Helpful insight for growing your firm

By April 9, 2019 April 22nd, 2019 Law, Marketing, Operations, Productivity

If you want to grow your law practice into a smooth-running, cashflow-generating operation you’ll need help.

No shame in that. It’s just the inescapable reality.

Lots of folks create thriving businesses everyday. And the vast majority of them had lots of help.

In today’s modern world there are lots of ways to get the help you need.

The principles for creating successful businesses have been documented. And you can find them in books, or courses. Or even seminars.

But who has the time to read books, take courses, or attend seminars?

Certainly not lawyers like you right?

You’re probably too busy, doing complex work on a tight deadline for demanding clients.

And even if you were to read books, take courses, or attend seminars…what does that really get you?

Mostly just information.

Information that you then have to figure out how to apply…to get useful results.

And, when you finally get the time to work ON your business instead of IN it…

You’ve forgotten most of what you learned in those books, courses or seminars.

So…let’s face the hard facts: you don’t need information.

What you need is…

Insight.

Preferably at the very moment you can apply it, not three months before.

THAT’s why going to legal conferences is a waste of time (if you’re looking for ways to radically improve your law practice, that is).

And yet many lawyers keep going and keep believing that conferences are the best option available.

Smart business owners know better.

Smart business owners don’t go to conferences to grow their businesses. No, they know about better resources.

For example, they join organizations like YPO, which is a…

“leadership organization for more than 27,000 chief executives in over 130 countries and the global platform for them to engage, learn and grow. YPO members harness the knowledge, influence and trust of the world’s most influential and innovative business leaders…”

My brother is in YPO. He says it’s vital for him to be able to meet with similarly situated business owners on a regular basis.

He has a food service business in Panama, which employs over 130 people.

He grew the business from scratch, but not without a lot of help. All along the way, he got advice from friends who also had businesses, and who’d faced the same problems he faced in growing his business.

Once his business grew to a certain level he joined the local chapter of YPO in Panama so he could keep getting insights and advice but at a higher level.

You need to find groups for lawyers like that. Groups of business-minded lawyers who are at your same level of growth.

A new kind of group has been emerging in the non-lawyer world, something called mastermind groups.

I’ve joined a couple of mastermind groups to learn how to better manage my online business. It was clear that running an online business was quite challenging, even for someone with strong technology skills.

So I joined some masterminds, hoping to learn how to scale more smoothly and avoid hiccups.

Most of the masterminds I joined in the beginning were useless.

But the last two I joined were invaluable.

Invaluable for quickly learning how to grow my business smoothly and effectively. And also for showing me what not to do, which is often the more valuable thing to know (because a lot of ideas SEEM like good ideas, but experienced folks have learned that they’re not).

One big success factor in the two good masterminds I joined was the person who was running them. You want to join a mastermind run by someone who has the skills and insights you’re looking to acquire.

But, it’s also about the other people in the group.

There’s something magical about getting in a small room with folks who’ve faced (or are now facing) the kinds of problems you’re dealing with. For example…

Imagine if you had access to other lawyers who were discussing things like:

  • Which practice management software do you use, and what do you like or not like about i?
  • Where do you go to find good virtual assistance?
  • Who is good at doing bookkeeping (with trust accounting) for small law firms?
  • What’s the best printer for a small firm?
  • Has anyone tried online review services like Podium or Birdeye and what are your experiences?
  • Anyone try a print newsletter service like Newsletter Pro? What’s your take?
  • “What is the best way to learn Zapier? I am trying to connect Trello to Clio, as well as other programs with Clio to make our office run more efficient.”
  • Has anyone tried the new Scansnap scanner (the reviews on Amazon are not great)?
  • “Electronic binder for trail notebooks? I’d like to use a Table of Contents and be able to click on any document in the case. I’ve found pdfDocs and Bundledocs. Each of them look like they’d work. Does anyone have experience with either of them or another electronic binder product?
  • “I am looking for help cleaning up and building out hotdocs. Any suggestions for a hotdocs developer or service looking for some periodic project work?”
  • “I’m interested in incorporating digital signature software into my client on-boarding process. I have looked at HelloSign. What others do we suggest?”
  • “I am working on my workflow and automation process. I want to make clients fill out a questionnaire for the first consultation. Do you think it is best to send them a fillable PDF by email to fill out or to send them a link to an online form that I’ll integrate with my CRM?

By the way, these are verbatim questions that appeared in the private Slack group that’s part of the LawFirm Co-Pilot program.

We get discussions like this in our Facebook group, but the Slack group is much better organized and easier to filter for topics you care about most.

So online forums are an important part of a good mastermind experience.

They provide you with access to insight from fellow lawyers, and trustworthy consultants (which is way better than just raw information).

But, you should also seek access in a live face-to-face meeting. That’s when discussions really start to have big impact.

Yes, access. That’s what you need.

Access to insight from fellow lawyers, and trustworthy consultants.

Access on a regular basis so you can get the advice you need at the moment you need it most.

Access to a really great mastermind.

If you want to learn more about mastermind groups, here’s a book I found helpful.

Oh, that reminds me…

Another factor that makes for a great mastermind is if the organizer is running the group for profit, not just as a “passion project.”

Rule of thumb: the more it costs to join a mastermind, the higher the level of discussion (because the people who join are at a more advanced stage of growth and have the money to invest).

And note that I used the word “invest,” because that’s what it is when you spend money wisely in places that help you grow your practice smoothly.

It’s an investment.

On the other hand, going to conferences and grabbing random chunks of information is nothing more than an expense .

And usually, also, a waste of time.


Whenever you’re ready…here are some ways I can help you improve your practice.

1. Download the LawFirm Autopilot Blueprint
This 10-part guide is an overview of how to create a profitable, smooth-running practice that also provides you with lots of freedom.

2. Join our private Facebook group
For solo & small firm lawyers only! It’s a great way to get unbiased reviews and comments about tech options, practice management insights, and more. To join click here.

3. Listen to my LawFirm Autopilot podcast
It’s an ongoing discussion about how to steadily grow a happy law practice that attracts great clients and provides the financial security you deserve.

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