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Attorneys: Do you want to grow or sell your law firm?

April 18, 2017

Filed under: Money,Practice Growth,Selling a Law Firm,Succession Planning — admin @ 12:03 pm

Being a great attorney alone won’t significantly grow your practice’s revenue. And, studying to become the most certified lawyer in your market won’t add value to your practice if you’re hoping to eventually sell it.

However, what does grow revenue and what will position your firm for a profitable sale is creating a strategic business plan at one or both of the two Atticus workshops offered this summer in Orlando.

Double Your Revenue How to Build Your Law Firm for SaleAtticus has taught the Double Your Revenue™ workshop for over a decade to great results. Graduates have doubled and occasionally tripled revenue. At a minimum, some increased by 40%. But no one did it by thinking about it. They took action. You will create your own strategic plan to double your revenue without increasing your stress or overhead.

And, Atticus’ Florida Bar CLE-accredited How to Build Your Law Firm for Sale workshop shows you what it takes to transform your practice into a profitable business and what buyers are really looking for. Determine your practice’s actual value today and create a profitability plan to increase the firm’s worth for a future sale date.

You can find out more about each workshop by clicking on their names above. If you’re ready to register, click here.

Registration for each workshop is $995 for the first attorney and $795 for each additional attorney or staff member from your firm.

Enroll in both workshops and Atticus will deduct $300 off the first attorney’s registration cost, and then you pay only $1,690 to attend both Double Your Revenue ™ and How to Build Your Law Firm for Sale™.

Commit to spending two days away from your office to work strategically ON your practice rather than working blindly IN it. Attend these workshops and implement Atticus’ tools and strategies to make an incredible difference in your life, your team, and your profitability.

Lawyers: 2 Simple Lists Can Result in Big Wins for 2017

November 9, 2016

Filed under: Client Issues,Enjoying Life,Lawyer Coaching,Marketing,Money,Practice Growth,Practice Management,Stress Management — admin @ 4:16 pm

The holidays are nearly here, and for many lawyers that means using this time to sit back and reflect on their successes or failures of the last year. Some of you will armchair quarterback yourselves over what you should or should not have done.

Stop it. Looking back in regret will not fix those issues. Just because a calendar year is nearing its close does not mean it’s okay to navel-gaze instead of looking for opportunities to improve. You risk falling behind.

Now is the best time for lawyers to set personal and financial goals for 2017. I encourage my coaching clients to write two simple lists to help them make progress in both life and business for the coming year.

Setting Simple Goals

The first list is your top 10 personal and financial goals for the year – as simply stated as possible. This list might include paying more attention to your children, exercising more, increasing your business’ marketing efforts, or paying off old debt by following a new budget plan.

One goal you might consider is hiring an accountability and strategy coach!

Of course, you don’t have to finish this list in one day and laminate it! Some people get writer’s block if they are on deadline. Instead, draft it out, set it aside for a day or two and come back to it to make revisions or additions.

Repetition and Reminders

Once you’ve set these goals, make three copies: one for your desk at work, one taped near the bathroom mirror at home, and one miniaturized in size to carry in a wallet or purse. This might seem silly to some, but reading one’s goals regularly can really help ensure commitment to achieving them. It’s a practice in self-accountability.

Share these goals with your key assistant or another attorney you trust, if you are comfortable doing so. That way, you’re saying you want to be held accountable to meeting these goals because you want this person to check on your progress.

The Little Things

The second list is all about the little things you have been tolerating over the last year. Take 15 minutes and sprint out a list of these annoyances. Don’t worry about prioritizing it, just put pen to paper.

Maybe you’ve been so busy wrestling with issues at home that you’ve come to accept working in a messy work space or office? Or, you’re missing a button on your favorite jacket, and are reminded of it each time you put it on to take the dog on a walk. It might be a garage door that needs fixing or a checking account that needs reconciling.

Perhaps you sacrificed having a dental issue treated because of unexpected business expenses? Or maybe the list will contain names of problematic clients you’ve tolerated instead of letting go.

Once you begin writing these things down, it becomes clear just how many annoyances you’ve been putting up with in daily life that need addressing. Regardless of its content, this list of tolerations will certainly grow if it is not addressed.

You don’t need to take an oath to eliminate each of these issues within the next year, but you will have a much better chance of addressing most of them if you just start by writing them down.

As always, I hope this article has helped you and your practice. If you have a specific practice management issue or concern you’d like to share, please contact me.

Lawyers: Do You Have a Practice Growth Mindset?

September 15, 2016

Filed under: Practice Growth,Practice Management — admin @ 12:28 am

Do you only see what you want to see? Your mindset, or view of the world, is the key to setting the pace for growth in your firm. The amazing difference between a lawyer who grows quickly and profitably and one who does not has everything to do with how they see the world. I want to encourage you to have a Practice Growth Mindset™.

A lawyer’s mindset for opportunity, self-development, and general attitude about life can drive growth far more than his or her legal skills.

I see great lawyers struggle with growth issues because they don’t see them as growth issues. They see them as hassles, aggravations and frustrations. They see them as things getting in the way of being “a great lawyer.” Ironically, this view or mindset is the very thing that blinds them to what is in the way of significant practice growth.

Growth Depends on Attitude

It reminds me of the old joke: “Wherever you go, there you are.” Depending on whether you have Practice Growth Mindset™ or a status quo mindset, those will be the results you will see in your life. If you are not getting what you want from your practice, it may have more to do with the mindset you bring than anything else.

Which then begs the question: Is it possible for you to change your mindset? I think yes, of course, it is possible.

But are you willing to take a risk and invest the time to change to a Practice Growth Mindset™? If that’s the case, then I encourage you to attend an Atticus webinar I’m hosting on Oct. 4 called “But I Can’t Do That! – The 10 Big Lies That Stop Practice Growth.”

In this hour-long discussion, I’ll reveal common misconceptions lawyers have about why they can’t grow their practices. And I’ll share the truth about improving your firm and your life. I hope you can join me.

Lawyers: 3 Key Questions for 2016

November 18, 2015

Filed under: Enjoying Life,Money,Practice Growth,Practice Management,Stress Management — admin @ 11:51 am

I know you’re busy. All attorneys are busy. When I attend bar conferences, the lawyers there all trade stories about how busy they are. The real issue is not how busy you are, but how effective you are.

The end of the year is a perfect time to evaluate your personal effectiveness. One way to do that is to take time to learn from the past year and set up a great new year. While I highly recommend that you do an end-of-year planning session with your firm, I also suggest you do a planning session for yourself.

Here are three key questions to ask:

  1. What were the three key strategies that made this year a great year? What did I do that allowed me to move my practice forward?
  2. Where am I stuck the most?
  3. If I were to focus on five objectives or strategies for next year, what would they be?

In my experience, if you take an hour, with no interruptions (no email, phone calls and texts) and do the above, you will have greater clarity for you planning next year. Now, for extra bonus points, do the exercise again 72 hours after you did it the first time, and see what happens to your thinking.

Good luck and best wishes for your 2016 planning.

Lawyers: Use this test to determine the profitability of your flat fees

May 7, 2015

Filed under: Money,Practice Growth,Practice Management,Uncategorized — Tags: — admin @ 11:39 am

Many of my coaching clients who are confident in their hourly rates are concerned about ways of determining profitability for their fixed price, or flat fee, services. They want to know how to reach a profit margin that will make them the kind of money they need to be successful.

Profitability is a term that is thrown around in business settings, but people often use the word without knowing what it really means. In order to define it, let’s first talk about what profitability is not.

Fair Price

When I talk about profitability, I’m not talking about what you or anyone else thinks is a fair price. “Fair” is a relative term, and everyone has his or her own idea of what that means. Whose idea of “fair” are we talking about? Fair to you? To the client? Is there some sliding scale of “fair” out there? Of course not.

Client Wish

Profitability also has nothing to do with what the client would wish to pay. Most people are looking for ways to save money. But you are not in the business of providing the cheapest, bargain priced, clearance rack service. You are in the business of providing excellent service. And excellence costs money. If the client doesn’t want to pay the rate you need in order to be profitable, then they are not the right client for you.

Market Expectations

I’m also not talking about market expectations. Just because your competition charges a certain rate, that doesn’t mean that the service they are providing their clients is on par with yours. Their overhead may be different or their staff may be larger or smaller. They may cut corners or provide extras you aren’t aware of. You can’t base your rates on what your competition charges.

The Acid Test for Determining Profitability

All that you need to be concerned about here is figuring out what you need to charge your clients in order to ensure that your business is profitable, that it’s making you money.

Many people have complex ways of figuring profitability. But determining what you need to charge your clients in order to be profitable does not have to involve long drawn out calculations.

There is a straightforward, simple way to determine profitability. It’s what I call the “Acid Test.”

  1. Calculate the amount of time it will take to provide the service. This includes your time and your staff’s time.
  2. Figure up the cost per hour for that time. Include the amount your work is worth per hour and the cost of your staff’s work.
  3. Then multiply those two figures to arrive at the amount it costs you to provide the service your client needs.

But that number does not make you a profit. That number only covers your costs. Note my emphasis: Your costs. Not the client’s cost. That is the minimum amount you need to make just to break even. You can’t run a profitable business that way.

To make a profit, you need to build in a 50 percent gross profit margin on top of your total cost for the service. So basically, take what it costs you to cover your expenses, and then double that number. That is the amount you need to charge the client in order to make a profit. It’s that simple.

If you apply this simple acid test to your fees for service, you will become profitable.

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