The One Powerful Business Growth Strategy that Most Lawyers Fail to Implement
Managing the day-to-day affairs of any business is not a simple task and your law practice is no exception. On any given day there are so many things going on that at times many lawyers wonder whether they can manage it all. What most lawyers don’t realize is that there is one strategy that can help them not only manage their day-to-day operations more efficiently but also have a positive impact on their bottom line.
And this powerful business growth strategy is… your firm’s systems, processes and procedures!
These systems, processes and procedures are your firm’s (or your own) internal operational guides. And while you cannot systemize all aspects of your practice, especially the areas where your creative legal mind is required, you can create a system, process, or procedure for just about everything else that you do in your practice. But why would you do it?
One of the obvious reasons is that systems make things more organized. But can implementing these systems and processes also help you make more money? Here are 3 ways in which implementing a variety of systems and processes can help you boost your profits:
1. You Will Spend Less Time On Working IN Your Practice And More Time ON Growing It
If the “daily grind” of running your practice is starting to get to you, it’s time to look for solutions. Getting help and then delegating some of your work load is the first step. But how confident are you that whoever you delegate the work to will know what to do when you are not around? When your associates know exactly what they are supposed to do, then there is less need to supervise them. Creating systems, processes and procedures allows you to accomplish just that.
Create written instructions on what you expect your staff to do in order to keep your practice moving forward. These can take the form of job descriptions, the “how to” manuals on the most commonly performed services or activities, a variety of scripts and templates, etc. This will allow you as the owner, partner or supervising attorney to dedicate your time toward profit-making strategies and focus on future growth. For example, one of our clients – a fast-growing real estate and business law firm – created detailed phone scripts, email templates and internal procedures, which enabled their staff to successfully filter prospective client calls and determine whether the prospect calling the firm was a qualified potential client.
2. You Will Be Able Grow Your Practice While Reducing Your Overhead Expenses, Not Increasing Them
If you are thinking that in order to grow your practice you need to hire more people, think again. You may be surprised to hear this, but implementing powerful systems and processes can help you grow your practice while actually reducing overhead costs. Oftentimes before you decide to increase the size of your team, what really needs to happen is implementation of business processes that can make your existing team more efficient.
Designing a system that streamlines and automates the work process to the extent possible cuts down on redundancy and down-time, and improves efficiency and productivity. For example, one of our clients – a busy law practice – used to spend a ton of time answering case status questions from their existing clients. Creating a system where each client had a private client portal accessible online allowed them to save valuable attorney and staff time and increase client satisfaction. Nice!
3. With Powerful Systems and Processes You Will Keep Your Clients Happy And Coming Back For More
We all had experience with that new restaurant down the street, where the food was amazing the first time we went there, pretty good the second time, and just okay the third time. And usually, there was no fourth time. Why? Because we had certain expectations which were set at the beginning but not met consistently. Same goes for your clients, who come to expect a certain level of service from your firm. But how can you ensure that as a business you continue to deliver the same level of service or better each and every time? With systems of course!
For example, you can create a client follow-up system to make sure that every single clients gets the attention they need timely and consistently. This is one of the easiest ways to ensure consistent and solid results time and time again. Making promises is easy, keeping them is not. Be sure you have solid systems and processes developed in your practice to help you stay consistent in delivering high quality client service.
Since every lawyer and every firm functions differently, the systems and processes that you create will be unique to your business needs. When properly implemented, you will be amazed at the positive impact they can have on your results.
To your incredible success,