Best Practice: Focusing the law firm to improve profitability
Asked and Answered
By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC
Q. Our firm is a 9 attorney firm in Joplin, Missouri. We have our first partner meeting for the year this weekend and we are looking for ideas that we can implement this year to improve our practice and profitability. We would appreciate any ideas that you may have.
A. Based upon our experience from client engagements, I have concluded that lack of focus and accountability is one of the major problems facing law firms. Often the problem is too many ideas, alternatives, and options. The result often is no action at all or actions that fail to distinguish firms from their competitors and provide them with a sustained competitive advantage. Ideas, recommendations, suggestions, etc. are of no value unless implemented.
I suggest the following:
- Recognize that unless your firm is a large firm - full-service may not be an appropriate strategy. Unless you are in a rural are small firms should identify fewer areas of practice and specialize and aggressively market these areas.
- Limit your practice
- Consider industry niches
- Identify three to five key goals and strategies for the year and actually implement them
- Be selective in client acceptance
- Use your business/marketing plan as a tool to keep you on track
- Create an environment in your firm for effectively getting decisions implemented
John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC,(www.olmsteadassoc.com) is a past chair and member of the ISBA Standing Committee on Law Office Management and Economics. For more information on law office management please direct questions to the ISBA listserver, which John and other committee members review, or view archived copies of The Bottom Line Newsletters. Contact John at email@example.com.