Foundations

Business Management 101

By April 11, 2020 April 12th, 2020 No Comments

Step #1 in managing anything is to start measuring.

Does the name Peter Drucker sound familiar?

Perhaps you’ve heard of his famous business maxim…

You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

What does this mean in a small law firm? Well, it means…

You need to measure how efficient you are in handling work, so you can find the bottlenecks and remove them.

You need to measure which marketing efforts are bringing in the best cases, and then optimize to get more of those kinds of cases.

Seems obvious, right?

And yet very few lawyers do this.

And very few lawyers use a strategy for running their business.

Some are too impatient to develop a strategy.

Some are too impatient to even copy a winning strategy that someone else has created.

Some eager lawyers will grab a handful of ideas (“random information”) and get excited about making big improvements.

They take seemingly bold action but wind up accomplishing very little.

Their practice doesn’t change much.

It remains inefficient and disorganized.

It keeps attracting too many low-quality clients.

This is frustrating and demoralizing

And over time, as this keeps happening, these lawyers start thinking that there’s something wrong with them personally.

They start believing they don’t have the requisite business savvy.

But the real problem isn’t that they have some inborn flaw (they don’t).

The problem is they’re not taking strategic action.

They’re acting too haphazardly.

Maybe you know what I’m talking about.

For example, let’s say you want operational efficiency in your practice. That is, you want more of the work to get done faster, easier, at lower cost.

How do you try to make this happen?

A lot of lawyers think “gee let’s try to plug in some technology.”

Maybe they went to a conference where hundreds of vendors were all promising a product or service would help automate their practice.

Those lawyers buy into those promises.

Then they go back and try to use three or four of these new tech tools in their practice.

They’re taking bold action. Which is exciting and seems like it will lead to big results.

But, of course, nothing really improves.

Not in the long run.

Not in any meaningful way.

Instead what happened was the lawyer wasted a lot of time (and money) and got some paltry results.

Why?

Because they didn’t proceed strategically.

They went about things in a haphazard way.

There’s nothing wrong with the lawyer. He or she just used a haphazard approach.

Now granted, it’s hard for most lawyers to know what kind of technology options will be truly useful.

That’s why they so often get misled by tech vendors.

The same goes for marketing.

Most lawyers don’t understand enough about marketing to make sensible decisions.

They need help to figure out the right strategy and to make the right decisions.

They need help understanding technology, marketing, and business management.

But they need it from people who are not just knowledgeable, but also trustworthy.

Folks who care more about helping lawyers make good decisions than they do about making money.

And guess what?

Those folks are hard to find.

I know because when I was trying to improve my practice I had a lot of trouble finding the right kind of people to help me.

Eventually, I found enough of the right people to help me with every important area of my practice.

  • Operations
  • Marketing
  • Technology.

But finding the right people was only the first step.

I also needed to get to know them well enough to be able to trust them. And for them to trust me.

I found out that the top consultants all have enough work to keep them busy. So they can be choosy about who they decide to help.

And so I had to prove to them that I wasn’t going to waste their time.

I had to prove that I valued their advice in a big way.

It took me a long time to meet the right people and then to earn their trust.

But it was worth it.

And now I’m in the same position as those people who helped me.

I want to help the right people, and I don’t want to waste time with people who don’t appreciate my hard work.

If you’ve read this far I’m guessing you might be one of those few people.

Specifically, one of the few that I’d like to have be a part of my “inner sanctum.”

What’s my inner sanctum, you ask?

Well, click here and find out.

Leave a Reply