Has firefighting become your law firm’s strategy? Solving business issues after they have become full-blown problems not only costs money, it rarely cures the underlying problem.

Issues don’t have to become problems

Clients become severely late on receivables. Associates go over-budget on flat-fee matters. Utilization dips when the weather gets nice. Attorneys quit. Support staff become disengaged.

Business issues arise all the time. Do you address them before they become full-blown problems? Or, do you find yourself constantly fighting fires?

Law firm management can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling endeavor

Effective law firm strategy requires managing partners to have real-time visibility over the business. On a daily basis, you need to know:

  • Are the “right dollars” coming in the door?
  • Are you on budget?
  • Is everyone working on the right matters at the right time?

Analytics will save you heartache

Analytics wont solve all of your problems. But analytics WILL prevent you from having to constantly fight fires.

Knowing that you have an emerging business issue before you have a full-blown problem is paramount. Analytics allow partners to detect, address, and resolve emerging issues such as:

  • Declining utilization
  • Low realization
  • Matters that go over-budget
  • Past-due receivables

Seeing problems as they develop is not like watching a slow-motion train wreck

Leveraging the data your firm creates everyday to identify, address, and resolve emerging business issues will prevent you from having full-blown crises. Seeing problems develop enables partners to fix the underlying business-issue, not just “fight the fire”.

Analytics customized for your firm

Using boilerplate reports to measure performance and monitor your business is a bad idea. Every law firm is unique. You have a unique team of talent, a unique set of clients, and a unique financial profile.

Your analytics should make you money. You should be receiving simple, straight-forward information that makes your life easier.

  • Want more time to devote to marketing?
  • Want to spend more time consulting on cases?
  • Want to spend more time exploring endeavors that will make your firm more successful?

Analytics will make you a more effective manager. You’ll make more money, resolve issues before they become “fires”, and have more time devoted to endeavors that create value.

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Own it.

Own it.

Whenever someone says they want to “manage” something, I cringe.

I immediately ask myself, is there a better word? After all, words matter. The words we chose carry deep significance, not just because of their inherent meaning, but because they give insight into our actions. They cast light on our motivations.

So when people tell me they’re going to manage something (or even worse, manage-through something), I immediately try and discern whether they’re setting themselves up for failure.

After all, ownership breeds success. Management reeks of passivity.

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Christopher Catapano, Bridgesphere Strategic Planning

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