Recently I ran a session for our Profitable Practice clients called ‘Plan B For January’. We spent 90 minutes brainstorming and planning the steps needed to get ready for more potential lockdowns, ‘work from home’ orders, and/or economic uncertainty as we go into the New Year.
If you haven’t got your own Plan B in place yet, here are the 6 Critical Areas I recommend you think about:
Just being able to work from home isn’t enough. Can you and your team work effectively? Do you have the right technology, systems, and support in place?
Tip: some of our law firm clients have invested in VOIP systems to allow the phones to be answered from anywhere but on a staff rota basis – meaning incoming calls aren’t missed, but the staff aren’t all constantly being disturbed by incoming calls and can have quiet time to get on with their fee-earning work.
Whilst working from home, how will you and your team continue to work together, rather than in silos?And how will you support team morale and mental wellbeing?
Tip: you might want to consider a short, daily online briefing/check-in with your team – invite everyone to bring their coffee/tea and any questions they need help with for that day.
3. YourselfWhat kinds of working practices or routines will help (or hinder) you during another period of working from home or being remote from your team?
Tip: regular exercise (including a brisk walk) is good for both physical and mental health. But the best way to make sure it happens is to schedule it into your diary OR do it first thing in the day before you get to your desk and get distracted.
How will you ensure client projects stay on track and you meet agreed deadlines?
And how will you continue to deliver the right level of client service?
Tip: rather than just aiming to achieve ‘business-as-usual’ levels of service, this is a time you can stand out from your competitors by going above and beyond. During previous lockdowns we helped our Profitable Practice clients to really step into the ‘trusted legal advisor’ role, going above and beyond to support their clients, even in areas not directly related to the legal matter they were working on.
How will you ensure the level of new inquiries and new instructions remains constant (or even increases) during the Plan B phase?
Do you need to do more (or different) marketing?
Do your team members need to increase their conversion skills so they can help prospective clients see the value of taking action now rather than delaying until “after the pandemic”.
Tip: As well as increasing their marketing during lockdown periods, many of our Profitable Practice clients have invested in online systems for AML checks and Client Care Letter signing, to remove obstacles that might hinder the client onboarding process.
“Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity, and cash flow is king.”
What steps do you need to take to protect and/or improve your cash flow? This is critical to protecting your firm or practice during potentially uncertain times.
Tip: there are three areas to consider: overdue invoices (chase them), ongoing work (interim bill where possible), and new instructions (ask for money on account).
If any of the above 6 Critical Areas need your attention, make a plan now to tackle them. Starting with whichever area is weakest.
And if you’d like to discover how to attract more of your ideal clients and continue to grow your fee income and profits – even during a difficult economic climate – then join my FREE online seminar to discover how other lawyers have increased their fee income and profits by between 30% and 471% even during lockdowns.
Or you can join me and other small firm owners at the ‘Profitable Practice Growth Secrets For Small Law Firms’ workshop to discover how to assess what your firm or legal practice really needs in order to grow, and how to double your profits without doubling your number of clients or working hours. Now available as either a full-day workshop OR two half days to fit around your schedule.