The legendary business book “The E Myth” discusses the difference between working “in” a business and working “on” a business. It turns out that subtle prepositional shift means a whole lot.
It’s axiomatically true that local SEO is most effective. And, you can market in such a granular way on social media that you could theoretically target a physical block of addresses, if you wanted.
What would you say if you randomly came upon someone asking you what you do for work? Will you stumble across your words, or have something coherent to say instead, that even serves to drive new business? If it’s the former, it’s time to develop your elevator pitch.
In a final season episode of ‘Game of Thrones’, a stray Starbucks cup showed up on a table in a medieval castle. This, among other things, negatively affected Game of Thrones’ critical reception in its last season. But, that’s nothing compared to the personal hit that your reputation could take if you rely on Starbucks wifi to access confidential client materials online.
Tracking business expenses admits of the same issue as tracking time spent on client matters: If you’re not diligent, you may miss out on some items, especially the smaller items.
Most lawyers think of ‘virtual law practice’ as an all-in sort of thing. Either you’re completely virtual, or you’re not virtual at all. Only, that’s not the case. Even virtual law practices intending to be totally virtual don’t ever really get there.
With the rise of mobile search, many modern legal consumers are performing ‘in-app’ searches for professional services — such that, if they want to find a lawyer, they’re going direct to LinkedIn, or Facebook, or Twitter, etc.
The most difficult hurdle to law firm growth is staffing up. Managing people is definitely tough; but so is hiring the right people in the first place. The good news is that hiring well can be a learned skill, too, just like becoming a good manager.
Technology overhead can make or break a law firm. Too many unnecessary costs, and you begin to teeter over. Too little overhead, however, and you’re likely inefficient. Finding the right mix of technology is not an easy thing to do, and Googling gives you tons of options, but not necessarily experienced guidance.
Last time, in this space, we addressed the fact that attorneys can exercise ‘the nuclear option’ on any case referral, at any time: they can keep it for themselves. That’s why it’s so valuable to also network for referrals from non-attorney professionals, who have to find a lawyer to deliver referrals to.
Lawyers tend to congregate together. This is as much a fact of lawyer life, as it is a fact of professional life. Once you’re embedded in a career, you start to develop friends who do the same work that you do, and you generally prefer quality hang with colleagues, since you speak the same language.
You’ve heard the phrase often from busy lawyers, law firm owners particularly: ‘If only I could clone myself’. It’s wishful thinking; but, it gets to the heart of the one barrier to law firm expansion that you can’t fake: In order to grow your business, to scale it . . . you have to hire.
A decade ago, lawyers had just one option for office space: a traditional lease. That’s a costly option, of course, and can be a barrier to entry, especially for young lawyers, looking to start new law firms.
Google Voice allows you to ‘mask’ your personal phone number, while still receiving calls at your personal phone. It’s free; and, it takes less than a minute to set up.
Attorneys seeking inspiration or advice on reconfiguring or revising their business practices often seek out colleagues or friends for advice. Most attorneys maintain other attorneys as colleagues and friends. So, when they’re seeking business advice, they’re getting it from other attorneys. There are a couple of problems with relying on that strategy, however.
Fortunately, for law firms owners, there are more staffing options now, than you can shake a stick, even if you’re not ready to make the move to hiring an employee.
Review some law firm logos and you’ll probably find similar characteristics: prominent use of gavels and/or columns; the logo design will likely be based on the first letters of the last names of the name partners; and, the color scheme will probably be blue/white or gray. What I’m trying to say is that pretty much every law firm logo is the same.
A modern law firm should base its software program on three primary tools: productivity software (email + calendar, document storage), law practice management or case management software (a relational database to organize everything in one place) and an accounting program.
Lawyers who know their overhead are empowered because they have a baseline idea of what they need to make to keep the lights on, and what they need to make over and above that to earn a comfortable living.
Lawyers are funny in that they sometimes treat cloud technology vendors like visitors from another planet, featuring a mixture of awe and fear.