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Managing A Solo Or Small Firm


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How to manage a small or solo law firm and still find time to practice law. Presented March 19, 2009 at Florida Bar Association conference in Orlando.

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Managing A Solo Or Small Firm

  1. 1. Managing a Solo or Small Firm & Still Finding Time to Practice Law By Attorney Steve Riley
  2. 2. The Success Trifecta <ul><li>3 “mind shifts” </li></ul><ul><li>3 pressures to manage </li></ul><ul><li>3 things to cultivate </li></ul>+ <ul><li>One strategy to learn </li></ul><ul><li>10 tips for focusing </li></ul>
  3. 3. Mind Shift 1
  4. 4. Focus Management vs. Time Management <ul><li>Time management is a failed paradigm </li></ul><ul><li>Most time management templates are for employees, but don’t work well for entrepreneurs </li></ul><ul><li>Learn to produce more results faster by focus management vs. time management </li></ul>
  5. 5. Mind Shift 2
  6. 6. Value Pricing <ul><li>Avoiding the loss of time through hourly billing engagements </li></ul><ul><li>Bundle package offerings </li></ul><ul><li>Resources to learn more about this concept </li></ul>
  7. 7. Mind Shift 3
  8. 8. Team Management is Critical <ul><li>Incentives and bonus system for results </li></ul>
  9. 9. 3 Pressures to Manage
  10. 10. Pressures on a Solo/Small Firm These three key areas of your firm must be juggled. Each must be given appropriate attention. If one is ignored, it will cause a crisis. <ul><li>Manage cash flow </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Seek future opportunities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do strategic planning </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. 3 Things to Cultivate for Success
  12. 12. Cultivate for a Healthy Practice <ul><li>Team – Quality members retained, new members coached </li></ul><ul><li>Clients – Maintain service standards, ask for repeat business </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional capital – Maintain your energy, confidence </li></ul>
  13. 13. One Strategy to Learn
  14. 14. Present Practice ™ , Future Practice ™ <ul><li>Your Present Practice ™ is today’s practice. It has cash flow needs, production needs and a calendar to keep. </li></ul><ul><li>Your Future Practice ™ is the practice you are working to create. To make it come to fruition, it requires strategic planning and time for working on future opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>The key is balance. Give your present and future practice days appropriate attention. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Tips for Planning Future Practice ™ Days <ul><li>Choose the project ahead of time </li></ul><ul><li>Write ahead of time the exact goal of the day </li></ul><ul><li>Share w/anyone who will be involved </li></ul><ul><li>Calendar yourself and any staff needed as unavailable for the day </li></ul><ul><li>Inform your team not to interrupt you </li></ul>
  16. 16. Tips for Having Future Practice ™ Days <ul><li>Bring lunch or order lunch in for you and any staff working with you </li></ul><ul><li>If ordering in, have orders taken the day before </li></ul><ul><li>Have water/coffee/snacks in the workroom </li></ul><ul><li>Each time someone has to leave, it’s a distraction </li></ul>
  17. 17. 10 Tips for Focusing
  18. 18. 1. Physical fitness = Financial fitness
  19. 19. 2. Turn the radio off, turn the phone on.
  20. 20. 3. Have a 5-minute huddle.
  21. 21. 4. Have a habit of building habits.
  22. 22. 5. “Good enough” wins 80% of the time.
  23. 23. 6. You can tolerate anything for 15 minutes.
  24. 24. 7. How you price = How you see the world
  25. 25. 8. Go on a volunteer diet.
  26. 26. 9. Don’t be a literary packrat.
  27. 27. 10. Beware of emotional vampires.
  28. 28. A More Focused Life Library <ul><li>Some recommended reading: </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Effective Executive” – Peter Drucker </li></ul><ul><li>“ Strengths Finder 2.0” – Tom Rath </li></ul><ul><li>“ The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” – Stephen R. Covey </li></ul><ul><li>“ Pricing on Purpose” – Ron Baker </li></ul>