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RJon Robins

Why You Need This Plan For MASSIVE Growth

               Failing to plan is planning to fail. – Benjamin Franklin

If your goal is to achieve MASSIVE growth in your law firm, then you cannot afford to wing it.

You cannot afford to guess your way through it. You need a detailed roadmap that provides step-by-step guidance on how to structure, run, and grow your business.

A business plan is a simple written document that details your business concept and strategy for growth.

Simple, and yet so few law firm owners ever take the time to write one!

That’s usually because law firm owners see themselves as a practice, not a business. And this is a dangerous rookie mistake!  

Having a written, well thought-out, and organized business plan significantly increases your odds of achieving success.

Would you take the time to pack up your family and start out on a road trip without knowing where you wanted to go?

Of course not!

There’s a multitude of problems with this, right? If you don’t know where you are going then you can’t create a plan of action to get there. You will have no idea how long the trip is going to take, how much gas you are going to need, how much money you should bring, how much luggage you are going to need to pack or where you should stop for rest.

Why would you set yourself up for that kind of failure, disappointment, and stress?

That’s the same mindset you should have when it comes to creating a business plan for the purpose of ensuring success in your law firm.

Give yourself the best possible start for massive growth by establishing and implementing a written business plan. 

Here are the top 10 reasons your law firm needs a business plan:

  1. A written business plan allows you to sit down and form a clear picture of where your business is right now and what kind of shape it’s in.
  2. It allows you to set future goals and create a plan to achieve them.
  3. It provides the accountability you need to get things DONE.
  4. It takes the guesswork out of marketing as it should map out how many leads you need to make the money you want to make.
  5. It allows you to get control of your numbers so you know exactly where money is coming in and where it’s going out.
  6. A business plan gives you the comfort of knowing how it’s all going to work out, instead of just “hoping” it does.
  7. It allows you to be confident that you will actually reach your goals because every time you hit up against a wall, you will be able to refer to that plan to get back on track.
  8. It helps you be able to run a business effectively instead of JUST practicing law and shows you how to build a 12 month forward looking budget and profit and loss reports.
  9. It will help you serve your clients better.
  10. It will house the policies and procedures that help your firm run like a well-oiled machine!

Some lawyers tend to have the mentality that they don’t NEED to have a business plan, because that’s “business stuff”. They think that any time spent doing “business stuff” is time taken away from their clients, so they continue to work more and more, harder, and harder.

Don’t make this mistake.

The fact is that a written business plan allows you to spend your time on the things that matter most, so that you can actually free up MORE time for your clients.

THAT’S the big disconnect that most lawyers have. They don’t realize that running a multi-million-dollar law firm is actually LESS work than running a $250k law firm, not more!

The ones that get that are the ones that have a written business plan, and they are also the ones who are most successful and spending the most time with their families.

The Real Way to Quantum Leap Your Law Firm’s Growth

So here’s the thing- Quantum leaps are massively misunderstood.

Most people think that a quantum leap is an INSTANT leap from one place to another or an INSTANT transition from one form or state of being to another.

However, a study done at Yale University recently showed that quantum leaps are NOT instantaneous.

Using a high-speed monitoring system, they found that the “leap” was actually a gradual process.

To be clear, that’s not to say that quantum leaps aren’t possible, merely that they aren’t instantaneous.

Last week at our Members Only Live Quarterly Meeting in Nashville, several law firm owners shared that they had experienced more than 75% growth in less than a year. Others had just made more in a single month than they had the entire previous year. Now just by sheer volume, that looks like a quantum leap, but they would all tell you that there was nothing instantaneous about it.

They got there because they committed to cultivating a growth mindset. They committed to making profitable decisions and implementing the systems we suggested. In doing so, the right conditions were set for what became rapid, consistent growth.

So what does any of this mean for your law firm and why should you care?

Well, for starters, you should care because you have goals, because you want to grow your revenue and because HOW you do so will determine if your journey feels like a leap or a slow trudge up a steep and dangerous hill.

You see, your GOAL shouldn’t really be to make a quantum leap. The leap is the result of a gradual process. A series of decisions that support the desired outcome.

What you need to do now to experience what feels like a quantum leap over the next year is to optimize the conditions that produce that result you want.

Let us explain.

Let’s say you want to grow a garden, but your backyard is concrete. No matter how badly you want it, no matter how meticulously you plan for it, no matter how many hours you put into designing it, you are NEVER going to grow that garden in concrete.

The conditions do not support the desired outcome.

It’s no different in your law firm. If you want to double your revenue, but the conditions don’t exist to support that kind of leap, it’s not going to happen.

What it takes to make an additional $100k or $200k or more is a series of decisions over time that create the environment that your new level of revenue REQUIRES.

Here are some things you can do THIS QUARTER to set the stage for your own quantum leap.

  1. Decide how much money you want to make
  2. Get help determining exactly how many hours you need to work and how many new clients you need to take on to make that number happen.
  3. Take an honest look at what’s not working well right now
  4. Learn how to systemize your lead generation so that new prospects are coming in WITHOUT you having to chase them down or hunt for them. (We teach this in the 7-Figure Foundation Bootcamp coming up in September.)
  5. Decide what KEY staff members you need to hire to increase productivity
  6. Decide if any team members need to be let go
  7. Put policies and procedures in writing that limit the amount of time you spend troubleshooting or explaining things to staff and clients.
  8. Systemize your intake process
  9. Stay hyper vigilant about looking at your numbers so that you can eliminate what’s COSTING you too much money and do MORE of what’s MAKING you money
  10. Cultivate the mindset of someone who frequently experiences rapid growth. Remember the fastest way to get there is to BE there. But before you can get there on paper, you’ve got to BE there in your head.

Bottom line?

Quantum law firm leaps are a product of profitable decisions made over time that result in a seemingly rapid transition from one stage of revenue to the next.

We can help you plan out your own Quantum Leap. Schedule your free consultation at https://howtomanageasmalllawfirm.com/by-referral-only/ 

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The Causes Of A Law Firm’s Success or Failure

The Causes Of A Law Firm’s Success or Failure NEWSFLASH: Your law firm either runs reliably, efficiently, and profitably, or it runs BADLY. It’s time to act like a grown-up business owner and accept the fact that whether your law firm runs well or poorly, YOU. ARE. THE. CAUSE. Not that it’s your fault; you don’t know what you don’t know, and nobody ever taught you this. But the fact is that there are some surprisingly-simple, practical, non-negotiable, real-world mechanics which are required to make a law firm run well. If you have ever heard me speak at a live event you have probably heard me say that a law firm is a relatively simple business to operate. Compared to just about any of the other kinds of businesses you probably patronize every month, a law firm has fewer moving parts, fewer opportunities to make catastrophic mistakes, lower capital requirements and much better margins. In other words, if your plumber, the owner of your favorite eatery, the florist and whoever owns your favorite clothing store…if they can figure out how to run their business and earn a great living at it, then you can certainly learn how to manage a small law firm that will serve your financial, your personal and your professional needs. It’s just not that complicated. But not all of those business owners run their businesses well. And not all of them are successful. The difference is, the owners of the successful businesses in each of those categories either went to business school, or else they invested in some alternate sort of education other-than the school of hard knocks. Because the school of hard knocks is terribly inefficient and has many hidden costs the student doesn’t often discover until it’s too late. That’s why those of us who have graduated from the school of hard knocks will tell you that anyone who knowingly enrolls in our alma-mater when there are easier, less painful, more profitable, and quicker ways to learn how to do whatever it is that they need to learn how to do…well, I don’t know how else to say it, those people are idiots. Wouldn’t you agree? If you were standing in front of me right now I know you’d be nodding your head in agreement. Or would you advise one of your own kids to skip school and just get a job because eventually they’ll figure it all out on their own? Of course you would never give anyone that advice. Because you’re NOT an idiot. Then why haven’t you dropped-out of the school of hard knocks sooner? Probably it’s because you’re scared that you can’t learn this stuff any other way. You’re worried that you don’t have enough time. And you’ve heard too many arguments, excuses and justifications made by other lawyers whose fears, insecurities and/or lack of self-confidence prevented them from ever learning how to manage a small law firm. So now they have a vested interest in convincing others that it’s impossible.  And now as perversely irresponsible as it may seem, they’re actually going around advocating for the school of hard knocks. But it IS possible to learn how to manage a small law firm and become the cause of a successful law firm that generates as much profit as you’re ready to commit to building for yourself and your family. Not only is it possible, it’s actually quite straight-forward. In fact just about any lawyer with an open mind can master the skills needed to create a $250,000 law firm in just about 18 months or less. Or even upgrade to a $500,000 law firm business if that’s what you want. You might even choose to build your business up and break the 7-figure barrier. There are simply too many examples of lawyers who DID learn how to manage a small law firm and now they’re enjoying great success at it. As I wrote before, there are relatively-few moving parts involved in making a law firm run well. It’s all about creating processes, systems, policies, procedures, and metrics: 1.) There are processes, systems, policies, procedures & metrics for getting prospective new clients to the door. 2.) There are processes, systems, policies, procedures & metrics for moving prospective new clients through the front door & over the threshold at which point they can become profitable clients of the firm. 3.)  There are processes, systems, policies, procedures & metrics, for delivering value to clients.  This is the “factory” we talk a lot about when a lawyer is ready to upgrade from having a practice to building a sustainable law firm business Usually that conversation begins to happen around the $250,000 milestone. 4.) There are processes, systems, policies, procedures & metrics for controlling the finances of the firm and ensuring the firm gets paid for delivering value to its clients.  By the way, this idea that they’re clients of the “firm” vs. clients of the lawyer, is another key distinction between lawyers who create a practice -vs.- those who upgrade to the mindset and activities of building a business.  This also happens around $250,000. 5.) There are processes, systems, policies, procedures, metrics and inventories used for managing the physical plant which includes where the value gets created, with what equipment and by which human resources of the firm. Any educated lawyer can learn how to manage a small law firm and take control of these five areas of the law firm to create a $250,000 law practice; upgrade to a $500,000 law firm business; break the 7 figure barrier and even join the million dollar solo lawyers’ club if you’re that ambitious. But you’re going to have to learn how. And it starts with having a thought-out, written, actionable, BUSINESS PLAN. There’s simply no way around it- you MUST have a business plan if you are running a law firm. A written business plan lays out the 7 Main Parts of your law firm, and the processes, systems, policies, procedures, and metrics needed to make sure each part is running as efficiently as possible. The truth is, that a lack of a business plan may be the one thing holding you back from the life, business, and career you’ve always envisioned for yourself.   Click here to sign up for the Law Firm Business Plan Bootcamp today, and start running your law firm like a successful small business that meets your needs and the needs of your family. 

4 Things You Do Every Day In Your Law Firm

4 Things You Do Every Day In Your Law Firm

A few years ago I got a chance to visit the La Brea Tar Pits just outside of Los Angeles, California.

If you’re not familiar with the La Brea Tar Pits, basically what has happened is that natural asphalt- or tar- has seeped up through the ground over tens of thousands of years and created these tar pits that were basically a trap for any poor animal who got too close and fell in.

I found it to be a perfect metaphor for so many lawyers who are stuck in the “trap” of running their law firms by the seat of their pants, sinking farther and farther down, year after year.

Check out a video of my visit here.

Keep in mind this video is almost 6 years old. As we have proven time and time again here at How to Manage a Small Law Firm, A LOT can change in 6 years.

For example, in the video we talk about the “4 Stages of Growth”, but our membership has grown so much and includes such high-revenue law firms that we now have 6 Stages of Growth.

But what the video does talk about that I really wanted to share with you are the 4 activities that you do every day in your law firm that you likely aren’t even aware of.

Every time you do something in or pertaining to your law firm, it will fit into one of these categories. The category you fit into the most likely determines what kind of life you are providing for yourself and your family.

Category 1- Any action that actively drives your law firm forwards towards your financial, personal, professional goals.

Anytime you are building marketing systems, delegating tasks to someone else, or analyzing financials and making strategic decisions based on those analytics, you are actively taking action to drive your law firm towards your goals.

As you might imagine, this category is the most conducive to growth and increased revenue. This is the sweet spot; you want to be here as much as you can.

The second category is similar, but with one key difference:

Category 2- Any action you take that PREPARES you to take action that actively drives your law firm forward.

While the first category is where you want to be the most, this category is also very important.

When you are doing something that prepares you to take action that actively drives your law firm forward, you are planning for success. This may include any time you are doing things like updating key internal/external policies, analyzing your financials and planning/preparing for cash crunches, or training someone on your staff with made-up work so they can learn without messing something up and freaking you out.

This is important, because before you can take action to drive your law firm forward you have to properly PREPARE to take that action.

The third category of activities is where many lawyers get stuck, and most of them have no idea how to escape it.

Category 3- Any action that contributes to your law firm just treading water.

Many lawyers end up here just trading dollars for hours, being a “lawyer” and not getting anywhere. If you run your law firm without a business plan, this is probably, unfortunately, the best you can hope for.

If you’ve been stuck around the same revenue for the last few years and just feel like no matter what you do you’re just spinning your wheels and working harder for no more money, then you probably spend most of your time in this category.

This is also an important category because there are only two ways to go from here… you can either get fed up with treading water and prepare to take action to move your law firm and your life forward, or you can unfortunately go the other way:

Category 4- Any action that actively holds you BACK from achieving your goals.

This is the category you are in when you start to find yourself hanging out with people who don’t believe in themselves.

When you hear lawyers bitching about the economy or the job market or any other bullshit they feed themselves for why they are failing in their business, you are witnessing category 4 behavior.

These are the lawyers who don’t have a successful law firm, but they have a great story as to WHY they don’t have a successful law firm.

This is where you are when you are taking cases and matters you KNOW you shouldn’t take, because you are desperate for the cash flow.

Anytime you perform a menial task instead of delegating, you are actively holding yourself and your firm back from your goals.

These are the lawyers you see “stuck in the tar”, sinking further and further year after year.

Click here to watch the video.

So which category of activities would you say dominated your 2019?

If you’re running your law firm without a business plan, then I would venture a guess that you are mostly a category 3. I wouldn’t put you in category 4 quite yet because you are engaged with us and reading our blog, which shows that you have the intention of eventually leaving the excuses behind and embracing what is really possible in your law firm.

But if you still haven’t signed up for our Law Firm Business Plan Bootcamp yet, why not?

Is it because of the price? We are offering a 100% Money Back Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can be confident you are investing in your business wisely.

Think you don’t have time? The Law Firm Business Plan Bootcamp is just a 4-week crash course- think about it, that’s one month…

One month to go from having no process or financial controls, to having a written business plan that lays out all 7 Main Parts of your law firm so that they are all working together efficiently and in harmony.

2019 is almost over, but if you act now you can step into 2020 with a clear vision for growth and a written business plan to execute it.

It’s time to stop treading water.

You started your law firm because you had standards.

Standards for what was acceptable for your life.

Standards for what was acceptable for your spouse’s life.

Standards for what was acceptable for your kids’ lives.

Standards that thus far have not been met, because you don’t have a business plan.

Click here to sign up for the Law Firm Business Plan Bootcamp today, and start doing things in your business that drive it forwards towards success and a lifestyle that is acceptable for you and your family.

Beware Your Negative Routines

When you think of the word “routine”, what comes to mind? Maybe you think of your morning routine, and everything it takes to get your family fed and out the door on time, day after day. Perhaps you think of your daily routine of waking up, going to work, getting frustrated, coming home, going to bed, rinse, repeat. Maybe the word “routine” makes you think of organization… “I have to be at work at this time and I get out at this time and I need to pick the kids up from practice by X…” and so on and so forth. Whatever your thoughts about the word “routine”, you probably find comfort in it. We humans crave the sense of security and stability that comes with knowing where you’re supposed to be and when, and what’s going to happen when you get there. But are all routines positive? One of the first thing the CIA teaches new recruits is to beware the dangers of having a routine. Routines make you predictable. Predictability is vulnerability, and that makes you an easy target. And that’s not all- ever called to make a change to your automobile insurance? One of the first questions they ask you is whether you drive your vehicle to and from work every day. If you answer “yes”, they will underwrite your policy HIGHER than someone who drives their vehicle the same number of miles, but just to drive around town for pleasure. You may ask why? When I know the traffic patterns and the safest route to and from work, and the other guy is just cruising around aimlessly enjoying his ride? How could I possibly cost more to insure than him? Because when you are driving to work every day, taking the same route 10 times per week, you may think you’re more insurable because you’ve “perfected” the route, but in reality you face one of the biggest dangers of routine there is- complacency. Complacency is insidious and pervasive because it’s comfortable. Complacency can cost you years of your life if your routine will not allow you to make necessary changes. Complacency is what keeps your law firm at the same level of growth (or non-growth) year after year, with no real increase in revenue to speak of. Complacency is easy. It’s comfortable. “I may hate the way my law firm makes me feel, and I may be working 50-60+ hours per week for little or no pay, and my family may miss me and I never get to see my kids, but dammit at least I know where I need to be tomorrow and what I’ll be doing!” You need to identify these negative routines that have become a liability to your personal, professional, and financial growth. What change are you resisting because it would be too much of a disruption to your “routine”? How much would your life improve if you were to break free of these negative routines that keep you confined to a life of spinning your wheels aimlessly in your law firm? If you want to know more about what How to Manage a Small Law Firm can do to help you shed these negative routines and adopt more positive ones, please schedule an appointment with a member of my team. Make “growth” a part of your new routine.

Top 10 Reasons Your Law Firm Needs a Business Plan

Top 10 Reasons Your Law Firm Needs a Business Plan

Last week, we began our 3-part interview series with some of our most successful members, entitled:

The Truth & Nothing But The Truth About Starting, Growing and Running a Really Successful Law Firm.

In it, I’m interviewing 3 different How to Manage members about a different topic each session, and they share their experiences and best practices on the topic.

It’s been HUGELY valuable and really eye-opening, but depending on when you are reading this you may have already missed the first 1 or 2 sessions. Not to worry though, you can still catch a replay!

Click here to hear a replay of the interviews you missed.

We tried to keep the atmosphere light and fun, and we didn’t really follow any kind of script. The first interview series was all about the importance of creating and executing a written business plan.

There was one fun moment I wanted to share with all of you since it can be extremely helpful for those of you who are struggling to keep your head above water in your law firm.

Like I said, if you haven’t heard the entire interview, click the link above and go back and listen to it, the amount of value in those interviews is immeasurable.

We had some fun though, too.

Towards the end of her time, Meldie Moore made a joke about creating a “Top 10” list for all the reasons your law firm needs a business plan.

So I held her to it!

You could tell she thought she was off the hook halfway through, but no- she finished the list! (with an assist from Holly)

So without further ado, and with apologies to David Letterman, here are the top 10 reasons your law firm needs a business plan:

  1. A written business plan allows you to sit down and form a clear picture of where your business is right now and what kind of shape it’s in.
  2. It allows you to set future goals and create a plan to achieve them.
  3. It provides the accountability you need to get things DONE.
  4. Research says that once a goal is written down, it’s more likely to be completed (this was a big one for Meldie, the research buff!)
  5. Sharing it with your staff and significant other gets you on the same page with them and can help to bring the team together.
  6. If you are working with a CEO, COO, or CFO (and depending on which stage of growth you are in, you should be!), it gives you the ability to show them where you are, where you’re going, and what your goals are.

And here’s where Meldie began to stall out and thought she could get out of finishing the list… no way! Holly Moore (no relation), who was waiting for her turn to be interviewed, jumped in and helped out…

Continuing on with our list:

  1. A business plan gives you the comfort of knowing how it’s all going to work out, instead of just “hoping” it does.
  2. It allows you to be confident that you will actually reach your goals because you know there is a plan in place to do so.
  3. It helps you be able to run a business effectively instead of JUST practicing law.

And the number 1 reason your law firm NEEDS a business plan:

  1. It will help you serve your clients better.

And honestly, that’s reason enough to take the time to create a clear, written business plan.

One thing all three members agreed on was that lawyers tend to have this mentality that they don’t NEED to have a business plan, because that’s “business stuff”. They think that any time spent doing “business stuff” is time taken away from their clients, so they continue to work more and more, harder and harder.

But the fact is that a written business plan allows you to spend your time on the things that matter most, so that you can actually free up MORE time for your clients.

THAT’S the big disconnect that most lawyers have. They don’t realize that running a multi-million dollar law firm is actually LESS work than running a $250k law firm, not more!

The ones that get that are the ones that have a written business plan and they are also the ones who are most successful and spending the most time with their families.

If you want our help getting started on YOUR business plan, click here to download your own FREE copy of the Business Plan Workbook.

If you think you may need help filling it out or want to know more about what How to Manage a Small Law Firm can do to help you increase revenue while also increasing your quality of life, please schedule an appointment with a member of my team.