If you are like most attorneys, you have your hands full managing a robust, active law practice. In the rush of daily activity, it’s sometimes difficult to step back and take a “big picture” look at your business to see areas where you could improve. Here are some basic law practice tips you might consider for your office.
Always Be Marketing – Develop and follow an annual marketing plan. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated, but it should keep you focused on always getting your practice’s name in front of your prospective audience and on continually building your client base. One key place to start is with a commitment to networking and making your name known in the community.
Maintain Customer Focus – Never lose sight of your clients. Communicate clearly and regularly to maintain their confidence. Referrals from satisfied clients can be one of your best sources of new business.
Keep Your Website Fresh – Ensure that your contact information is always up-to-date and easily accessible on your website. Refresh your site regularly with original content like blogs to help you rank higher in organic searches and testimonials to help strengthen your credibility. Highlight your services and specialties so potential clients can find you easily.
You can learn more marketing tips from a recent blog post where we highlight advice from industry expert Ed Poll.
Think Strategically – When you’re busy in the day-to-day details of your practice, tactics can too often trump strategy. Commit to spending time each week to set, review and implement long-term goals for your firm and the corresponding strategic plans to get you there. Make sure that the daily tasks of everyone in the firm ties into your strategic vision.
Stay On Top Of Mandatory Accreditations – Continuing Legal Education (CLE) is required in 45 states and each has its own set of rules. Some are confusing and convoluted, so make sure you understand the ones required in your state.
Follow The Money – Never lose sight of your billings and collections. Cash management is the lifeblood of any business, and it starts with efficient billing. Clearly communicate your fees and billing process to your clients. Require a retainer or up-front fee where possible. Make sure your law practice management software enables electronic billing. It simplifies the process for both you and your clients. Have a documented, stepped process for tracking, communicating and collecting overdue fees. Collections should be your last consideration.
Control Your Costs – Budget, review, analyze and adjust. Conduct an annual review of basic costs of operations to look for areas for cost reduction, such as office cleaning, accounting fees, insurance, office supplies, library expenses and photocopying. Failing to seek bids annually on contracts for basic services could be costing you profit.
Many things go into the running of an efficient and profitable law firm. Don’t overlook some simple ways to make yours more successful.