Recently, while helping a firm hire a new receptionist, or Director of First Impressions (DOFI), someone exhaled into the air the all-too- common comment, “We’ll just limp along without a receptionist for a little while.” We hear this one … hummm … All. The. Time. The reluctance often stems from valid “reasons.” The first is inconsistent cash flow. The second is too much change/unknown in the office. Regardless whether the inaction stems from the former or the latter, those are the very reasons TO hire right now. One of our earliest mentors taught us, “Reasons are the cemetery for your dreams.” And we couldn’t agree more when it comes to the “putting it off for now until ‘things’ are a little more stable” plan. When’s the last time unsteady grew into steady merely due to the waiting process? We see so many entrepreneurs limp along without the DOFI position filled, and having been team members in this situation, we know that is just flat out counter-productive.
Not having a DOFI creates a heap of breakdowns for every single person in your office, team member and attorney alike. If cash flow is a concern, you need a consistent front desk person so you can spend MORE time bringing in new business, instead of revamping who is covering what and dealing with things slipping through the cracks. We would REALLY love to see you NOT fall into this trap, but if you do, you don’t want to get stuck in this smaller world for long. Not having a strong DOFI will force you to shrink to a lesser reality versus giving you the ability to push through and grow.
The same is true if you are holding back because you have transition going on in the office. Again, you need MORE time to focus, not less. The decision to NOT fill the DOFI position is going to force everyone to spend time reacting day in and day out while all the “work” stacks up. You will never get off the hamster wheel. What’s the chance that any of you finds the time to focus on revenue-producing activities while trying to catch up on cash flow or getting through the hump of the transition or navigating whatever change the business is going through? Slim to none.
It is absolutely critical to move forward and fill this position. You must have proper help at the front desk making sure your existing and prospective clients are heard, acknowledged and serviced in real time, not to mention keeping your schedule correct and your team supported. Otherwise, any time and money you have invested in goal setting, coaching, new processes, systems or marketing will fall flat, because you and your team will be chasing your tail day to day versus controlling your week. The latter provides a much more powerful possibility to make decisions from a place of pro-activity.
If you are limping along without a DOFI, don’t delay. It’s costing you more than you know in money, time and energy, and the confidence your clients and power partners have in you is surely draining away.
Champions of your continued success,
Molly and Laney