Measure everything. Everything!
KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). What are they? The name pretty much speaks for itself. What are they for you? How do you use them to help you grow and become more profitable?
Consider these as some starting points in figuring out your KPI’s: Individual performance, team performance, performance improvement, (especially after a staff review or implementing a new system or policy), productivity, profitability of files, profitability of each practice area, hours spent generating the work, vs. revenues generated, your time invested, your people’s time invested, basically any and all investments you make in growing your firm.
How else will you know if what you are doing is working?
Then…If it’s working, first, understand why? Then do more of it and look for similar strategies.
If it’s not working, again, understand why? Then stop it immediately and anything else like it. Take the time and money from the under performing areas and re-allocate it to the areas that are working.
Growing your firm is not simply about getting more clients. It’s also about getting your marketing and business development strategies right-with pin-point accuracy.
Whether you are growing beyond solo practice to creating a firm, a partner growing your team, or a managing partner growing your firm, this simple formula can help you navigate the way forward with respect to growth and staffing.
It’s far too common for lawyers to wait until they are at maximum capacity and beyond to bring in help. Managing growth is a good problem to have, however, it does pose new challenges.
So here it is. When you are at about 60% capacity, start looking to recruit. That gives you the luxury of time to find the right people. You can be selective and not panic. You can take your time to find the right people and fit. And, that way, by the time you are at 80% capacity, you will still have time to groom, mentor, train, and get your people up to speed before you hit your wall.
If you wait until later, you may, as is often the case, find yourself in a never-ending cycle of chicken and egg. Where is the time to train? Who do you bring on? “Oh, I might as well just do it myself-even though that means long nights and weekends.” Think forward. don’t get caught thinking I can’t afford to bring someone in right now. Can you afford not to?
Sure, there are many other factors here: Letting go of the reigns, quality control, consistency, profitability. But they are all better managed when you are proactive and plan ahead. Think forward!
I’ve always maintained that in business there are two New Year’s. January of course and September.
The kids are back to school, vacations are over, the days are getting shorter and there is a feeling of starting new. There is also the feeling that we are entering the later part of the year, and next year is right around the corner.
It’s time to focus on ending this year well and preparing for 2019. Have you got your plan? Have you set your goals? It’s never too early to start planning ahead to January; events, speaking, client lunches, and conferences, etc.
It’s a short week following Labour Day, but it’s important to set the stage for the remaining last months of this year. End it well and launch your career and business into the new year. I wish you well.
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?
One area where I see a lot of potential for law firms to stand out from each other is in marketing your talent acquisition strategy. Let’s say your firm has established a winning formula for targeting and attracting high-level lateral talent. And your professional development people have created a successful transition program for your newly acquired talent increasing their likelihood of success dramatically, not to mention getting better ROI and contributing to the bottom line. This is a winning formula. How do you take the next step?
Engage your marketing people to articulate your approach to attract even more high-level talent and own the talent race. The competition for talent is fierce right now. Why not own it?
Then also articulate this winning formula to your current and future clients. E.g. “We have an established reputation of acquiring and retaining the very best talent in this market and this is how we do it…” After all, what is a law firm without talent? And what are your clients buying?