Most lawyers can rattle off several potential benefits to growing their law firms—from financial reasons to a greater sense of professional accomplishment and satisfaction.
And many lawyers would rightly say that you need to grow your clientele to grow your firm. But it’s not just about taking on more clients—other elements need tending, too.
Bigger than just you
While it may sound a little obvious, a key ingredient for growing your law firm is removing yourself from some of the firm’s processes. Because if you’re going to take on more work, then someone else needs to take on what you’ve been doing.
This is easier said than done for some people. The balance between staying involved enough to ensure tasks are being done correctly and not losing your time to minutiae takes a little trial and error.
But fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to standardize and streamline.
Create repeatable processes
There are certain tasks on the most basic level—especially administrative ones—that you can automate or make into repeatable processes.
For instance, using a practice management system that links a time tracker with your accounting and billing can save you on double data entry—and reduce the likelihood of human error.
Likewise, batch billing is a repeatable process that can easily be standardized, allowing someone else to do it and teach the process to others.
Don’t be afraid to hire additional help or outsource when needed. If you’re spending your time trying to plug various holes, you won’t have the energy and vision for growing the firm. Instead, take a step back and assess your needs.
While extra up-front effort in finding the right addition to your staff may give you less time in the short-term, it should pay off over the long haul. Having well-trained staff is a tremendous asset to your firm’s flexibility and capacity for growth.
It’s also important to recognize when you need to outsource. Your time is valuable, and the fundamental idea with scaling is that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.
In our increasingly tech-connected world, coordinating with remote staff is easier than ever before. For example, if you find yourself putting off marketing or spending too much time on it, hire someone else to do it for you. You should earn your money back quickly.
As you hand off tasks to other people—whether full-time staffers or outsourced help—it’s still wise to have a finger on the pulse of whether or not things are getting done and if they’re getting done right.
This is where up-to-date tech in the form of your practice management system can be beneficial. Most modern software should allow you to track a whole array of metrics, allowing you to assess productivity and effectiveness among your staff and in areas like marketing.
While you can calculate and track metrics without tech, that becomes a job in itself. Instead, consider shelling out a little each month for cloud-based software—and earn yourself a bird’s eye view of the firm’s activities and a little peace of mind that staff and systems are working correctly.
Be strategic about where you spend your time
Ultimately, the aim of setting your firm up to grow is to be strategic about where you spend your time. Work in the areas with the most significant impact or that no one else can do—delegate or automate the rest.
Investing time into finding the right staff, creating repeatable processes, and leveraging metrics will all help you effectively scale your firm.