Especially at a boutique law firm, there is zero wiggle room when it comes to wasting time, energy and money. You just can’t let it happen. If your firm is like most of our clients’ firms, you’re probably already working with limited resources. Flushing them down the toilet isn’t exactly going to benefit your firm’s bottom line.
What you need is to be smart. And pragmatic. And resourceful. And we have a few pieces of advice to help you eliminate the operational inefficiencies at your firm so you can capitalize fully on whatever resources are available to you, your leaders and your employees.
1. Maximize every. single. billable hour.
Obvious, right? But are you asking your attorneys to do anything that doesn’t directly generate revenue? Answering phones, sorting mail, administrative tasks—things like that? If so, you are literally throwing money out the window. Reassign those tasks to a member of your team who doesn’t generate revenue.
Don’t have an administrator? Think you can’t afford to hire one? The truth is that you can’t afford not to hire one. And you can’t afford not to hire an absolutely fantastic one! Leverage the power of our SmartHire Solution™ and let us do the dirty work of finding and recruiting the perfect person for your needs and corporate culture. Outsourcing your hiring processes clears up time for you to focus on—you guessed it—billable hours only! And having a go-getter with drive and motivation in place will only serve to improve the operational and financial performance of your law firm, and pretty dramatically so.
If you don’t need full-time support staff, you can leverage an online service that offers virtual administrators who you can hire for a few hours a month at a very affordable rate—Tasks EveryDay is one virtual staffing option with high ratings.
And if you really, really, really, absolutely can’t hire legal support staff, then consider investing a software to help you automate your administrative tasks. There are software solutions to help you automate client documentation, client intake, client communication and more. Which leads us to our second piece of advice for increasing law firm productivity…
2. Automate your billing processes.
Manual billing processes are a waste of money. Period. Look for an accounting solution that offers an integrated timekeeping system, an intuitive involving interface, the ability of pooling hours from multiple team members or timekeepers, and the flexibility to adhere to client-specific billing arrangements.
3. Stay on top of your technology.
The technology that law firms use to run their practices is constantly evolving, growing and…being upgraded. If you’ve adopted an “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” policy, you’re probably wasting time, energy and money. Assess your IT systems: are they doing what they’re supposed to do; are they doing what you need them to do; have your needs changed, rendering your cutest technology platforms inefficient? Now, take a look the new systems that have hit the market and see if any of them are better equipped to meet the needs of your law firm.
Sometimes, investing in the best-of-the-best human resources or a top-of-the-line billing or IT system is the best way to generate a return. Most boutique law firms don’t have the luxury of being profitable while wasting boku dollars. Stop wasting, start investing, and watch your firm’s bottom line go up, up, up…