I was in Boca Raton and in 2017 I was at the Waldorf Astoria for the LawFirm 500 fair. I’ve been to a lot of legal technology fairs now, but I noticed that because it was different. As? Even if you weren’t a lawyer, you would know a thing or two about the business and how to scale it. When I got to my booth, I started a conversation with a lawyer who told me that she had heard of our company and would have used it if she was still practicing. I asked her why she was no longer a lawyer and she told me that she had sold the firm for a few million dollars and was now a consultant. I had to ask how it got so successful since a few million dollars isn’t pocket money.
“My company grew from 3% annual sales to 300% and that’s when I knew I had something.”
That statement alone will stop any business owner and lawyer asking how that was possible. And that’s exactly what I did: “Do you mind telling me how you made your law firm so profitable?”
“We have established and enforced policies and procedures.” Policies and procedures are as they did it, and as boring as it sounds, it is actually the most logical thing you can do to scale your business over time. If you’ve grown your law firm by now, you know how empowered it is to run a business where people depend on you. You have all the answers and you get things done. But what if you can’t come to the office because you were on vacation or worse, GD forbids dealing with a major life crisis? How is your company doing when the only person who knows how to run it is not available? Policies and Procedures. What if you’ve got a surge in growth and now you’ve hired a handful of new employees and need to train them to train them exactly how they need to be while attracting new customers?
Policies and procedures are designed to automate your law firm so that it doesn’t fall on your shoulders every time. What do I do if a customer wants to know their balance? How should your paralegal file the casework that was done for you? Who is responsible for sending customer invoices and in what format? Whether it is simple or important day-to-day tasks in your law firm, your policies and procedures will help your law firm how to proceed if they don’t know how. Policies and procedures will help scale your business and business by:
- Take away second guesses about everyday decisions and practices
- Fast new hires
- Empower employees and managers to run day-to-day business operations when they are not around
- Ensure a consistent and efficient business flow across all departments (this can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars if there is no efficient workflow)
Once I left this conference, I spent hundreds of hours updating our company’s policies and procedures for 7 departments. Think of policies and procedures as code (for all the techie out there) designed for your business to help out in a variety of situations. If that happens, do this. As new employees join the company, they are given our policies and procedures to learn and apply so they can become self-sufficient. If a mistake is made, we immediately refer to our policies and procedures to be cross-referenced if the correct protocol has been used. Often times, when a mistake was made, it was because someone didn’t follow our policies and procedures. Policies and procedures have helped save huge amounts of money, avoid costly mistakes, and scale departments to function like a machine.
© Copyright 2020 PracticePantherNational Law Review, Volume VIII, Number 67