5 Resolutions to Make 2016 a Knockout Year for Your Law Firm
Category : Law Firm Management
2016 is right around the corner, and if you’re anything like me, you’re starting to think about your New Year’s resolutions. While you’re deliberating about how to better yourself, why not commit to making your firm better as well? The following resolutions will help your firm get off to a strong start in 2016, and I promise you’ll be able to stick to them past July.
#1 Trim the Fat
No, not belly fat, but rather the fat (i.e., wasteful practices) at your firm. Now is the time to cut out unnecessary operating costs and make sure your practice runs as efficiently as possible. Investigate to see if there are cheaper options for certain expenses, and consider whether other costs are really worth their price tag. Remember, even small savings can add up at the end of the year.
#2 Get Paid
If you’re not already doing it, now’s the time to start billing and collecting monthly. This is the legal industry’s best practice when it comes to billing: bill all of a month’s time at the end of that same month, then send a bill to the client on a monthly basis. Monthly billing will quickly result in a monthly collections cycle with your clients, which will improve your firm’s cash flow and reduce your reliance on lines of credit, especially in the first two quarters of the year.
#3 Help Others
Encourage the attorneys in your firm to perform pro bono work, and do so yourself as well. It’s a great way to develop useful experience and knowledge in other practice areas while helping people who couldn’t normally afford those services. It’s also a great way to make connections that could end up coming in handy down the road.
#4 Get a Makeover
The New Year is a great time to update your firm’s look. Your website is likely the first place prospective clients go to find out more about you—make sure it’s up to date (with correct information and working hyperlinks), engaging and professional. If you’re using social networks, like LinkedIn. to connect with potential clients and other professionals, take time to update those profiles as well. These sites create a first impression—make sure it’s a good one.
#5 Question Tradition
One of the major obstacles to effective change and growth for a law firm is the fact that they are stuck in the past, in a manner of speaking. We’ve all been there—we don’t want to change the way we’re doing things because “it’s the way it’s always been done.”
Traditions should be respected, but not at any cost. Take a look at the present value of your firm’s traditions. Keep the ones that are still effective (that is, they actually help the firm to be profitable and productive) in place, but replace the ones that have become ineffective. It’s time to embrace new approaches that can help the firm grow and maintain profitability.
Everyone can benefit from New Year’s resolutions—especially when we stick to them. By promising to do one or more of the above in 2016, you’ll be setting realistic goals for your firm and setting the practice on a path to a stronger future. Now that’s something to cheers to!
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