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.
If you are an owner or managing partner of a firm, do the math. One rainmaker (you), or all, (your entire team)?
If you are the only one bringing in clients, there are limitations to your time, energy and focus. Whereas, if you get your entire team engaged in business development, or bringing in clients, the opportunities for growth are far greater.
So how do you go from a ‘one-person show’, (you are the only rainmaker), to getting your entire team out there growing your firm?
- Get the right people on your team-that starts with hiring.
- Establish the ‘new way’ with your new people-leverage the competitive nature to encourage your current people to step up.
- Give your people the support and learning opportunities to develop new skills-that starts with investing in them.
- Reward this new behavior-create a comprehensive bonus structure, somewhat like ‘profit-sharing’ to reward your people when they succeed.
- Tell the whole world about your firm and your approach-this will help you to continue to attract the very best and brightest.
When you go from one ‘rainmaker’ to an entire team of rainmakers, watch your firm grow.
As I am a business coach, this post is focused on your business relationships. However, you could easily take these tips and apply them to your personal relationships as well.
Before you take the time away from your practice and go to the expense of attending that new conference, look at your contact list. Who should you be investing more time with? Current clients? Past clients? Friends from Law School? Other colleagues and connections?
I’m not saying don’t go to that conference or sponsor that event, or take that add out. But focus on your current relationships before you take on anything new this year. No matter where you are in your career, you have relationships. Sure, if you are relatively junior, you may have less, but you have them.
I see far too often where lawyers want to push the ‘easy button’. They think simply throwing money at their marketing and business development efforts will produce results. It makes them feel good like they are doing ‘something’. News flash-there is no easy way, no easy button-thanks Staples! Building your practice or firm takes time-your time! My suggestion is to focus 80% of all of your business-building efforts this year on strengthening the relationships you already have.
Pick up the phone. Send an email. Go for coffee, lunch, a drink (or juice), lunch or dinner. Take your best client(s) to a special event. Connect, re-connect and keep connecting!
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?
At the core of business development or growing your practice or firm is relationships.
Relationships with current clients.
Relationships with past clients.
Relationships with your referral sources.
And relationships you build along the way as you meet new people
Here is a simple QUESTION you should be ASKING YOURSELF BEFORE YOU ENGAGE IN ANY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ACTION:
“Is this action going to enhance a current relationship and move it forward, or is this action going to get me in front of new quality people with whom I should build a relationship with? If the answer is no-don’t do it! If the answer is yes-do it, and find ways to do more of it.”
I happen to be a big fan of keeping things simple. That’s a really good question to always ask yourself before investing any time or money into marketing and business development to grow your practice or firm.
Are you as targeted and strategic as you could be with your marketing efforts? Are you getting the results you need from your efforts? I offer a complimentary 30-minute laser coaching session. This is not a sales pitch. This time will be spent looking at what you are currently doing and how you could improve your results.
Connect to set up your coaching session here.