A common misconception amongst small Florida law firm owners is that growth is measured by the number of people in the business. However, true growth of any business is achieved through an increase in profit.
The only way to achieve this objective is to improve your law firm’s efficiency by using technology. Over the years, technology has become an asset to any business, as well as the primary way to increase efficiency and in turn, profit.
If you organize your Florida law firm by following this 7-Step Plan, your profits can grow without having to employ extra staff.
- Organize Your Data into a Single Database
If you can organize all client and case information into a single database, you get immediate efficiency. Imagine using one software system for all your matters, knowing that all the information you need is one click away. Your firm will experience fewer errors, less staff conflict, and unproductive repetitive work is transformed into high quality legal work and great client service.
- Organize Your Templates and Documents
With so many Florida legal forms and templates, and constant updates to documents and rates, it’s challenging for Florida lawyers to stay up to date.
Consider the following aspects when getting your documents organized:
- Can every document be saved into one database?
- Can you incorporate your own template documents into the system?
- Are the forms and associated legal rates kept up to date?
- Are all commonly used forms available?
- Are all forms and template documents automated?
- Organize Your Correspondence
Having client information scattered on different systems leads to mistakes and increased practice risks. However, having Microsoft Outlook seamlessly integrate with your technology makes it easy so that every piece of incoming or outgoing communication is saved in one location. Teams can collaborate much easier knowing this.
- Be Disciplined About Time Recording
If you are doing time-based work, you need to time record.
A good time recording system allows you to find the correct case quickly, controls the timer easily, and instantly helps you record time for a case before it’s been put in the database. According to a survey by the American Bar Association, you should expect an increase in billing of about 30% if you can do this.
- Produce Bills Regularly for Smaller Amounts
So many small law firms are in financial disarray because of a reluctance to bill for fear of damaging personal relationships with clients. No matter what your costs agreement says, if you wait to bill until the end of the case, you will tend to discount, then your client is likely to negotiate a further discount.
By setting realistic expectations in costs agreements, you can regularly generate bills for smaller sums that clients are more likely to pay. These adjustments will accelerate your cash flow and reduce your working capital requirements.
- Collect What People Owe You
If you are busy running a small law firm, being the debt collector can be the most distasteful responsibility you have.
What can be done?
- Ask for a trust deposit whenever appropriate. This eliminates debt chasing and allows you to transfer and receive funds as soon as possible.
- Warn clients of impending cost blow outs. Good technology will notify you before it happens.
- Stop providing service to clients who have past due bills. With efficient software, you will get alerts about this.
- Use a system that produces useful reports so that you can quickly and easily chase debt.
- Act Today!
The simplest action available to you is to organize your practice by introducing the very best software available to you. This will allow you to find the balance between the work you have, and the people you have working for you. LEAP is the legal practice productivity solution that combines state-of-the-art practice management, legal accounting, document assembly and management, and legal publishing into one cloud-based system for all common areas of law including worker’s compensation, personal injury, general litigation, business commercial law, and more.
Learn more about LEAP and how you can make your Florida law firm more productive by visiting leap.us/florida and schedule some time to meet with a legal practice productivity specialist.