Managing Your Law Firm in a Pandemic

Managing Your Law Firm Through PandemicManaging your law firm in a pandemic is not going to be anything like managing your law firm when the world isn’t in crisis mode. You have to stand firm in some areas and be much more lenient in others. You have to keep a much closer eye on your financials and be a little more flexible with your employees. This isn’t the same rodeo that you’re used to.

But the one thing that stays true is that you cannot give up! Your clients and our economy need you. Even if courts being closed has put a damper on your incoming cases, you will be highly desired as soon as they open again. It’s important to immediately shift your firm’s management practices so that you can still be afloat when that time arises.

4 Areas Where Your Law Firm’s Management Should Shift in a Pandemic

The key to keeping your firm running through the current worldly events that have shut down so much of the country is to keep your clients, staff, and bank accounts happy.

Support Your Clients Through This Difficult Period

Your clients are your livelihood – without them you are nothing. Now is not the time to be hard on them or force contracts down their throats. Everyone is in a similar boat; we are all struggling in some way through this current period of trauma. It may not look the same for you as it does for your clients, but it is important to understand where they are coming from when they make requests or cop an attitude.

  • Consider being lenient when upholding contract terms. If continuing to pay you will be detrimental to your client, you cannot expect that their experience will be good. You cannot expect that your working relationship will continue without a hitch. It may be in your law firm’s best long-term interest to let the clients go who are pushing back on their contracts. And honestly, do you want to be partially responsible for someone going hungry because you continued to charge them after they shared their situation with you? Save your sanity and your morals, and possibly elicit some rave reviews over your customer service, by letting them go.
  • Offer payment deferments or discounts. If you need to keep cash flowing in, one of the best ways to do so is to offer discounts that keep you working and retain your clients through their financial hardships.
  • Communicate with your clients. If things are changing in your law firm because of the pandemic, let your clients know! Whether that be a change of business hours, revision of policies, change in appointment types – keep your clients in the loop.
  • Encourage your clients to communicate with you. Let them know you are here for them and that they are free to discuss any current concerns with you.

Support Your Employees – Don’t Leave Them in the Dark

If you are realizing that you need to let some or all of your employees go to financially survive the pandemic, let them know as soon as you know. Dragging your feet and waiting until the last minute is just delaying them from getting the government support they can qualify for. Communication is key and relaying the complete truth to your staff is going to earn far more respect than leading them on and providing a false sense of hope.

If you do need to make some lay-offs, provide support to your staff through information. Inform them of the programs available to them in your state and assist them in filling out the forms they need. They are likely feeling a lot of the same stress that you are, so making this transition as easy as possible is going to help tremendously and prove your worth as an employer. You will need to staff up again when this is all said and done – don’t burn your bridges with the people who already know how you like to run your law firm.

However, if you are able to keep your employees on at their typical pay rate, please do so! Set your staff members up to work from home; show them that you prioritize their safety and stability. Not only will you be helping the people that you work closely with every day, but you will also be encouraging their loyalty to you.

Get Ahold of Your Financials

Right now is the perfect time to really take a look at your firm’s banking.

  • What do you spend vs bring in?
  • Is your income being affected by the Coronavirus pandemic?
  • What services are completely unnecessary for your law firm right now?
  • What services could you hire that would actually cut other costs?
  • Do you need to apply for some loans to float you through the pandemic?

Support Your Vendors and Services

If you have planned ahead and have cash reserves, now is the time to use them to help you while also helping the vendors and services that your company uses! Many companies are offering discounts and major deals when you pay in advance for the services you’ll receive in the future. This is a win-win; not only are you getting a great deal but you are helping to support the vendors that your law firm depends on and ensuring they still stand when the current crisis is over.

As an example, Back Office Betties is currently offering our clients a huge savings if they pre-pay for future months on their current plan. This helps us to continue helping them!

If you don’t have the cash reserves, just do your best to keep on as normal. The vendors that serve you rely on their clients’ payments to keep their wheels spinning and many are hurting right now as their clients cut costs.

 

We hope this post proves useful to you and provides you with some much-needed optimism. Have questions or want to chat about how we can help? Give us a call at (800) 958-8591 or reach out on Facebook.

Things To Do Other Than Panic About The Coronavirus

There is no doubt that many business owners are struggling right now in the face of a pandemic that is shutting everyone and everything down. Luckily, the Betties business model is set up to weather these types of storms. Our employees work from home every day so only minor schedule changes are needing to be made for team members with sudden loss of childcare. While we are able to keep on business as usual, we understand that many attorneys and business owners may not know what to do at this time.

Kids are home from school, your offices may be shut down, trials are being postponed, and clients still need your help.

Rather than panic, this is the time to take a look at your processes and start creating a new plan.

We’ve outlined some helpful ways to spend your time working on your business and ensuring that your law firm survives through this pandemic.

Go Virtual

  • Alert your client base that you will be taking virtual meetings over the phone or through a video meeting platform like Zoom. This keeps you and your clients safe while also allowing you to continue to prepare for their current legal matters.
  • Take advantage of our friends over at CLE Companion who are offering a discount with code “Betties” for your required online training.
  • If you typically operate with an in-house receptionist, set them up virtually to take your calls. Froward their phones and consider restricting your office hours.
  • If you typically take your own calls, set up virtual receptionist services so that you can focus on other aspects of the business while your kids are home and you’re juggling your family life. We are offering a 40% discount for one month to help attorneys get back on their feet during this time.

Work On Your Business, Not In Your Business

If business is slowing and active cases are falling off, it can be easy to feel defeat. But this is the prime time to really work on being efficient and productive. Don’t lose momentum because you can get through this.

  • As mentioned above, use this downtime to work on your required CLE trainings.
  • Draft up templates of common letters and documents you send out to clients and set up a workflow that automates them.
  • Create a campaign calendar for your marketing. Be sure to include options that you can run right now as well as when the pandemic madness is behind us.
  • Take a look at everything you do in the office that can be done virtually and start documenting processes for them. Our friends at Trainual are the perfect hosts for your documented processes and make it easy to share them with your team.
  • Create an emergency plan. Late is better than never! Use your downtime to create the plan for a business emergency that you wish you would have already had in place. Ideally, this plan will cover every possible scenario that could affect your business and outline how to proceed in each event.
  • Take business courses from the Small Business Association. They offer free online classes for every stage in your business, from startup to growth.

Ask For Help

  • Apply for a loan through the SBA. Rates are incredible and funds will be available in every state once they sign a declaration. Not every state has signed yet but every state will be added after their governor shows that their counties are being affected. Anyone who can show that sales and revenue are being affected and is a private business or private non-profit is eligible. Loans up to $25k will be available without providing collateral.
  • Facebook for business is offering $100 million in grants to 30,000 small businesses. More information will become available but grants mean you do not pay it back.

Other Resources

Above all else, stay positive, focused, and continue to work hard. The waters are rough right now and we are all in uncharted territory, but the best way to make it out alive is to keep on going.

If the Betties can help you with anything at this time, please feel free to give us a call at (800) 958-8591.

How to Choose the Best Virtual Receptionist for Your Law Firm

How to choose the best virtual receptionist service for law firmsSo you’re ready to hire a virtual receptionist for your law firm? Or, you’re ready to at least think about hiring a virtual receptionist. Congratulations! This is a huge step in the right direction for growth in your law firm. We’ve designated 2020 to be a year of growth here at Back Office Betties and we hope to help all of our attorney friends do the same.

There’s a lot to know before you choose the best virtual receptionist service for your law firm. There are countless services that all claim to be the best (we are shamelessly one of them!), so research is key. What are your priorities when it comes to hiring a virtual receptionist? Is it 24/7 call answering? Or can you make do with normal business hours? Do you prioritize high-quality calls or is quantity over quality your motto? Regardless, we’ve compiled all you need to know right here in this handy dandy article!

Why should law firms hire an answering service?

It’s no secret that a phone that never stops ringing is a giant pain in the rear. What is a little surprising, though, is just how much those phone calls interrupt your daily work! Did you know that attorneys spend an average of only 2.5 hours on billable work each day? That makes up only approximately 30% of a typical workday. In addition, according to the 2019 Clio Legal Trends report, only 86% of those billed hours actually get paid.

Do you want to work for free? Certainly not!

The right virtual receptionist or answering service not only frees up your time and reduces your interruptions, but they also help to follow up and collect those missing payments.

Now, you may ask, why shouldn’t I just hire an in-house receptionist to handle all of that?

One of the most obvious answers to that question is: Cost. To hire a full-time legal receptionist, you’re looking at a cost of approximately $4,123.60 per month after factoring in employer taxes and benefits. Add to that the lost income from time spent recruiting, hiring, and training someone, plus the time lost for managing 1 employee (6 hours/week, by the way).

Now spin around and look at pricing for an answering service. With services offering a range of approximately $70 per month up to $1599 per month, even the top plans are going to give you major bang for your buck! The fact that you don’t lose any time managing or recruiting staff is just a bonus. Check out the following graphic we created for more stats on this:

Cost of hiring in-house receptionist for law firms

Is your law firm ready to hire a virtual receptionist?

The first step to hiring a virtual receptionist is deciding whether or not you are ready. If you spend your days frustrated and chronically ignoring calls that come through, the answer is that you probably are! But there are some other key points to consider:

  • Are you ready to hand over the reins when it comes to being the first client contact?
  • Do you want to land more business than ever before?
  • Will you be organized enough to follow up with messages you didn’t take yourself?

If you said no to any of the above, you might not be ready yet! That’s totally okay, but keep in mind that doing the same thing gives you the same results. Bookmark this article and keep researching, but come back here when you feel like you might be ready.

What does your law firm need in an answering service?

Now that you have determined that you are in fact ready to hire, it’s time to figure out your priorities. No two answering services or virtual receptionist services are the same! Some offer extended hours, some offer higher quality calls, some are cheaper, and some are legal experts. Let’s narrow down your priorities to determine what you need to ask your prospects!

  • What are your business hours? When do people typically call you? If you get calls at all hours, you might consider a 24/7 service. If you only get the occasional after-hours call, a business hours only service will be perfectly fine!
  • Do you want help with client intake? Will you entrust your virtual receptionists to intake new clients? Or do you prefer they simply take a message so that you can do the intake at a later date?
  • What is your budget? If you are strapped for cash, you may not have much choice in the matter. You don’t want to overstretch the budget if you aren’t sure you’ll get a return. However, it’s important to keep in mind how many billable hours your answering service will free up (if they take intakes and follow-up off your plate!). Oftentimes the pricier service that offers higher quality call-handling is worth the return!
  • What is the size of your firm? Different services offer different plans and some may be more conducive to smaller or larger firms than your own. Do your research and determine how many people will be receiving messages and/or transfers, then choose your service and plan accordingly.
  • Is your client intake complicated? If you have a lengthy and complicated legal client intake, it is in your best interest to research plans specifically for lawyers. Legal-trained receptionists will help your potential and current clients to feel more comfortable through the intake process. Not to mention, they will be more efficient and understanding of your law firm’s terminology and processes.

Choose the company that best meets your needs.

After considering all variables and deciding what your firm really needs from a virtual receptionist or answering service, and the things you can live without, you can choose the best company for your needs. No single company is the right fit for every law firm, and you might even find that it takes you a few trial runs before you find the company that works best for you! However, once you find that perfect fit, you won’t be sorry. The stress-reduction of trusting someone else with the calls you can no longer handle is worth every penny!

Have any further questions? Feel free to reach out in the comments or over on Facebook!

How to Understand (and Market to) Your Law Firm’s Ideal Clients

Marketing to your law firm's ideal clients

Marketing is one of those tricky parts of business that nobody really understands unless you’ve previously worked in the field. There are so many tips out there and everyone thinks that their way is the only way. The thing is, there are a few key principles that every marketing tactic or campaign needs to be successful. Determining who your law firm’s ideal clients are is one of those keys.

Today, we want to show you how to nail down your ideal client. Working under the impression that everyone is your ideal client and needs your services quickly leads to serving no one. Quit throwing everything at the wall and hoping it sticks! Once you know who you’re talking to, it’s a whole lot easier to know what to say.

At Betties, we started out offering our services to any small business that wanted us! We quickly realized that many people and businesses didn’t value what we offered. We also realized that it was impossible to offer the level of service we wanted to while juggling calls for multiple business types. Our team took a step back and asked: Who do we like working with the most? The answer was unanimous: Attorneys. At that point, we were able to nail down the specific problems our attorney clients needed help with. This has helped guide our messaging as well as the services we provide.

If you’re currently marketing to everyone, or not marketing to anyone at all, you need to keep reading! Let’s get your ideal client nailed down so you can start truly helping them.

Steps to identifying your law firm’s ideal clients

1) Brainstorm the problems your law firm solves

Remember those handy dandy bubble maps we made in school before starting a paper or project? Take us back because that’s the perfect start to finding your firm’s clients. You need to know what problems you solve before you can know who needs help with said problems! Start with the types of law you practice and branch out with various case types underneath those branches. Get as detailed as possible so that you can really understand the problems your clients are facing.

2) Make a list of your favorite clients

This step is definitely more so for established firms and businesses. Once you’ve discovered certain people that you love working with, make a list of them. Start to process some of their characteristics and find similarities. Do they live in similar areas? Do they share careers? What about familial status? What are their personality types? Male or female? How old are they? Political affiliations? Answering as many of these questions as possible and finding similarities can make it surprisingly simple to understand who your law firm’s ideal clients are. You may already be working with them!

3) Determine how many client profiles you serve

Your clients may not all be in exactly the same circumstances. Especially if you offer multiple services or practice more than one area of law. If you notice that your favorite clients don’t necessarily overlap, or perhaps you solve different problems, consider creating multiple profiles. Start with the problem you are solving and work backward as to who that solution serves. This will help when advertising different services or marketing on different platforms. If one set of clients hangs out on Facebook, target them there with messaging directed at them. If another set of clients hangs out on LinkedIn, market to them there!

Keep in mind – you don’t want to go overboard. Slight differences do not necessarily require an all-new profile if your messaging can work for both ideal clients.

4) Who are your competitors serving?

If you don’t yet have a robust favorite client list, look at your competitors. Who are they serving and who do they market to? Follow them on social media and check out their lead magnets. Who are they speaking to? What are they offering? This might help you to determine if your ideal client is similar or if you have a unique audience that they can’t help.

If you don’t want to make it known that you are “spying”, Kim Garst offers some valuable tips on software to follow your competitors’ email blasts without actually subscribing.

 

Okay, I know who I want to serve. Now what?

Speaking to your ideal clients

Now that you know who you are talking to, it will be easier to determine your messaging and how you market to them. The most important part of marketing your firm is to ensure that your potential clients want to hear what you are saying. Nothing turns you off of a company faster than a message you don’t align with, right?

1) Create content that speaks to solving their problems

You identified the problems your law firm solves and you determined the problems of your ideal client profiles. Put those together and market directly to each problem that your ideal clients face. You can do this through informative and helpful blog posts and other free content, as well as speak to how you help solve those problems in your advertising and landing pages. For instance, if your ideal client is having trouble planning his estate and wants to be sure his family doesn’t have to worry about anything, you might create messaging around your uncomplicated, done-for-you estate planning services that will set his family up to thrive after he is gone.

2) Show up where your clients hang out

If your ideal clients hang out on Facebook, you want to advertise to them there and have an active Facebook Business Page. If your ideal clients ride the bus, you might want to utilize bus stop advertising opportunities or have your ads inside the bus. Do your clients attend conferences? What kind? Show up as an authoritative figure there!

When you know where your clients are and what problems they are having, it’s easy to attract them to you with marketing that surrounds them.

 

Did you find this post helpful? We’d love for you to share your ideal client profile in the comments or over on Facebook!

Why Your Company Culture Matters

Why Company Culture MattersYour company culture is a big deal – it’s the actual backbone of your company. A bad one and your business will be in pain, struggling to keep itself ahead. A good one and you’ll be running metaphorical marathons, way ahead of the competition. Why? Because good company culture makes for happier employees and happy employees do better work.

What exactly is company culture?

Company culture can be defined as a set of shared values, goals, attitudes and practices that characterize an organization.

However, it goes so much deeper than this general definition. Anyone you ask will have their own definition of company culture. The measure of company culture varies widely from place to place. But in the end, your employees are the ones who will give you the most insight into what your culture actually is.

We like to think that company culture is a representation of how you nourish your employees. Everything you do for your employees directly relates to their retention, respect for the company, willingness to be flexible, and the impression they leave on your clients. That leaves the question: What do your employees value and what shows them that they’re important to you? Do you offer special benefits, aside from health insurance and PTO? Are you open to criticism? Can employees come to you with new ideas or is everything your way or the highway? It must be clear to your employees that they are valued and important to your business’ success through how you speak to them, how they are managed, and the workload itself. Otherwise, what is the point of the work they do?

Why is all of this important?

If you find yourself constantly struggling to hire and retain employees, your company culture may be to blame. According to FastCompany, more than two-thirds of applicants want to know what the company’s culture is like over anything else when making a career change. That is pretty significant! But when you really think about it, it’s understandable. Who wants to stick around somewhere where they feel undervalued?

In addition, employees who feel there is a lack of respect among colleagues are 26% more likely to quit their job. Cultivating an environment where employees admire and respect each other is one key to good culture. This applies to the entire team, from CEO down. Employees who don’t like their boss are 4 times more likely to find a new job. On the other hand, 60% of employees would rather work with a boss they love for a 50% pay cut than work for a boss they hate at a higher salary.

Not only is turnover expensive, but it also negatively affects your level of customer service. The head of customer and employee success over at JustWorks states that “the best way to support customer happiness is actually to ensure employee happiness first.” He goes on to talk about the correlation of happy employees and higher Net Promoter Scores – the score that gauges how likely someone is to recommend a product or service. To have happy customers, you need happy employees.

Take a look at Google

Google is widely known as an amazing company to work for, as shown here by their ratings on Glassdoor. The reason behind their being such a great company to work for comes down to the culture they promote within. Flexibility, fun, trust, and collaboration are all keys to their company culture and allow employees to feel heard, respected, and valued. The CEO eats lunch in the same room as the rest of the employees. They also offer fun perks like nap pods and free snacks and employees are encouraged to work when and how they want. Employees want to be there and they want to contribute. Ideas flow and work gets done because every member of the Google staff is treated as an equal and important part of their business.

You don’t need to believe us, though. A research team from the University of Warwick explained that “Companies like Google have invested more in employee support and employee satisfaction has risen as a result. For Google, it rose by 37%; they know what they are talking about. Under scientifically controlled conditions, making workers happier really pays off.”

An example of poor company culture

On the other hand, you may have heard about the recent issues with poor company culture at luxury luggage brand, Away. A controlling CEO, lack of independence & privacy, and reduction of benefits all led to extremely low morale and eventually, the CEO stepping down due to backlash from employee unhappiness. Employees were required to make all communications public to the entire team, time off was taken away under the guise of motivation, and the CEO was known to use harsh language to berate staff in front of everyone else. Fear of making a mistake or saying the wrong thing was at the forefront of the staff’s minds. Constant fear of criticism leads to decreased productivity. Decreased productivity leads to reprimanding employees. The cycle is vicious and employees simply do not last at Away. If the business hopes to retain its employees and ultimately succeed, there is work to be done on their culture.

 

Core ccomapny values as related to company culture

Back Office Betties company culture

Emily (CEO & Founder), being the customer service and culture queen that she is, puts both of these aspects of business above all else. In fact, she views both as symbiotic. You can’t have one without the other! Some of the most important aspects towards achieving the great company culture at Back Office Betties are:

  • The use of Culture Index in hiring to ensure that the position someone is hired for is the right fit for their personality type
  • Availability and accessibility of management for discussion of concerns, ideas, and day-to-day chit chat
  • Thoughtful compensation plans and benefit packages, including generous PTO
  • Twice yearly wellness days where we give each employee an extra day off and the gift of pampering
  • Granting “Wishes” for birthdays and going above and beyond or meeting a goal
  • Anonymous OfficeVibe surveys every week to determine receptionist happiness and areas of opportunity
  • Remote work – Every staff member of Back Office Betties works from the comfort of their own home!
  • Team chat that provides means of easy communication and community between team members
  • Team get-togethers in all three of the states our employees live

As you can see, we take our employee happiness extremely seriously. This is not necessarily a complete list but you get the picture. It’s no secret that we love customer service and we’ve learned that a smiling staff is key to delivering! Our receptionist happiness goal is to always be above 9/10 and we hit it nearly every time.

How can you improve your company culture?

If you’ve noticed that your employees could be happier or aren’t performing to the degree you know they’re capable of, consider making some changes. Improving the company culture of your law firm doesn’t require extreme measures. No need to add the expenses of an in-house kitchen like Google right off the bat! Start small.

  • Establish your core values and implement policies that positively enforce them. Involve the whole team in this for best results.
  • Set the example for your company’s core values
  • Smile more in passing
  • Open your office to allow dialogue
  • Create a space that your staff is happy to walk into each morning. If you can’t do that, consider offering remote work opportunities to your highest performers
  • Offer small snacks in the break room
  • Send an anonymous survey to your staff regarding what may help them to feel more valued
  • Give praise when you recognize great work
  • Take some work off of their plate. Allowing burnout is like taking a hammer to your company culture.
  • Be human! Apologize when you are wrong, say thank you when appropriate, and relate to your staff on a personal level

Implementing some of the above is a great first step to getting your team back on track. Once you are able, add in some perks or update your benefits package. Create a reward system for positive reinforcement. You will see increased productivity and a fantastic general shift in work environment!

Have comments to add? What do you do to enforce a good company culture? Let us know!

Know Your Position When Playing the Game

It is human nature to always be searching for something better, the proverbial ‘grass is always greener on the other side’. We might have fooled ourselves into believing that a constant search for success is what will eventually get us there, but this mindset is what is limiting us in our businesses.

Basketball pro Bill Walton believed hyper focusing on your weaknesses does nothing but chew up time that could be spent sharpening your strengths. The truth is, there are just some things we aren’t good at, and we never will be. But there is a silver lining; there are things we are great at that other people aren’t. And it is these things we should be focusing on.

Stick with What You Know

So how do we do this? It is as simple as sticking with what you know, and really pushing yourself towards improvement in those areas. This was a lesson I learned the long and hard way, but when I finally realized I don’t have to be good at everything, I was really liberated. You have employees and coworkers for a reason! Each person has a set of unique skills and abilities, and like a puzzle, they can fill the gaps you can’t.

In the game of basketball, one person isn’t responsible for every position on the court. If so, there would be no game, it would be constant failure, especially when competing with teams who operate like a well-oiled machine. So, it’s silly to think different rules apply when it comes to our businesses.

Push yourself outside your comfort zone with your strengths. Be more than just “good” at your strengths… be great!  If you’re point guard, then be the best point guard you can be, and stop trying to master the role of playing the forward. You have what it takes to be successful, so start applying those skills!

Back Office Betties

Simplify Your Law Firm

Marie Kondo is on to something with her philosophy to discard anything and everything that does not “Spark Joy.”   It’s a very effective method for tidying up your house!  But, there is some real wisdom to her mantra that can be applied to every aspect of our lives, including in your law firm.

The ‘KonMari’ Method

Here is why Marie Kondo’s philosophy is life changing:

  • It’s simple and offers quick results.  In the ‘KonMari Method’ all tidying should be done comprehensively all at once so clutter can’t be pushed from one place to another. In our businesses when we start to declutter, whether that be literally or figuratively (getting rid of vendors who don’t serve you, employees who just aren’t working, etc.) it should be done all at once.  This is so messes don’t get piled somewhere else becoming a problem for a later date.

 

  • Teaches you to appreciate what you have. When you are in the decluttering process, you are made aware of all that you have creating a deeper sense of appreciation. It also impacts future behavior patterns. You become aware of what really works for you, and what doesn’t.
  • Sorting by category keeps you from being overwhelmed and disorganized. At times we have so much to declutter and toss out we have no idea where to start. With the KonMari Method, decluttering is done by category.  You do not move on to the next category until the one is finished. It teaches to take things one step at a time and to not get so far ahead of ourselves.

Spring is right around the corner, so in the spirit of regrowth, take time to see how you can declutter your life. Whether that be in personally or professionally… there’s always room positive change and personal growth!

Pruning Your Business

When you’ve invested so much time and energy into your business, it’s like having a garden full of rose bushes.  For your roses to flourish, you must give them the love and attention they need so they can grow and bloom.  Your business is like pruning a garden…. sometimes you need to prune the dead weight in your business.

Pruning for Success

If you are hesitant about pruning your business, or scared to step on a few toes, remember these things:

  • Pruning will make your business healthier. When a plant has overgrown and has unhealthy branches, it will become stressed. The plant then invests in precious resources to revive these dying branches. This pursuit can end up depriving the healthy limbs from getting the nutrients they need.  Consider not investing in resources to something that’s dying in your business!  Eliminate what isn’t useful before you end up compromising healthy functions within your business.
  • Pruning will make your business more appealing and organized. Nothing is more discouraging to potential consumers than a disorganized and chaotic business. Evaluate things like software that needs to be updated or replaced; or vendors that aren’t serving your business needs.
  • Pruning allows you to modify and shape your vision. Prune back so you can explore new territory, meet new demands, and reach new consumer markets – all aligning with your vision.
  • Prune so you have less of a mess to clean up later. The less time you spend cleaning up messes, the less you will have to manage, which means more time for you to focus on the direction of your business.

It’s never easy having to make the decision to do some pruning, but once you move forward with it, you will be so grateful you did.

 

 

What Are You Bad At?

Despite the things you may have heard, it is in fact okay for your firm to be bad at things. There is no such thing as perfection.  However, there is such thing as niche expertise, and that is where you should strive to be. For example, if you are focused on your clientele and you should have a strong understanding of your ‘dream’ client – the more you will be able to meet his/her needs.

What Walmart Knows…

Let’s use an example like the store Walmart for instance. Walmart knows exactly who they are catering to, and they are offering exactly what their customer base wants- affordable grocery and retail products.  It’s not a glamorous, upscale shopping experience…. and for them it doesn’t have to be!  If Walmart wanted to become a high-end retailer, they would not be able to do that and keep their prices low.  They cater to the budget-conscious consumer and are ok not serving the higher-end retail customer.  They have embraced their strengths, and they are dominating their niche because of it.

Our Niche

At Back Office Betties, we are a prime example as well!  Our ‘dream’ clients are small law firms.  We can provide a very specialized service to attorneys that need a virtual receptionist.  Lawyers want to help their clients win cases and they cannot focus on what’s important if they are constantly answering the phone.  We are the team that stands behind the scenes and takes care of phone tasks with our professional legal receptionists.  Because we identify what we are best at, we provide unparalleled service in our industry!

Find Your Niche

As you decide to develop you niche further, find out what your bad at first and eliminate that.  Then focus on what your firm is good at. What is your niche? Who is your dream client?  Just remember, you don’t need to please everyone!

What Makes You Different?

In order to be the obvious choice among your competitors there are a few things to consider.  Many law firms struggle with how to successfully stand out because they are competing with firms that offer the same services.  However, there are many ways you can break the status quo and offer one of a kind services to your clients.

Quick Tips

The following steps are the best way law firms can really connect to their clientele and increase client bookings:

Know your customer: Have a firm grasp of who your ideal client is (wants, needs, and expectations) and have tailored services for that person. Naturally, if you build your services around your dream client you will start attracting more of that client.

Identify your niche: What is your firm best at? Oppositely, where are your weak spots? Instead of getting hung up on perfection, focus on the areas you are good at and let go of some of the weak spots and those areas that aren’t in demand with your ideal client.

Meet their needs: Now that you know your dream client, identify their unmet needs and address them in the services you offer.

Build a team: Build a team that is a great culture fit for you and your firm. It’s imperative they understand your goals, needs, and that they work hard to make the firm reach its best potential.

Don’t be afraid to step outside of the box and really explore how you could be better serving your clients. These principles will make a world of difference for your firm and greatly improve your relationships with your clients.

 

If you are looking for a more in-depth analysis of each of these principles and how you can apply them then check out the Back Office Betties eBook  Stand Out: How to Be the Obvious Choice.