This is uncharted territory for law firms and so many other businesses. Staying afloat in these strange seas depends as much on foresight as on creativity. If you haven’t already, get a notebook and adopt the habit of writing down every idea that crosses your mind. Don’t count on recall ability in these hectic times. You don’t want a lifeline to pass you by.
Step 1: Get organized
Writing down your thoughts is only as good as your ability to organize them. Right now, in this very moment, make note of all of the motors that keep your firm running. Think: business model, operating costs, clients and cashflow, employee morale, and so on. Categorize your ideas; look ahead and anticipate fault lines. Where are things going to come apart and how can you intervene?
Step 2: Think creative
Staying in business means exploring unconventional avenues to avoid irreparable damage to your firm’s central drivers. Set aside time each day to research COVID-19-related small business relief measures. Should you struggle to secure a needed loan, consider community banks, credit unions, and even non-traditional lenders such as Amazon or PayPal, who may be the quickest option. Create a shared Google Doc with other small firms and pool ideas. Now’s the time to break with convention and consider options that might otherwise seem too far out.
Step 3: Seize the moment
It’s not all doom and gloom out there. The sky may be falling but opportunities are scattered among the debris. The COVID-19 pandemic is provoking a growing range of legal disputes. Demand may have evaporated in your field of practice but it is spiking elsewhere. Now is the time to retool. How can you shift your skillset to meet the present moment?
Step 4: Play the long game
No doubt, many of your clients will have lost the ability to pay. Now is not the time to go after them. People everywhere are concerned first and foremost with their and their family’s safety. When the time comes to pursue payment, consider how best to protect client relationships over the long term.
The same applies to employees. As all of us endeavor to care for our health and safety, less urgent tasks have slipped down the priority list. Be lenient. Your investment in employee wellbeing now will pay dividends when life returns to normal.
Step 5: Get connected.
Beyond reorienting your firm so as to capture emerging clientele, now is a time to upskill. The BBC recently published a list of the countries predicted to be the most resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. If a similar list of law firms were published, who would make the cut? Undoubtedly, those firms with the deepest skillset and greatest ability to adapt. Ensure you are on the list by using this time to research and acquire skills currently lacking in your profile.
…But don’t fall victim to thinking you, alone, are capable of identifying shortcomings. Gain an outside perspective and start making the most of this time by joining our 66-Day Law Firm Turnaround program, or by scheduling a one-on-one virtual VIP session with our founder, Molly McGrath. Our phones have been ringing off the hook with attorneys and law firm leaders taking advantage of the opportunity to schedule a half-day virtual VIP session with our expert law firm business development consultants. We’ll get your long-game in order while fine-tuning the short-term benefits. We only have THREE SLOTS left—click the button below to schedule a free discovery session with Molly and find out how we can help transform your firm!