Wouldn’t it be awesome if some omniscient being wrote out everything you’ll ever need to run your firm? Imagine a book containing a comprehensive catalogue of systems to run all the work you’ll ever need to do vis a vis marketing, managing, maintaining your finances and technology, and other types of operations? Life would be soooo much easier.
A law firm that uses systems in something approaching this fashion feels more like hanging out with friends at a coffee shop than like a business.
Without smart systems in place, guiding operations, all you basically have at your firm is a semi-random convening of people doing, well, whatever they want. With the right systems, thought, you get to organize all the assets of the firm in very clearly defined, measurable ways to create value for your prospects, clients, vendors, employees, community and yourself and your partners in a repeatable, predictable fashion.
World. Of. Difference.
Using a systems approach, you get to capture knowledge, refine it, improve it and ultimately deliver better outcomes over time. Documenting “how we do things here” makes your firm more effective, efficient and profitable.
So, what systems do you need to build in order to be successful? Check out these five creative ideas:
- A system to measure and improve how much time you spend on email. A timer, an online log, a record-keeping book, or even a simple paper and pencil can work. Every time you sit at the computer to check your email, take note of the time. Use the metrics to boost performance.
- A system to measure your job satisfaction by figuring out how happy you are at different points in the day. Notice your triggers. What gets your blood boiling? What makes you jump for joy? Be aware of your feelings, and use the data you gather to determine what makes you happy at work – and what to do when you’re bored and/or miserable.
- A system to assess how your clients feel about the environment and decor at your firm. Send an automated survey with your follow-up emails. Include a questionnaire in your new client’s “welcome” packet. Use your social media platforms to take a public poll. Get people’s opinions, and then act on them accordingly.
- A system to make sure everyone gets out of the office by 6 p.m. to keep employee morale high. Aside from simply turning off the lights, use a calendaring system or conflict-checking software to ensure no one is overloaded at the end of the day. Leave the last one or two hours free, so that any employees who might need time to finish can do so and be home in time for dinner.
- A system to make sure you devote a certain percentage of revenue every month to marketing and charitable giving. Use online software to automatically set aside money to donate each month. Indicate a percentage, and most programs will move that money for you – there’s nothing more you need to do.
These are just several systems that can help your firm run more efficiently. Rather than implement several systems at once, choose the one that’s most important, and become familiar with it before moving on to the next.