How to Improve the Efficiency of Your Law Practice
Running a law practice is challenging. Somewhere you must find the time and money to deal with the business side (administrative, financial and operational issues) as well as represent clients. There are a few key areas you should examine to ensure you are maximizing your resources and operating as efficiently as possible:
- Staffing. What work is your staff doing? Is there too much or too little work? Do you have the right people in the right jobs? The temptation is to pile a lot of work onto a few people to save on labor costs, but that isn’t necessarily productive and can lead to burnout and turnover, which is more expensive than hiring. If you don’t have enough work to support a full-time person, consider part-time, freelance or temp workers, especially for administrative work that can take up a lot of time, but may not be the best use of the time of your experienced workers.
- Time-keeping. Are you keeping accurate records of how much time is spent on individual cases, administrative and other work? If you don’t keep those records, then you can’t analyze the profitability of your cases, understand whether you are staffing matters correctly and who are the most productive employees.
- Technology. Upgrading or changing systems can be difficult, time-consuming and costly. However, technology changes very quickly and you may be missing out on features and tools that could help you run your practice more efficiently. Also, we often lose sight of how much time we spend working around the limitations of an old system.
- Space. Do you have enough or too much office space? Is it well-organized? Workspaces are changing, and many businesses are creating more flexible spaces within their offices. Also, there is growing use of and interest in telecommuting. If you have staff who aren’t coming in every day, you may be able to cut back on office space or repurpose desk space for other uses.
- Finances. Do you have a well-thought out annual budget and cash flow budget? You need accurate numbers related to your revenue, expenses and cash flow in order to make good financial decisions. Invest in an experienced bookkeeper and accountant to help you make accurate projections, set goals, establish benchmarks and analyze your progress.
Improving the efficiency of your firm can have a significant impact on the success of your firm. However, contingent fee attorneys often face an additional hurdle. Because they have an irregular cashflow, they must be especially cognizant of managing their finances to ensure they can pay bills on time. RapidFunds helps law firms run their practice by providing post-settlement funding – often within 24 hours – giving firms the money they need now.