Why running your law practice like a business will greatly increase your profits
You learn a lot in law school. From Blackstone to Section 10(b)5 you left law school with a wealth of knowledge, ready to take on the world. Ready to start your practice and zealously represent your clients. The problem? Most law school classes do not teach you anything about running your practice. If you are a solo practitioner or part of a small law firm, you are likely wearing many hats. One of the likely hats you will don is as a business manager regardless of if you have any experience in running a business. No matter what kind of law you practice, there are a few important takeaways that you can implement now to make your firm run smoother, grow each year and most importantly, increase your bottom line.
Goal 1: Facilitating and Coordinating Business Development Opportunities
As an attorney, our primary focus is on the representation of our clients. Running our practice often falls secondary. While, the focus should remain on clients, growing our business should rank a close second. Marketing your firm is essential to success. Understanding your market and reaching potential clients is crucial. Working with a marketing company or marketing director is a great way to achieve this goal. You can also reach out to referral sources and network whenever possible. Be your client’s biggest advocate and your firm’s.
Goal 2: Know what’s working and what isn’t
Ignorance is not bliss, at least when it comes to your business. You should always know what is working and what is not. Whether it is an employee who is of great value and keeps clients happy or it is your marketing campaign. Do not solely rely on someone else to answer the question, have a good idea of what is profitable in your firm, what’s gaining new clients and what isn’t. The more you know, the more successful you will be. Hold people accountable in their duties, but also hold yourself accountable.
Goal 3: Set systems into place
Even if you are a small firm or a solo practitioner you should have an office manual that details how the office should run. At any time, a new employee should be able to take over the position of someone in the firm. Relying too heavily on one person could cost you money, clients, time and more. Too many times I have seen that an office manager, paralegal or secretary knows the ins-and-outs of the office, they are completely relied upon for everything, clients love them and so do the attorneys. The only problem is that when they get sick, have a life-change or simply decide to move on, hiring someone to fill their shoes is next to impossible. Not only that, but they never took the time to write out procedures and how to run the office. Make it a goal that these procedures are laid out in a clear concise manner and that you personally could hop in at any moment to handle all aspects of the business.
Goal 4: Develop a comprehensive business plan
Develop a comprehensive business plan and stick to it. You need to have long and short-term goals for your firm and your employees. Running your practice more like a business will greatly increase your profits in the end. With a little bit of work in the beginning, your firm will run smoother, with happier, more knowledgeable employees.
Amicus Capital Group provides Law Firm Management services, Operational and Financial Review as well as a whole suite of financial products to leverage and maximize your firms growth opportunities. In addition, Amicus Media provides TV, Radio and Digital Campaigns for cost effective national and regional case acquisition. Grow your firm and get the cases from a company founded on Trust, Transparency and Track Record.
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