Posts

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.

What Will 2019 Bring?

It’s that time of year again to start planning your New Year’s resolutions – what will 2019 bring? Whether it be to eat healthier, become more active, save money, or read more; we all have things we wish to improve upon. If you participate or not, setting resolutions is a fascinating part of American culture that has been a tradition traced all the way back to the ancient Babylonians over 4,000 years ago. That’s not the only fun fact about new year’s traditions!  The worldwide celebration of the new year is jam packed with some of the funniest, silliest, and downright craziest facts, traditions, and superstitions. Below we have listed some of our favorites:

Funny Facts

  • On average, 360 million bottles of champagne are consumed in the United States on New Year’s Eve
  • Ironically, the second most common new year’s resolution is to drink less.
  • 50% of Americans set resolutions, and by month four over 80% will have been unsuccessful.
  • More cars are stolen on New Year’s Day on average, than any other day of the year
  • Eating black-eyed peas, ham or cabbage on New Year’s Day are thought to bring prosperity while lobster and chicken are thought to bring bad fortune.
  • In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day as a symbol of good luck for the upcoming year.
  • The New Year’s Eve ball was introduced on November 11, 2008
  • Samoa and parts of Kiribati are the first places to welcome the New Year while American Samoa and Baker Island in the United States, are among the last.
  • Mexicans celebrate New Year’s Eve, by eating a grape with each of the twelve chimes of a clock’s bell during the midnight countdown, while making a wish with each one.
  • Tradition says that the more leafy greens a person eats on New Year’s Day, the more prosperity that is to come for them.

So, this New Year’s Eve/Day when you are spending time with family and friends, remember to eat those leafy greens, black eyed peas, cabbage, and ham…. And maybe park your car in safe place with the doors locked. But seriously…all jokes aside…remember to enjoy your time spent around the ones you love!  Celebrate the passage of another year and welcome whatever is in store for you in 2019!

Integrations That Work

If your firm hasn’t explored these integrations and feel they spend a lot of time with administrative tasks, its time to start making some changes. However, knowing the right integrations to use can be difficult, especially when there are so many different software programs out there.  To help you learn more about legal integrations, below is the list of a few that we use and how they are helpful:

 

  • Clio Grow: We have talked a lot about Clio Grow in past blogs because of its versatility. This integration allows us to add new leads and take notes on calls in your “Clio Grow Inbox.”
  • Acuity: A great scheduling tool for Outlook and Google calendar. This user- friendly software has turned scheduling, taking payments, and completing customized legal intake forms into a simple and easy process.
  • Appointment Core: A scheduling tool that integrates with InfusionSoft. This software allows our receptionists to easily schedule client appointments through booking links.

It Makes Life Easier

Integrations are here to help and make life easier, so if you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon yet, you are only making administrative tasks more difficult on yourself and your employees. We have adopted many integrations to make scheduling, billing, and payments seamless, so that we can provide the best services possible!  All of the integrations we use are on our website, where you can read a more in-depth description of their functions.

 

5 Things I Learned From Verne

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a Verne Harnish talk. Verne Harnish is the Founder of the global business network Entrepreneur’s Organization. He is the Venture Columnist for Fortune Magazine, and he’s the author of the bestseller Mastering the Rockefeller Habits. His latest book Scaling Up has also been very successful winning seven major international book awards including the prestigious 2015 International Book Award for Best General Business book.  And these are just a few of his many major accomplishments! Verne has spent the last 30 years using his expertise to help companies improve.

What I Learned

Attending this talk had me asking myself some important questions that I believe all businesses should be asking themselves if they are looking to ‘scale up’.  Here are 5 things that I learned:

  1. Honestly ask yourself where you get your energy. These are the tasks you should focus on and delegate or automate the rest.
  2. Start thinking about Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is here to stay and companies already using AI today will be the ones to stand out tomorrow. Think about various aspects of your business. What are some ways you predict AI will save you time and/or money?
  3. What 25 relationships do you need to achieve your business goals? Write down names and go seek those relationships and nurture them regularly.
  4. Every business should have a guarantee. Exadata’s great example is 5x faster than IBM or we give you $10,000,000. Domino’s is 30 minutes or it’s free. What can you guarantee your clients?
  5. Are you familiar with the 7/70 Rule? Go after 7% of a market segment and then dominate 70% of that market. For example, Ikea is only 6% of the furniture market but owns over 70% of the ready to assemble niche. Start researching how you can get your business there.

Looking at the bigger picture in this way will help you rearrange your business’ goals so that you are not just planning to improve or expand, but also analyzing how you can be ahead of competition and dominate your industry.

Book Bundle

In addition to Harnish’s own publishing’s, he recommends a Book Bundle List to encompass all aspects of your business.  These recommendations are his top book pics that will help you take your business to the next level!

  • Relationship Marketing by Regis McKenna
  • Am I Being Too Subtle by Sam Zell
  • The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki
  • Teeming by Tamsin Woolley-Barker
  • Outrageous Empowerment by Ron Lovett
  • Uncommon Service by Frances Frei
  • The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt
  • The Customer-Funded Business by John Mullins

Don’t be afraid to have bold goals and big dreams! With the right steps and planning, anything is possible for you and your business!

Emily @ Back Office Betties

 

Increase Workplace Happiness With A Dream Manager

If you are looking for employees who are loyal to your company, strive to meet company goals, take pride in their work, and want to see their organization grow more successful…then you need to understand the influence of job satisfaction. Employees who feel appreciated and tend to be happier are:

  • cared about by management
  • feel they can be trusted
  • given an appropriate workload

It’s not exactly rocket science that being treated well makes a person happier, but often organizations miss the mark with their attempts to increase employee job satisfaction.

Dream Manager Program

One of the more unorthodox, yet effective strategies at increasing employee happiness is implementing a dream manager program. Matthew Kelly’s book, The Dream Manager, shows how companies can have stupendous results by helping their employees achieve their dreams. A dream manager’s job is quite literally helping employees plan how to fulfill what they desire! This can be anything from helping an employee with their goal of running a marathon to helping an employee learn to make the perfect souffle!

While employees work hard to support company goals, in return, the company is helping them achieve their personal goals. This sends a message to the employees that their interests’ matter and that their lives outside of work matter.  More importantly, they feel valued. In turn, employees have more confidence, are more invested in their work.  They naturally will work harder and become generally happier, feeling more satisfied with their position.

If you’re looking for a way to increase job satisfaction, consider a dream manager program because it’s fun and rewarding. It truly benefits everyone! Furthermore, it’s doable for almost any company, no matter the size. Even small businesses can fulfill small employee dreams and goals.  It’s certainly a worthwhile investment!

 

Legal Intake: The Perks Of Automation

In past blogs we have discussed the perks of automating the intake process, and the perks of hiring a virtual assistant to take over administrative duties.  Combining the two of them can make your process seamless! The beauty of combining these two ideas is they work for virtually any firm, giving you customization and flexibility.

 

Create Your Own Intake Form

First, you will need to tailor your physical intake forms so that it makes sense for the kind of services your firm offers. Providing an intake form will save you so much time and energy because they are a way to organize important and necessary information neatly onto a sheet that you can use and reference when needed.

Using Clio is an easy way to create your intake forms and organizes them with the rest of your client data directly into the CRM platform. Choosing to use a platform like Clio has many perks other than just offering an automated intake form- it allows clients to e-sign documents, can schedule consultations, and it even offers fee arrangement automation.

Assign Your Intake Process To Your Virtual Receptionist

Once you have automated your intake forms and designed them to fit your services, you can assign the intake process to a virtual receptionist.  If you don’t have a virtual receptionist, check out our Blog about why you should think about hiring one.

Automation is particularly helpful to virtual receptionists because it saves them time from having to scan, fax, or mail in forms. An automated process allows the forms to be filled out and submitted online so once completed they are automatically entered into the system.

Let Technology Help You

You only have so much time in the day, and there is no way to get around those administrative duties. So, don’t shy away from technology. It will help take care of mindless tasks like data entry, so you can spend time with your clients.

And if you are ever considering hiring a virtual receptionist, look no further than Back Office Betties!

Legal Intake Forms: Why You Should Use Them

Do you currently use intake forms when answering new client calls? If not, you need to severely rethink your client intake! Using a detailed standardized intake form will streamline the process and ensure that important details have not been overlooked. If completing intake forms has not been working for you, perhaps your forms need a facelift. Here are some suggestions of what a great intake form includes:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact information
  • Details of the legal issue (some firms put a checklist here)
  • History of prior legal matters
  • Other firms they have worked with
  • And any other information they feel is relevant to the matter

If the form is too basic, or if it does not apply, then surely it won’t be helpful. Sometimes it is helpful to create different intake forms for specific needs or areas within your firm. Some firms choose to simplify things even more by doing their intake forms online through Clio.

Intake Forms Are Versatile

Offering intake forms are useful for areas other than just streamlining the intake process. They can be used as:

  1. A screening tool. If a prospective client is unwilling or hesitant to provide certain information, it could be a sign of problems to come.
  2. Documentation. Intake forms are a great place to document that you have discussed the fee arrangement with your prospective client and that they have agreed to the terms you set forth. This ensures right from the beginning that the prospective client can afford your services.
  3. A risk management tool. Having clients sign that the information on the intake form is correct can save you in the future if something is incorrect or inaccurate.
  4. Identify future needs. They can help you identify if a potential client needs any additional legal services that you may be able to help with in the future.

Intake Forms Are Useful

As you can see, intake forms are infinitely useful and can be implemented in any firm. Remember, they’re not just a tool to make life better for you- your prospective clients will also love them because they offer an easier, neater, and more streamlined process for them too! When your client is going through [sometimes] long, expensive, and messy legal matters, they will recognize and appreciate every effort made by you to simplify their case.

If you have yet to implement intake forms in your firm, what’s stopping you?

Improve Your Law Firm Process

Constantly looking for ways to improve your law firm is never-ending.  Now more than ever is the time to find an integrated system that can you with your practice management.  Clio Grow is just that – a groundbreaking cloud-based law practice management software program.  This system is designed to streamline day-to-day work of law firms and improve the tasks required.

Client Lifecycle Solutions

Here are some of the ways in which this system is providing you with end-to-end client lifecycle solutions:

  1. It allows you to organize your leads and house billable matters for clients all in one system.  Whereas before these had to be done through two separate systems. This means no more wasting time transferring data back and forth between systems and no more doing duplicate data entry.

 

  1. A cluttered billing system can be a nightmare to organize and manage, especially when it is clogged with old information that you may not need now, but you also don’t necessarily want to delete. Clio Grow acts like a filter to allow you to capture all the valuable information you need for leads. The good stuff makes it to Clio Grow for billing and casework, and the rest is stored so you don’t lose data that you may need again later.

 

  1. Clio Grow now greatly reduces the time spend doing data entry to intake forms by allowing clients to fill out forms on their own, then is automatically submitted. This eliminates the time is takes to be filled out by hand and then transcribed, saving you hours to time.  It also reduces typos made through the transcription process.

 

  1. For every new client, Clio Grow provides firms with an ROI measurement for investments in business development like marketing. This helps firms zero in on the business development strategies that work best for them, so they can continue to grow and acquire new clients.

Improve Your Process

If you are not a Clio user, there has never been a better time to become one. This technology is huge for law firms and is ever-changing and improving, continuing to make life easier and more seamless for you.

 

Methods To Gain Client Trust

When it comes to marketing, it seems the most unorthodox methods grab the attention of clients the most. That is why you and your firm should explore using video and client workshops to market your services. Lawyering requires excellent interpersonal communication skills, so it only makes sense to use workshops and videos to showcase your persuasive skills. Furthermore, videos allow complex information to be explained simply and quickly.

Deciding On Content

Deciding your video content and workshop topics depends on the type of services you offer. For example, family law firms could offer workshops educating potential clients about estate planning, how to avoid commonly made mistakes, and answer client questions. That same firm could also offer videos on their website answering frequently asked questions, unscripted testimonials, interviews with experts, and anything that they think will fulfill a need of their prospective client demographic.

What To Keep In Mind

When forming videos and workshop classes it is important to keep a few things in mind:

  • Keep it short and simple. When it comes to explaining complex concepts, speak in laymen terms, and keep it brief. The point of workshops and videos is to inform, not add to the confusion.

 

  • Be unique! You are trying to outshine your competitors and grab the attention of prospective clients so don’t be afraid to be bold.

 

  • Be relevant. Make sure you are staying relevant with your video and workshop content. As stated before, make sure the information you are offering is fulfilling needs of potential clients.

Create Trust & Credibility

Sharing your personality in this way can feel vulnerable but it is also one of the best ways to deliver ideas with authority and emotional impact!  Give your future clients a sneak peek inside your law firm and show them the personalities of you and your staff.  By showing them a little more about the firm, you are creating a sense of loyalty and credibility on your expertise.

Be a trail blazer and embrace informative videos and workshops before they become something every law firm offers. Use this as a tool to connect with potential clients and help them to see why your law firm is different.