As we move into the new year, we’re at a natural time to set goals. But in setting goals, it’s helpful to pick metrics or ideas that are realistic and relevant to your firm. And to know where you want to be, you need to know where you’re at.
We’ll cover goal-setting around three key areas – revenue, clients, and employees.
Revenue and Expenses Goals
Financial goals vary by firm, but most firms share a goal for higher or more consistent earnings. In order to get there, two areas need attention – revenue and expenses.
For many firms, greater revenue isn’t strictly correlated with a greater amount of work. Instead, you may be able to earn more revenue with your current work by changing a few practices.
First, make sure you’re getting the most of your billable hours. A time tracker that’s integrated with your accounting system makes it easier to ensure that all billable hours – including a random 10 minutes here and there throughout the week – show up on an invoice.
Second, streamline your billing and collections process. Use batch billing, evergreen retainers, and automated reminders for past-due invoices. Don’t lose valuable time to repetitive administrative tasks – and don’t put them off, either.
When you set revenue goals, look for the ratio of collections to invoices sent out. But also look at the ratio of collections to billable hours. See where you’re at now and set goals to improve.
Track your expenses. Are you paying for multiple different tools to cobble together a complete practice management system? Do you anticipate using office space in 2021 the same way you did pre-pandemic?
You may decide you don’t need to cut any expenses, but it’s good to know where and how much you’re spending.
Client Satisfaction and Intake
If your firm doesn’t already measure client satisfaction, now is a good time to start. A simple, “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend our services to a friend?” will tell you a lot. Most people don’t mind answering just one question – and you can use it to gauge both how they feel about their experience with your firm and how likely they are to send more clients your way.
Figuring out how your firm currently performs will help you set goals for future improvements.
Don’t Forget about Employees
While many firms set outward-looking goals around clients and revenue, employees have a huge impact on firm success. Firm culture, communication styles, mentoring, and potential for personal and career growth will all impact employee satisfaction.
Clients see and feel employee attitudes. Make sure your firm is a place people want to work – and that they feel like part of the team. Leverage tools that support remote collaboration and conduct anonymous satisfaction surveys.
As you gear up for 2021, make sure the goals you’re setting for the new year are informed and relevant. Don’t lose billable hours, stay on top of invoices and collections, monitor client satisfaction, and support your staff with proper tools as they work from home.