Are you running your law firm like a business or like a hobby?
The gut-response is to of course say “a business.”
Yet, those same people are working nights and weekends, away from their families, not making the money they want to be making and have no systems or procedures in place to automate their growth.
Can you take a day off without everything falling apart? Can you take a week off? How about a month? If you can take time off and have no worries about the firm continuing to run without you, congratulations, you’re running a business.
If, however, the workflow and revenue of your law firm depend 100% on you being physically present, you have no business plan, no systems or policies or procedures to keep things running smoothly and hit up against cash crunch after cash crunch?
You have a hobby.
When you run your law firm like a BUSINESS, you have order and consistency in the 7 Main Parts of your law firm.
You know what’s going on with your marketing, sales, production, people, physical plant, and money and metrics.
These things are running properly whether you are present or not, and there is accountability at every level.
What happens when you run your law firm like a hobby?
You see systematic failures in each of the 7 Main Parts of your law firm, which ultimately can lead to burnout, lost revenue and even bar grievances.
That’s what you’re risking when you don’t take your law firm seriously and treat it like a business.
Here are 5 reasons your law firm suffers when you treat it like a hobby.
- A hobby has no marketing strategy.
Not that you don’t spend money on marketing. You do plenty of that.
I said there’s no marketing strategy.
You spend money in various avenues, hoping something sticks.
You don’t track it. You have no idea what’s working and what’s not.
That’s what a hobby is; something you spend money on with no tangible return.
- A hobby has no sales plan.
There’s no sales plan because you’ve never created any documented processes, systems, or procedures.
“If people show up- great!- try to close them.”
Does that sound like someone running a business to you?
When you run your business like a hobby, every day might as well be the first day at work.
Everyone is constantly figuring out how to do things that should have been standardized a long time ago, until one day something goes really wrong that was totally avoidable had there been systems in place to catch it.
- A hobby has no plan for its people.
When you run your law firm without a system for managing your people, it seems like you can never get caught up in your staffing.
You wait too long to fill one position, while another needs to be eliminated.
When you do finally hire someone, it turns out to be the wrong person. Or maybe it wasn’t, but there’s no real training protocols so they were set up for failure from the start.
In short, your law firm is a clown show, not a stellar team you can trust with your vision and the security of your family.
This is what it looks like to run your law firm like a hobby.
- A hobby isn’t concerned with its physical plant.
When you have a hobby and something breaks, you deal with it when you get around to it. Need a new putter? You’ll get one whenever you can, but it’s not a priority.
When things break in your law firm, this translates to a staff that’s constantly at each other’s necks, getting more and more frustrated as resources break and there’s no system in place to get them fixed.
And hobbies don’t generate revenue, so there are no cash reserves to replace the equipment anyway!
So everyone keeps slogging away on their antiquated computers, software and other junk for 6 months or a year before you even know what’s happening.
- A hobby does not concern itself with money and metrics.
One day you wake up and you realize you’ve been running your law firm like a hobby for years, and you have no financial controls over it.
YOU work for your FIRM, instead of the other way around.
It’s been years of apologies and excuses.
To your kids, your spouse, and your friends.
Apologies for missing school activities, excuses for missing weddings and other social events.
All because you were busy working- often for FREE!
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Running your law firm like a business means that you have control over it. You are choosing which marketing strategies to use based on testing and analyzing data.
Your sales team knows what conversion rate they must hit in order to reach goals, and they know how to get it done.
All the people in your law firm know what is expected of them, because they have been properly trained and understand all of the procedures and systems that have been put in place for them.
Growth is a part of your plan and you are executing that plan, so hiring is occurring BEFORE a need arises.
Space, equipment, and software are all adequate and up-to-date, because there are systems and procedures for noting potential problems and handling them before they become actual problems. And there’s money available to do so.
THAT’S what a profitable business looks like. And it’s possible for anyone who wants it.
If you’d like us to show you how we’ve helped hundreds of law firms turn their hobby into multiple six and seven figure businesses, go here now, schedule a complimentary call with our team and get your questions answered.