Redundancies have been a part of my life as long as I’ve been in business. When I started in insurance sales, back in 1988, I had multiple locations for my warm prospect list. (Note, this was before the internet and cell phones and quite frankly before everyone had a computer.)
My warm market list was typed and photo copied (we said Xeroxed) and placed in my car, in my day timer, at my desk at the house, and at my desk at the office. I was never without my warm lead list, and I updated it weekly.
The Importance of Backups
When I transitioned into the funeral business, we had a backup for everything – from hearses and limousines, to umbrellas and smelling salts. There were checklists and backup checklists, phones and backup answering services.
Likewise, with the pet supply business, when computers started to rule the world, we still maintained all our paperwork in filing cabinets, lots and lots of filing cabinets.
Further, because we relied on the internet, we had a backup internet provider that used a different system to get internet service to our office. If one system went down, all we had to do was literally flip a switch and we were live again in minutes.
When I built the law firm, all the data was backed up on Carbonite, every night. The audio/video recording system had a backup as did the alarm system. The entire payment system had a backup for every entry, and we had over 175 lead sources to backup any one source that happened to go bad.
I often had new attorneys waiting in queue to be offered a job by us, if we either grew past our capacity or one of the current attorneys went lame. Multiple people were trained how to answer the phone, make outbound calls to unconverted leads and collections, and how to manage an initial intake process.
Today, when I present somewhere, I typically take three backups with me. My laptop, a thumb drive, and a hard copy of my presentation just in case all goes bad. We always carry an extra light bulb for the projector and there’s a backup plan if something were to go wrong with food or transportation.
More importantly, there are three people who can manage our Personalized Practice Growth Plans, five people who could manage the inbound lead flow, and three to four people who can manage any Infusionsoft issue that we may encounter.
US Law Firm Management Lessons from Past Experiences
Each and every one of these backup plans were devised because something had gone terribly wrong in the past, and there wasn’t a plan “B”.
The reason I’m sharing my back story is to impress upon you how you must think when you’re in business. At any given moment, any one thing can and will go wrong in business. And while it’s important to look at all the details of your business to build a plan for, there are a few really big rocks that require contingency plans.
First, let’s talk about you. At some point (although I pray it never happens) you may become sick, injured or disenchanted with your business and not be able to perform at your current levels. Or more realistically, you may become so bogged down with the work you are doing that you cannot take the time for the work you MUST be doing.
For instance, take Bob Doig. Bob is the leading Bankruptcy Attorney from Colorado Springs, CO. For years Bob has run his own shop and for months Bob has been in our program, listening, digesting and taking small baby steps.
After working with other Entrepreneurial Attorneys at our Partners Club events and speaking with those same people in the weekly Implementation Meetings, Bob came to realize that his next big step was to hire someone to help him manage his phones.
You see, prior to this, Bob’s practice was, well, Bob. That’s it. He answered the phones, returned phone calls, went to the 341 hearings, worked the cases, etc., etc. And after hearing what others were doing with their phones, Bob decided to take action.
Getting the Right People for Each Job
The above was a really big decision for Bob and his wife. Neither of them really wanted to manage staff or worry about making payroll. When times got tough in the business, access to cash got skinny, really quick.
But, he decided to leap and viola, the net did appear. Before Bob hired a person to field his incoming calls and make some outbound calls to unconverted leads, Bob was relying on one thing, him. And he was setting three new initial consultation appointments per day.
After Bob decided to leap and he invested in a person to manage the phones, Brittaney broke through the ceiling in the very first month, averaging nine new initial consultations per day. For those who don’t like math, that’s a 300% improvement!
He added no new marketing, he didn’t change his website, nothing about his business changed but hiring Brittaney. And while this is a very happy story, there were years of up and down struggles that could have been avoided.
Now, that’s the bright side of the story. What about the dark side of the story? What happens when you only have one manner in which you receive your leads? What happens when your only marketing source is your website and you’re totally reliant on Mother Google to feed you the daily worms she brings you from her beak? And she decides to take her worms to your competition?
Bad things can happen. But you can prevent them.
The Need for a Legal Systems Expert
Bob fixed the business by finding a way to get himself out of doing something that was causing a backlog. But what’s next?
At some point, as Bob gets busy, he’ll be the bottleneck again. So, after learning this lesson, Bob should be planning for his exit from another duty in his business where someone else can do the job. That should be all our goals as entrepreneurial attorneys by the way, replace ourselves in the jobs we are doing.
Attorneys specializing in labor and employment law practice might think that US law firm management is all about employee benefits and workers compensation. There is a lot more to it than that. For lawyers to effectively provide legal advice and quality client service, small and big law firms alike should get help from professionals. Both small and large firms need the consultancy and legal services of a reliable business consultant.
Regardless of specific law practice and legal services offered, law firms need a reliable business consultant specializing in US law firm management. Remember that there are many large consulting firms specializing in various areas, but not a lot cover legal work and the practice of law.
Talk to Our Trusted & Reliable Law Firm Management Consultant!
If you want to increase revenues and rankings, you likely need a new business strategy who can give you new clients. Look for consulting industry experts whose professional services specialize in profitability for top firms. Legal management consultancy is quite complex, but the top consulting firms can indeed help clients get a competitive advantage and be more profitable.
The different areas of law are full of various legal issues. Be it in banking and finance law, medical malpractice law, or intellectual property law, you need a legal systems expert from a trusted legal management consulting firm.
Keep in mind, however, that there are many management consulting firms out there. And you would not want just any of those. What you need is someone who can offer the best consulting services for law practice management. Entrust business consulting jobs to a legal systems expert like Richard James.
So, what’s the point of all this? Whether it’s because of one marketing source, one person, or one untested phone system, be on the lookout. Bad things, unexpected things could happen. But, when you create redundancies, create backups, and seek help from the right business consultant, good things, expected things will happen.
If you want to have your best month ever, become a professional salesperson. The rewards are ongoing. If you want to know how to become good in sales, contact our legal management consultant Richard James or schedule a 1-on-1 consulting to get your customized practice growth plan.
Building a better business, one law firm management issue at a time.