Nothing has the ability to grab a business owner’s attention more than money—or, more specifically, the lack of. When law firm growth slows down at the same time expenses begin to rise, the first thing attorneys do is wonder how they got there. Then they’ll start looking for solutions.
I’ve offered law firm consulting to thousands of firms over the years, and one thing I can assure you is this: it’s easy to get lost in the labyrinth of low cash flow. However, once you’re able to recognize the mistakes you’re making, it’s just as easy to find your way out.
Here are 5 mistakes that are putting a stop to your law firm growth:
- You don’t have a strong client onboarding process (or any onboarding process at all). If your client onboarding process is disorganized, you’re starting this new relationship off on the wrong foot. Make sure your process is laid out methodically, and supported with workflow process charts and other visuals—these could be displayed on your website, or included in a physical onboarding packet that you give to all new clients. Ensuring your clients are clear on the process—and are able to set their expectations appropriately—is a sure fire way to get started on a high note.
Along with having a clear client onboarding process, making sure everyone on your team knows and is able to uphold that process is crucial to client satisfaction and retention.
- You communicate reactively; not proactively. Stay ahead of the game and check in with your clients regularly. Yes, I know you’ve told them three times that you need X, Y, or Z from them in order to continue. Tell them again. It’s not nagging, it’s you doing the job they hired you to do. Even if aren’t waiting on them for anything, regular status updates go a long way in reinforcing their decision to hire you…and hopefully refer you to their friends, family, and colleagues!
- Dial in your project management system. It’s 2022 and running your firm off of Excel spreadsheets and Word documents is unacceptable. Invest in a project management system—services like Monday.com, Asana, and Basecamp are affordable and effective—and host weekly team meetings to review all open projects. Ensure you know exactly where each to-do item stands, who is responsible, what (if anything) is needed to complete the task, and when it needs to be done by. Be impeccable in this.
- Make sure someone is holding you accountable. So, you aced law school, passed the bar, took your lumps in the field, and have decided to hang your own shingle? That’s no easy feat. But, as amazing as you are…you still need a babysitter. Why? Because business development for lawyers is time-consuming and challenging, and—if you’re like 99% of the solopreneur attorneys out there—you’re stretched thin, run ragged, feeling overwhelmed, trying to service clients who don’t meet your firm’s profile because cash flow, cash flow, cash flow…and dropping balls and underperforming every which way. If you don’t have someone holding you accountable to deliver on your promises and uphold the highest quality standards, there’s nothing on the planet you can do to retain your clients.
- You accept every client, all the time, with no exceptions. The prospect of turning down work is frightening, and seemingly counterintuitive if the goal is law firm growth. However, you need to be picky about who you accept as a client, starting with defining your ideal client, and choosing the area of law you want to focus in. No small law firm can do everything well—and the firm that tries becomes a master of nothing.
True law firm growth begins to happen when attorneys realize one thing: they can’t do everything on their own. My approach to law firm consulting has always been people-focused. When our team members are empowered to take administrative tasks off your plate, you are freed up to focus on delivering outstanding service to your clients, and growing your firm.
Imagine a team that operates efficiently, understands your processes and systems, can execute marketing efforts without a hitch, and who you trust to make business decisions that are in the best interest of your firm.
Too good to be true? No. Not even remotely.
Give me your team for 12-weeks. Enroll them in my Law Firm Admin Bootcamp program and let me equip them with the tools they need to transform your firm’s productivity and profitability. The tools and techniques your team will learn have been honed and fine-tuned over the course of decades—they are proven to get results, and—let’s face it—that’s what you need.