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Back to basics: Tips on running a successful law practice

With lawyers busy with the practice side of their law practice, the business side sometimes falls by the wayside. Here are some quick and easy tips to keep your business running smoothly – and perhaps more efficiently:

  • Update your business plan. Chances are if you’ve been in a business for a few years, it doesn’t quite look the same now as it did when you first started. Review your business systems; your profit and loss statements; staff; leases; equipment; software programs. It might be time to upgrade and streamline.
  • Review where your clients are coming from. Find out where the good ones are coming from and tend to it. And remember the 80/20 rule: 80% of your outcomes should come from 20% of your inputs.
  • Take care of your referral sources.
  • When it comes to your legal fees, do not negotiate. If you lower your hourly fee, a prospective client may question why they were not offered the lower rate initially and you risk losing that client’s trust.
  • When you meet a new client, let them do the talking. Clients do not want to hear how good you are in your field and why they should hire you – they are already entrusting you with their information! They want to hear about what you can do for them.
  • Be clear and concise when explaining possible results. Manage your client’s expectations and provide them a road map of how the file may unfold.
  • Learn to say “no”. Think of this as the reverse 80/20 rule: you don’t want 80% of your headaches coming from that 20% of your client base. Categorizing your clients from “A” (good clients) to “D” (not so good clients) will help you manage your client list.

These few tips will help you ensure your practice runs efficiently, effectively and successfully.