10 Questions Attorneys Need to Answer if They Want To Grow Their Practice
So you want to grow your law firm?
OK, no problem.
But before you get started, do you have clearly defined goals--both financial and personal?
After all, there must be some personal compelling reason you want to grow, right?
Do you know what’s working well in your law firm? Do you know what needs to be improved and what needs to stop?
If you don’t, then you’re just spinning your wheels.
Let’s begin to solve that by putting pen to paper…
And start with these questions.
1. What type of client do you want to work with?
Let’s face it. Not everyone’s an ideal client. Some clients stall, others are no shows and a few make your life miserable.
So figure out who you want to work with and how to find more of them.
2. What problems do you solve for your client?
The problems you solve for clients might seem obvious, but let's examine this more.
I once hired an attorney to represent me in a real-estate lawsuit. Now, it’s natural to assume that the problem my attorney solved for me was saving my a** from big financial loss.
But the real problem my attorney solved started the day I retained him. I didn’t have to think about the lawsuit. The lawsuit no longer consumed my thoughts, and I could sleep at night.
He brought me peace of mind and comfort in knowing how to proceed every step of the way. That was worth more to me than the fear of financial loss.
Well in my case, the financial loss wasn’t all that great. But the thought of having to deal with this lawsuit was a HUGE burden to me.
3. By how much $ do you want to grow your law firm?
A good first step is to start with the end in mind. From there, work backwards.
I know this might seem elementary, but write it down. As a rule of thumb: If it’s not on paper, it’s not a goal. And going through the thought process is what’s important.
Tip: Pick a number out of your comfort zone.
4. How many clients did you work with last year?
I’m guessing you probably have this information in your case management software, along with total revenues.
5. What were total sales $ last year?
Add up total revenues from client intake for the previous year or past twelve months.
6. What’s the average case worth?
Add up total revenues from last year and divide that amount by the number of clients you helped.
Don’t forget the number of hours you invested in each client. You may find that you’re not charging enough.
7. How many new clients do you need to reach your financial goals?
Let’s say you want to increase your yearly income by 200k and the average case is worth 10k. You need 20 new clients per year or 1.6 on average per month to reach your goal.
Or, you may be able to increase your fees, and then you’ll need fewer clients to reach your financial goals.
Whatever the case, you’ll need to think it through.
8. What did you do to bring in new clients last year? How well did it work?
Did most of your clients come from referrals? If so, what can you do to increase referrals?
What about the internet? Studies show that the 38% of the population search online to find an attorney. Can you be found when they go looking online?
More importantly, are you consistently performing activities to attract new clients? Try search engine optimization.
9. What are you going to do with the money?
Studies show most entrepreneurs don’t care about the money as much as what the money will do for their lives (ie: Buy a new house? Send the kids to college? Spend more time with family?) They have a deep compelling reason for waking up everyday.
10. What’s the cost of doing nothing?
Will things continue to decline? They rarely remain the same. What about opportunities? How many will you miss?
Figure out what you stand to lose if you do nothing. And that's your answer.
Do you want to grow your practice? How would twenty new clients in the next 12 months change your business and your life?
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