Lawyers in law school learn about law, but not the best way to run a business. They typically start their practice without any business experience and are unsure of what capabilities and procedures are needed. A lot of them have succeeded in creating a successful practice by understanding the fundamentals by themselves. The majority of the time, however, their practice has reached the point of no return and they’re not able to increase their revenues. Here are a list of the most common mistakes lawyers make. A single mistake can hinder the growth and success of a law practice.
They don’t have a documented business strategy.
Many lawyers have considered how they would like to manage their business. They have ideas inside their heads but they are not often recorded. Since these plans are floating around in their heads , they can change often and the goals are unclear. Writing a company plan can be the initial step towards establishing an effective practice. (If you are an attorney who is an associate of the law firm, it’s useful to operate as if that he/she owns their own business. The associate should create a strategy for what they will help the business over the year and implement on the plan.)
They do not have a marketing strategy.
Marketing plans are a part of a business’s plan and should be recorded as such. If the attorney is part of an own firm or is working for someone else, the attorney should have clients of their own. What strategies does the attorney have to get them? What can he/she do throughout the year as well as every week to grow the practice? What will an attorney learn about what kind of marketing works for them? With a plan for marketing and following it , the attorney will be able to determine exactly how he/she would like to market himself/herself. They will also be able track what is working for them and what’s not.
They don’t have a Marketing plan (if there is one) or they only engage in the business growth when their business isn’t efficient.
Marketing that is not well-planned will not guarantee the steady flow of clients attorneys need to have an increasing practice. If the attorney is employed in a law office, this steady flow of clients can result in the creation of a million-dollar book of business, which will make the lawyer attractive to other firms as well as to his own firm. Erratic marketing means that the attorney isn’t able to track his/her performance in a particular kind of marketing since the person hasn’t been doing enough to gather sufficient information. There’s a chance that attorneys will keep to conduct marketing that isn’t effective because there’s no evidence to suggest the need for a change.
They quit networking after two or three attempts.
It takes time to establish a rapport. If an attorney comes across an individual who appears to be an excellent source of referral or a potential client, they’ll be required to keep in touch regularly to ensure that he or she is in contact with the potential client or the source of referral. Networking is about meeting people and establishing an association. This relationship could require several meetings or phone calls as well as emails to build. Sometimes, a lawyer had a relationship with years ago turns up at a time when they least expect it since over time, he/she kept in contact. It is essential to remain in contact with those.
They think they can take care of everything by themselves.
At the beginning of a the startup funds must be carefully managed. This can mean doing all the work by oneself. The lawyers of the future believe that they have to take on everything by themselves instead of employing someone else to do their work. The more non-legal work an attorney has to do, i.e. writing document, fixing machines, downloading and studying new programs more time he/she is able to devote to legal work marketing strategy, and practice. Attorneys must perform the tasks only they are able to do and delegate the rest.
They are able to handle frequent interruptions by people phone calls, emails, etc..
Legal work including marketing, practice strategy and even marketing takes time and dedication. In order to do this successfully, attorneys require a certain amount duration that’s continuous. Every interruption slows work down for the duration the interruption lasts plus 10 minutes it takes for the attorney to return to where he/she was prior to interruption. The stress of interruptions is often high and can affect the health of an attorney.
They don’t distinguish themselves from other lawyers.
It is crucial for an attorney to be able explain his or her individuality. What is it that he/she can provide that other lawyers with similar expertise don’t? With the number of attorneys within an area of practice and geographical field and practice area, there is intense competition for business. In order to ensure that clients pick the lawyer over other lawyers they must distinguish themselves. Prospective clients are seeking reasons to employ an attorney. It’s the job of the attorney to present the justification!
They don’t mail their bills frequently.
Cash flow is crucial for a law firm and if bills aren’t paid, the funds will not arrive. This can be a problem since it could prevent the attorney from paying for the essential charges for a case, purchasing the essential equipment or software, and/or paying employees , or them. Customers don’t like this also because they’ll be charged a huge bill, rather than smaller ones. Additionally, if a long time passes, the client might have forgotten the specifics of what the lawyer worked on and may question the amount that was billed, or even the total amount.
They don’t utilize their bill as a marketing tool.
The bill should be simple and easy to comprehend. The bills that have only one entry without particulars are ones that clients might be inclined to doubt. There are also instances that attorneys may decide to erase, such as email or phone calls. By putting those items in the bill , along with the usual fee and later the lower fee lets the client know that they have been treated in a fair manner.
They do not cross-sell or use the term “others”.
To make the most of their time, attorneys should spend their phone time with clients to cross-sell (discuss other services that are offered). Many clients are not aware of these options. Attorneys may also offer work to other professionals or attorneys when the client has a need which the attorney cannot meet. If an attorney would like to be referred, they must also make recommendations. Inquiring with the client about their legal requirements will often lead to leads for the attorney and for other attorneys.