systems have worked well. For instance it didn’t take too long to get used to using Google’s stripped-back word processing tool or email. Sharing documents in the cloud rather than on a server soon becomes second nature. And logging in from whenever you are and having what you need still at your fingertips is fantastic.

However, even with our smooth start we did suspect that there were challenges to come, and we were right. There has been a steep learning curve in customising our practice management software and perfecting the system to meet the exacting rules of trust accounting while working cleanly with the accountancy software. Indeed, we ended up engaging a third-party technology expert who, in short order, has diagnosed our problems and our objectives and is transforming what we had into what will be a powerful tool. We’ve also been fortunate that we have a book-keeper who is tech savvy, patient with the gremlins and seems to be delighted to share our journey of discovery.

Marketing A-

At the outset we knew that there were endless ways to market the business. The test would be our capacity and appetite to engage tools.

Of course, starting a business with no clients and no revenue is a great motivator!

So there has been coffee catch-ups, dinners with community leaders, flyer mail drops, Google advertising, blogging, tweeting, facebooking, linkedin-ing, opinion pieces, and white hat SEOing to name a few initiatives. It has made the phone ring. But we know we have to keep it up.

Service A-

We are confident that we're providing a level of client service that is superior to the norm. Our clients are benefiting from a high standard of senior legal advice provided in a responsive manner. And we're confident this will improve further once we have fine-tuned our technology.  Further, some of our clients have already expressed their deep appreciation of having immigration lawyers who are not only charging them on a fixed fee basis, but are happy to consider flexible payment arrangements if required.

How very exciting to have graduated term one of our prep class!

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Abode Migration Lawyers Pty Ltd

40/140 William Street


Victoria 3000



All registered migration agents must comply with the Code of Conduct of the Office of Australian Migration Agents' Registration Authority (OMARA). A link to information about the Agents' Code of Conduct can be found here

03 9607 8362

03 8692 1005

New location - by appointment

195 Springvale Road


Victoria 3171

Want expert, value-for-money advice and a Melbourne immigration lawyer by your side? Please get in touch.

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