In my latest column on The Lawyer Daily, I review some of the things that have changed for us and some of the things we can expect moving forward.
Here is a link to the full article.
Making more money is growing revenue is not just about getting more clients. If you are looking to become more profitable, you won’t want to miss this Law Watercooler podcast. Simply hit the play button below and learn how you can make you firm more profitable.
Do you ever wonder how you can become more profitable? My most recent column on The Lawyers Daily addresses how you can.
I am a fan of keeping a running ‘to-do’ list updated each day. Not only do I use it myself, I suggest this to all of my clients. Things will come at you from all directions, that is a given. But if you start with a plan for your day, when you are sidetracked, you have something to go back to so you can get focused again.
Start with ‘Must do’ items. These are your top priorities and likely based on client needs. Then look at ‘Should do’ tasks. And finally, ‘Like to do’. They may change throughout your day, but this will help you keep pace with your ever-changing demands.
Each night before you leave the office, review your day, and plan ahead for tomorrow. Think about coming into the office the next morning fresh, with a plan, and ready to hit the ground running.
Practice this. Over time it will become 2nd nature to you and alleviate a great deal of your day-to-day stress.
Another thing. When and where possible, get the mundane tasks (the ones you continually procrastinate about), out-of-the-way first. This will give you a great sense of accomplishment and free your mind up for the more important tasks you face. You know what these tasks are: recording your time, and small admin things that pile up. They won’t go away, so you might as well tackle them first and then move on to the work that you enjoy.
Would you sub in for a neurosurgeon friend who’s off on sick leave? How about take a tooth out for a neighbor? I hope not. That would be as silly. That would be like one of them walking into court and representing one of your clients. Or drafting a make or break M&A deal.
To put it another way, when your car breaks down, who do you go to? When your sink is clogged and you’ve tried to fix it on your own, but it’s not working, who do you call? Who do you go to when you’re not feeling well?
So why do you try to be the HR, marketing professional, office manager, IT or lawyer coach? Do you really think you are the best person you know to take care of these areas? And even if you are, where’s the time to be the lawyer? You are a lawyer right? That’s what you went to school for all those years for, and invested in your education, right?
One of the things I’ve noticed over the years is that you think you are ‘saving’ money by doing it all. Actually, if you look at the time you spend doing anything but the legal work, mentoring your staff on the legal work, or bringing more work in, and the difference in cost if you delegated anyone of these tasks to a professional in that area, you will find you are losing money, and losing BIG TIME.
My point here is why are you trying to do everything yourself? Why not focus on being the best lawyer you can be and then build a team around you to take care of everything else. Just a suggestion.
Oh and by the way, none of us can do it all on our own. We all need help.
Why is it so many professionals have a tough time delegating?
When done properly, delegating allows you to take your business to the next level. There is only one of you. Whether you are out on your own or working in a firm, you can only grow so much before you reach your capacity. The trouble is most people wait too long before they start to think about delegating, then it becomes even more stressful as they don’t have the time to properly get their team up to speed.
I see this all the time where the lawyer gets to a point where it seems more efficient to do the work yourself rather than teach a junior how to do it. It becomes a vicious cycle that you can never break out of.
Try this! When you are at about 60% of your capacity, start looking for help. That way, by the time you find the right person, or people, you will still have time to teach them, groom them, ensure they are following your strict adherence to client service.
The other thing that will help you remain in control is to ensure you have the systems and processes in place to replicate your approaches. Then it’s simply a matter of finding the right people and teaching them, providing regular feedback, and perhaps most importantly making sure your people know they can come to you for help at any time.