The holidays are approaching, so what do you have planned? If you are like most law firm owners I know, you won’t be going anywhere without your smartphone, tablet or your laptop. That’s because you’ll undoubtedly be working.
If you could change that would you? Well, you can—if you learn to delegate the things that others can do better and focus on your core competencies.
For many years, I allowed my business to control me and dictate my life. I was afraid to take vacations longer than a week because I was certain my company would implode without my physical presence. If things were good, I was flying high, but if we lost a client or didn’t land the “next big deal,” I could be miserable to be around.
I am not going to lie to you and tell you that I’ve now reached nirvana, or that I never allow my business to affect my feelings. But the lows aren’t nearly as bad as they used to be and typically don’t last nearly as long. It’s taken several years and a lot of time, energy and hard work to get to where we are now.
I don’t share this with you to impress you, but to impress upon you that we absolutely, positively could have never achieved these goals without two things: (a) a strong, supportive team and (b) written systems we have put into place to help us “run” the business.
A growing number of law firms are finally recognizing that to build a financially successful business, you must focus on your core competencies and either delegate or outsource the rest of your business functions.
You didn’t go to law school to learn how to process payroll or to handle employee issues or to deal with difficult clients or run a small business. You went to law school to learn how to practice law and become a technically skilled attorney.
A similar parallel can be drawn to marketing—with some notable exceptions. Most of the time- and labor-intensive parts of marketing can be outsourced, for example: designing and developing a new website, writing content for your blog, running your social media marketing campaigns, improving your Google rankings with search engine optimization (SEO), or sending out a monthly e-newsletter.
There are some things you cannot outsource or delegate, like going to lunch with a referral source to solidify the relationship or giving a presentation to a group of potential clients. But for every one marketing activity you cannot outsource, there are three or four that you can — giving you the time to focus on what’s really important: growing your law firm.