The end of the month, quarter, or year, is a good time to evaluate your goals and plan for the next period. Here are goals for solos, small, and mid-size firms, all of which can be managed more effectively with a cloud-based practice management system.
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Bill more time – Billing for more time doesn’t necessarily mean working more hours. It means being more diligent about how you track and record your time. There’s no way around it: You must get in the habit of capturing time as close as possible to when it’s being expended. Today’s law practice management systems automate the process for you.
Increase collections – Now that you’ve billed more time, bill on time. Late bills are often challenged and chopped. Delaying billing is like giving away free money. By not sending your bills out on time you are essentially offering interest-free financing and performing your services at a discount. Use a practice management portal to invoice your clients and give them the opportunity to pay promptly with a credit card. See: How Do I Get My Bills Out in 30 Minutes?
Gather and analyze data for better decision making – Use analytics to measure progress, hold down costs, and manage operations. If your firm uses law practice management software, you’ll already have this information. Do a deep dive and see who is bringing in clients, how each billing member of the firm is doing, which clients are economic drivers and which are a drain on the firm, and more. See how practice management software can automate the process of analyzing data.
Increase productivity – Automate repeatable processes to save time and increase efficiency and productivity by using practice management software to generate custom invoices and legal documents, manage tasks and calendar events, intake, and communications. See, also: 5 Daily Productivity Practices To Reduce Stress and Get Things Done.
Become a client service ninja – Exceptional client service is no longer an option, but an imperative for law firms that want to succeed and retain happy, loyal clients. It should be at the core of what firms do. It’s what clients, in a competitive legal services market, have come to expect and demand. See: More Clients, Happy Clients: The Law Firm Guide to Delivering Exceptional Service.
Get to a paperless office – Moving to a less paper office saves the firm money by cutting costs on supplies, storage, labor, rental space, equipment, and so on. Although these savings speak more to profit, the improved efficiency and timed saved can result in increased opportunities in marketing and networking to land clients and boost revenue. See: The Paperless Law Office.
Go mobile – Being an attorney at work now means being an attorney on the go. The modern law office need not have four walls. In today’s age, if you have an iPad, you can run a law firm. See: The Mobile Lawyer.
Refine your niche – Niches bring riches. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Use the data you’ve gathered to identify your better performing practice areas and go deep. See: One Small Niche Practice, One Giant Leap for a Law Practice.
Market your practice – You’ve used a practice management system to increase productivity and get a deep insight to who and what drives your practice. Use that data to drive your marketing efforts.
Get healthy – A healthy practice starts with healthy lawyers. No amount of productivity tips or cutting edge technology can help if you’re not feeling well enough to work effectively. Long hours and stressful situations can quickly lead to anxiety, burnout, and depression. See: How Lawyers Can Use Mindfulness to Reduce Stress and Attorney Wellness Workshop: Stress-Busting, Energy-Boosting Desk Moves.