Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly
The first thing to do, whatever type of business venture you have your heart set on, is to have a plan in place. It can be long and detailed or concise and to the point. The important things it will need to cover will include how you’re going to start and then run it. It should include a profit-loss forecast, a cash-flow analysis, and a break-even analysis. Once you’re up and running, there is a variety of things you can do to make it more efficient. Running a legal business is not the easiest of ventures to choose. The hours are long, and you’ll have the problem of juggling several responsibilities. However, with these five tips in mind, you will be the proud owner of an efficient, successful legal business.
Automate Your Processes Where Possible
There’s a large amount of paperwork constantly floating around in a legal firm. A great way to save time and speed up some of your processes will be to use software that can be used for merging data into document templates. Using cloud storage for client and court documents, bookkeeping and internal processes will mean everything is available whenever and whoever needs it, whether they are in the office or not.
Measure, Analyse and Evaluate Regularly
We’re not talking a full audit every month; rather, just a good look at some of the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Part of your analysis should include a look at the tools you’re using and making sure they are being maintained correctly and updated when necessary. As you all know, software is regularly updated, and you need to ensure you’re using the latest versions.
Improve Time Management
When you’re running a small business and have numerous different responsibilities, it can be easy to get distracted. Phone calls, never-ending meetings, emails from clients, social media marketing and a variety of other distractions can soon fill your day. A good way to manage your time better is to allocate a specific time during which you handle all your electronic communications and only have meetings in the morning.
Strive for Innovation
You should be looking for ways to improve the way you run your business constantly. Encourage your legal team members to look for ways to do things quicker and more efficiently and encourage them to speak up with their suggestions. Keep on top of all the latest industry innovations and legal software improvements by reading relevant journals.
Train Your Staff
There is a tendency in many legal firms to rely on paper-based ways of doing things. For some reason, it seems to be considered more trustworthy! To help your staff overcome any issues they may have, provide some formal IT training. Think about including some real-life examples of scenarios where IT will be used and give them the opportunity to practice.
It’s not too difficult for a small legal business to improve in a variety of different ways. The improvements may be small, but when you look at the bigger picture, the effect will be huge. As a race, we’re always a little uncertain about making any change, so it’s important you encourage everyone in your company to play their part in improving efficiency and making the workplace a better place to be. Life is a constant learning curve and running a business should be no different.by