8 Things Your Law Firm Can Do to Ensure a Profitable Year

//8 Things Your Law Firm Can Do to Ensure a Profitable Year

Looking for your firm to be more profitable for the year? Here are 8 actionable items you can start doing today to build a better practice for the new year.

1. Start Tracking Referrers

It’s important to review how you were able to get your new clients – how did they find you? Whether it was through searching online, another attorney or realtor mentioning you, an old client who you previously helped or other avenues you weren’t aware of…but should be. Always ask new clients how they found you and track this information so you can report it monthly or quarterly to identify where you should be spending more marketing dollars or simply showing thanks. This will help you focus your efforts on building relationships to gain new clients in the future.

2. Thank Your Referrers

Send a gift to these people whose helped your business grow even if it was incremental. It’s important to show gratitude as it will help in the long-run. Clients and other people in your network who value your expertise are far more likely to continue referring you when they feel appreciated for going out of their way to refer you new clientele. They are after all, doing you grow your business.

3. Create Templates for Forms or Find a Provider to Help Ease the Process in Developing Templates

Get access to templates that auto-populate for the standard letters, court forms, and other agreements you use. Our clients report that having access to automated forms saves them 20-30% of their time on a daily basis while reducing the risk of errors in drafting. At Smokeball, our Case Management Software, has a suite of forms for every State including county specific forms making it easier than ever to have templates ready for you to use and easily migrate your matter details. Use Smokeball or another forms provider to cut time on administrative tasks.

4. Manage Your Emails

Take time to organize your emails so that you can follow up at appropriate times and communicate effectively without your emails getting lost. It’s possible to find a software solution with an Email Management feature to help you organize your emails automatically so you’re not spending significant time daily searching through Outlook or Gmail for a particular client’s email. Smokeball’s email management feature makes it simple by organizing all documents and emails related to the client’s case in one place, reducing less time on searching for that particular email or document related to that specific client.

5. Get Mobile So You Can Keep Working When You’re out of Office

At times, you’ll have to be reachable to answer a simple question that at times you won’t have the answer on the top of your mind. Having your documents, emails and tasks accessible when you need it at any time is important when you want your clients to feel that they are your only your priority. Using an app such as Smokeball on your phone can prompt you with reminders or provide you the accessibility you need to your files or calendars when you need it.

6. See Where to Place More Efforts in Marketing

Marketing is probably the last thing you want to focus on, but it’s a crucial part of your small law firm to develop ways to effectively reach your audience. When you track your referrals, this is a great time to bring that report in to see where to narrow down your marketing efforts. Think about new ways to target them or old ways that has been successful and how to modify your ideas to become more successful.

7. Allocate Time to Networking and Rainmaking

Give yourself some time and manage your calendar to add networking opportunities so that you can ensure for your firm will become profitable. It may be worth reaching out to other groups you normally would not and attend events that could turn into a competitive advantage for you. Get as much information as you can prior to attending to potentially prepare yourself. Bring any information that may be beneficial to a potential client and of course your business card or a way for a someone to contact you.

8. Listen to Your Staff and Frustrations as It Can Become Costly

Give your staff the opportunity to voice their concerns as often their frustrations can be costing you real money in time lost. Simply acknowledging it will not result in anything, instead, give sometime to think about it and perhaps come to a solution. If there is not a solution, be sure to let your staff know that you have thought about the problem and then explain why it will be difficult to resolve it.

Start your year off differently than the last year, take your pitfalls and turn them into learning opportunities so that you and your small law firm can take off on a different direction towards success. Use technology to your advantage, such as Smokeball to help manage your staff and your cases with document automation as well as email management. With Smokeball’s mobile App, in iOS and Android you can access your files, important events and contacts at any given moment.

By | December 8th, 2016|

About the Author:

For years, Josh has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. A trained litigator, Josh came to Smokeball from a large east-coast law firm where his practice focused on franchise, insurance, marine, and general litigation. His work with Smokeball, and his continued passion for what he does each day, is driven by a desire to help lawyers and their staff do better in every way. Knowing well the stress and strain put on today’s legal professional, he regularly focuses on improving work and life in the law. He has traveled the country working with and learning from lawyers and their staff. Josh speaks regularly to bar associations about successful law firm practices and other legal topics. Recent notable engagements have been with the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. In addition to his work at Smokeball, Josh serves on the Writing Resource Center staff at The John Marshall Law School. Besides legal technology, his research interests include judicial decision-making, jury decision-making and psychology, and legal writing. He has written and overseen research exploring causal effects of sex/gender on federal appellate court decision-making, and assisted with research for a forthcoming textbook on judicial decision-making. Additionally, Josh sits on the Board of Chicago Fringe Opera Company. Josh holds his J.D., cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Wash. U. Law Review, held the prestigious Thompson Coburn Research Fellowship, served as Research Assistant to then-Vice-Dean (now Chancellor) Andrew D. Martin, and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance with Honors Scholar distinction from the University of Connecticut, making him a Huskies basketball fan through and through. Follow Josh’s activity on LinkedIn, and keep up with new articles on the Smokeball Blog.

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