Thinking like an attorney and thinking like a businessperson aren’t always the same thing. In fact, these two mindsets can sometimes be at odds. For example, if a solo practitioner doggedly pursues personal injury cases, they might do exceptional work but still find themselves losing money if all the cases they take have low recovery potential.
This type of conflict can be especially common in firms with no operations manager and firms where partners are juggling dual responsibilities through casework and business management. The following tips can help attorneys who are hoping to change how they see the business side of their law firms.
Thinking like an entrepreneur means always looking for opportunities. This could mean spotting a trend of certain case types coming to your firm. Or it could mean identifying types of cases that other lawyers in your market don’t accept. Opportunities also come in the form of referral sources, community outreach programs, and marketing channels.
You’ll ultimately want to adopt a mindset of looking for chances to spread the word about your firm’s services and how you can fill unmet needs in your market. Once you start to see things in this way, you’ll notice many untapped opportunities for growth.
Great lawyers can sometimes make bad business decisions. If your firm isn’t billing the right amount for your services, it won’t matter how great you are at practicing law. Similarly, if you’re investing too much time doing casework without monitoring your revenue and overhead, you could be setting your firm up for failure.
If you’re struggling to make a profit, it’s time to reevaluate your business practices. Designate a few hours each week to look at your operation from a business perspective instead of a legal one.
When a sound business approach isn’t implemented at a law firm, a lot of potential can be squandered. This is why it’s so important for law firms to have someone in charge of thinking about the bottom line.
If you have a passion or even an inclination for the business side of your practice, then it might be time to consider allocating more of your time to operations and marketing, leaving other attorneys to handle casework. However, if you love practicing law and business acumen isn’t your strong suit, then consider designating someone else at your firm with the business management role. If no such person currently exists at your firm, then you could start looking for someone who fits the bill and bring them on.
If you’re planning on devoting more of your time thinking about your firm’s business potential, then the best way to get started is by reading—a lot. Sit down with classics like Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People and more modern business-centric books like Kevin D. Johnson’s The Entrepreneur Mind.
You’ll also find great reading suggestions through online communities, podcasts, newsletters, or by simply asking other businesspeople in your life which books they’ve found most valuable.
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In some cases, law firms find that the right software can make teams so efficient that they can hit the pause button on hiring new team members. If you want to grow your firm, look no further than backdocket. Contact us today to schedule your free demonstration.
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