Earlier we shared Seasonal Slowdown Strategies 1-5 with you to help avoid your seasonal slowdown. With the end of summer quickly approaching, now is a great time to make a strong push to proactively kick start your Fall.
Here are strategies 6-10, each designed to be quick, but effective, strategies to implement with minimal time, money and distress.
10 Seasonal Slowdown Strategies
#5. Client Appreciation Event. Every law firm wants to have an annual, client appreciation event. Whether it is an educational event, a family event or a party, there is tremendous benefit to staying in touch and top of mind with your clients. Not only do their lives change, prompting legal needs, but they are a tremendous, often untapped, referral source. The #1 reason most law firms don’t actually conduct the event they want to is they don’t have “the time” to organize it. Well, if you are in the midst of a seasonal slowdown, use this down time to plan your event. Make sure you create not only a financial budget, but a TIME budget. Put a firm limit on the amount of time you and your team can devote to this. Not only will you accomplish a goal you may have had for years, but sending out the invitations will create “top of mind awareness” with your clients immediately. If you track it, you will see your number of client calls increase after ANY time you reach out and touch your clients. It jogs their memory of reasons they have been meaning to call you…and reasons to call you usually transform into additional needs your clients have.
#6. Referral Source Appreciation Event. Along with client appreciation events, a referral source event is usually on most law firm’s “to-do” list. Again, use your down town to plan this event. Just as with clients, you will see an increase in activity from your referral sources when your invitations go out.
#7. Conquering Clutter. 100% of the time we talk to an attorney or staff member, the call starts with something not too far away from “Agghh….if you could see my office”. When we don’t have designated places for all our belongings, clutter is often the result. Even if you have established organizational systems, you will face problems with clutter unless you have a plan to find homes for every single piece of article you bring into your office. Otherwise, it’s too easy to set things on top of your desk or filing cabinet “for now.” All too often, “for now” ends up becoming “forever” or at least until things reach the point that you can no longer tolerate the clutter. This dramatically impacts your clients’ confidence in you and your closing ratio, not to mention your stress and confidence in yourself. Take your down time and conquer your clutter. But this time, don’t just “clean up”. Stop and put in place systems and create “homes” for every item in your office that is cluttering up the place. Along with the obvious benefits of conquering your clutter, 100% of the time you will “find money” when you do this. And we don’t mean the change in your desk drawer! Many of the files and papers on your desk are unfinished work, which is billable.
#8. Tackle the “Big Cases”. Every law firm we talk to has a “big case” or at the very least a potential “big case”. These are those high dollar cases, perhaps an advanced planning case or large trust administration, that have an impressive price tag, but seem to stall and hang around forever. Most of these cases are hard to move because they require large blocks of time to do research and sort out complex issues. Use your down time to move your “big cases” or close your “big prospects”. Unfinished cases are uncollected cash flow.
#9. Employee Review. Most bosses dread conducting employee reviews. However, they are a critical part of growing your team. A team that isn’t growing becomes stagnant and begins to deteriorate. And team growth requires consistent attention from you, as the boss. Use your downtime to conduct your employee reviews. If done properly, they will pump some much needed motivation into your team.
#10. Cost Cutters. Many law firms also do not routinely review their expenses and are shocked to discover services they are paying for they no longer use, or are overpaying for. Use your down time to review your expenses and shop for better deals. Compare your insurance, your copier service, your office supplies, etc. Competitors are always making deals. Make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck.
We hope you have found our Seasonal Slowdown Strategies helpful. To get the most impact, start them early and then keep doing them. The more momentum you can gain and sustain, the less severely a seasonal slowdown will impact you.
If you missed previous strategies click here.
In your corner,
Molly and Laney