Many of my clients struggle with this question when thinking about where to put their time or money to grow the firm. Whether you are in solo-practice or heading a large international firm, my answer remains the same.

A ‘cost’ is something that does not directly impact your growth or generate higher revenues. Your office space is a cost. Your office furniture is a cost. Paper and supplies are another cost. Sure these are all necessary in running your firm. But they don’t directly impact your ability to grow. They are simply the cost of doing business.

An ‘investment’ is something where you put time or money in, and you get it and much more back. Marketing when done effectively is an investment. Talent development is an investment. These two areas provide opportunity to grow the business, attract more clients, and increase revenues.

What is a law firm without talent, experience, expertise? Empty office space!  If you don’t have the right talented people, how do you get clients; keep clients, or serve clients? When counting the ‘beans’, don’t forget to take a look at the impact that money has on the real growth of your firm. It’s not that difficult to measure. Are you getting a return or not?