In the digital world that we live in, there is no way for businesses to hide behind jazzy shop fronts and old-school reputations. Everyone knows that information is everywhere, just a click of a mouse and a tap of a keyboard away. So when it comes to choosing a product or service, it’s no surprise that reviews mean everything. For me, pretty much everything I do, eat and experience will all have involved some kind of research beforehand, even if it’s just a quick check of their rating on Google.
Towards the end of 2018 I found myself in a situation that was unique to me – I needed to engage the services of a small-business contract lawyer. I am the owner of Maid to Clean (a premium, Melbourne-based, house cleaning company) and we had made the very nerve-wracking decision to acquire a smaller cleaning company to supplement our growth and the services we offered. Naturally, being the member of Gen-Y I am, my first thought was to jump online and start searching for the “best rated” law firms for small businesses. To my surprise, there were very few, if any platforms that offered this kind of information. While it was easy for me to find numerous law firms, there was little, if any information about pricing and the only reviews I could see were testimonials posted by the company on their website – nowhere near as valuable as an independent platform.
Enter FirmChecker. A law graduate and business consultant by the name of Ben Farrow had begun working on FirmChecker the previous year in the light of the same realisation I was having during my search online for legal services. He recognised that while almost every part of the consumer world has some kind of pricing and review platform, accounting and legal services seemed slow to the catch up. It was still extremely difficult for an individual or small business to find out information about both how expensive these services were and how customers rated their satisfaction. It’s odd to think that for something as inexpensive and non-critical to one’s budget as a meal, or a movie ticket, there are hundreds of ways of checking the price and the general public’s reviews and opinions. But for something as expensive and important as a small-business lawyer, or an accountant, there is hardly any information online.
After a conversation with Ben about what I was after, I jumped on to FirmChecker’s main page and popped in a search for commercial lawyers. The initial search results gave me an overview of lawyers in my general vicinity together with the total number of reviews on the platform and their overall score. I was impressed to see that while still a young company, many of the businesses had over 70 reviews and therefore a decent amount of credit could be given to their overall score. After clicking on the top-rated law firm I was welcomed with a more detailed overview of the kinds of services the firm offered. What was particularly useful was the fee breakdown and the indication of if the firm offered a fixed fee or an hourly rate type service. As somebody quite inexperienced with company acquisitions and contract law, I knew from the small amount of research I had done that a fixed fee would be a safer bet for me.
The firm I ended up choosing did a great job and I was surprised at how simple the process was. While FirmChecker is still a relatively young company, it has really hit the ground running not only with its easy to use online platform, but with the amount of information it has managed to put together on all the different legal/financial companies as well as the number of reviews it has already managed to collect…
Edward Clayton owns a thriving small business specialising in Melbourne home cleaning. He uses FirmChecker when he needs professional advice so he’s going in with his eyes open.