The legal industry is undergoing more changes now than ever with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affecting client appointments and leading to business transformation or even closure of law firms that can’t handle the transition to online operations. Any attorney with an entrepreneurial mindset who wants his new business to survive must be adaptable. This ‘lawyer adaptivity’ involves being open not only to the internal systemic adjustments your business is going through but also embracing uncontrollable external changes.
As a business management consultant for legal practitioners, I share some insights to help you in ‘sailing’ through huge tides that engulf legal businesses today and transforming your law firm by having systems in place.
Looking at the BIG Picture: Law Firm Environmental Changes
From the eyes of a strategy consultant, changes in business implementation policies are not a threat but rather a unique opportunity to reach out to consumers undergoing digital transformation. This prompts the need for aligning your legal services with cost-effective strategies and leveraging up-to-date market-research to ensure profitability.
- Remap Your Business Strategy. No matter how comfortable you already are with your former law firm model, any management-consulting expert would advise you that it’s high time for an upgrade if you want to reach new clients. Top firms are now restructuring and diverting their funds for information technology infrastructure upgrades, big-data, and data analytics just to promote their specialization to their intended clientele.
- Restructuring involves changing the way you work and keeping your team informed either through one-on-one meetings or video conferencing. Re-evaluate your staffing needs, strategy development approach, and commitment to work-life balance. Moreover, find the best-fit “legal system” for your client lifecycle by asking the following questions: How do you plan to generate leads? Is outsourcing an option for you? How can a client set an appointment? How would an appointment go? What happens if clients decide to retain your firm? How will they pay? Where will they direct their friends and relatives for referrals?
- Focus on Connections. Don’t let your previous engagements go to waste. Check on them and offer to help clients. Chances are, a majority need help from bankruptcy lawyers or family law attorneys without even realizing it. Make sure you sound genuine and empathic rather than “sale-sy” and hard-selling your firm. Remember, satisfied customers give the best testimonials, word-of-mouth referrals, and positive online reviews. If you want to grow your connections and have the skills to do so, now is the perfect time to begin blogging. Businesses that use blogs for marketing have more pages indexed by Google. There are numerous digital marketers or management consulting firms that can assist you in this matter.
Zooming in on your practice: Essential Business Adjustments
Readjusting how you manage or grow your business amidst the pandemic doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your revenues and not be profitable. On the contrary, you can beat your competition by planning where to spend your money wisely. To do so, you must be cognizant of the marketing methodologies, systems, and process improvements that will match your business needs and solve problems for your clients.
- Shift to A Growth Mindset. Gone are the days when professional services are confined to your office space. With the global pandemic, almost every other potential customer wants the option of having online problem-solving sessions or appointments. This should push entrepreneurial attorneys like you to revisit your business-process and shift to a growth mindset. With the proper guidance from management consultants, you can grow your law firm’s online presence to reach your clientele. If you are reluctant about any of these changes, or if you feel it is difficult to sustain such efforts, consider having a law firm consultant to help put systems in your law practice.
- Have Systems in Place Embrace change by setting an adaptive system that can go against the surge of new technologies and the rise of a new breed of digital native lawyers. Attorneys who are organized and have a proactive approach can see the changing landscape as an opportunity to test new business strategies. After all, if your customers can see that you are handling the changes well, don’t you appear more credible and trustworthy?
Some attorneys are great in both legal and business management skills while others just focus on their legal practice. This is where a consulting firm comes in: to bridge the gap between the two through strategy consulting and business coaching. If you’re like any other attorney who’s been affected by the pandemic–facing low client bookings, high bills to pay, yet still working overtime just to cope with the industry–and are wondering how to start turning the tables in your favor, then you may need to have new legal systems in place to handle business-processes for you.
Contact Richard James, legal systems expert and law firm advisor, to schedule a free business coaching session by video. By consulting with us you can start growing your law firm and reaching your deliverables one system at a time.
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