The importance of operations in a law practice isn’t always obvious to attorneys.
This is mainly because legal businesses — especially solo firms — are usually small outfits. They don’t think they need to worry about business operations when the firm only consists of an attorney, and assistant, and possibly an associate.
Does this sound familiar to you?
If so, you might fall into the rhythm most lawyers follow — work comes in, you do the work, work goes out, you handle the administration, etc.
You don’t think there needs to be an operational infrastructure because it all seems so simple.
It may seem simple until you hit a ceiling, though.
There are only so many hours in the day and when attorneys hit a ceiling, many of them just stop and stare. What was once so simple now seems impossible and they can’t find a way to get any more hours back.
This is all because of an operational problem.
What Are Business Operations?
Operations are absolutely critical, but many attorneys misunderstand the concept.
It’s basically a specific set of processes handled by people to achieve a desired result. Ideally, these ‘people’ are people other than you, the business owner.
The real key with business operations is making everything repeatable.
Even if the concept sounds a little foreign, the fact is, you already use operations in client work.
Clients come to you and give you a set of facts. Your brain then runs an algorithm that matches up the facts and circumstances with patterns you’ve seen in the past. Then your brain factors in the law.
That seems like an incredibly complex process, but fortunately, the operations of your business is far simpler.
Operational Problems and Opportunities
If you’re looking to gain leverage — the ability to support more clients with higher quality and high repeatability — operations is where you need to spend most of your thinking.
If you feel like there’s no time left in the work week, you have an operations problem.
If you’re feeling like you can’t deliver, or that clients are controlling your business instead of you, you have an operational problem.
These operational problems are solved one of two ways.
1. Implement a Process
The first solution is gain a clear understanding of the problem and put a process in place.
This process can be something you create yourself or a complete system from our Practice Growth Program.
2. Delegate the Tasks
The other solution is to delegate.
You can either delegate to someone on your team who has a defined process, or you can delegate to an outsourced provider.
At Practice Alchemy, people delegate their marketing to us so our Marketing Services group handles everything for them.
If you’re feeling out of control, out of time, or that things aren’t up to your desired quality standards, there’s most likely an operational problem that needs to be addressed.
The best part is, operational problems are completely solvable. As much as you’re a unique individual, the problems you face as a business owner are relatively straightforward. Thousands of attorneys around the country are dealing with the same problems you are.
We’ve seen hundreds of circumstances where operational problems need to be solved, and the same general set of principles always holds true.
So, if you’re feeling out of control, out of time, or that things aren’t up to your desired quality standards, I really suggest that you look into the operations of your business.
Don’t show up to the office every day and make it up. Instead, put some time and effort into creating processes or delegating. You’ll see that your time, energy, and capacity to take more clients will grow tremendously.