By nature I am a person who functions best with a routine. Get up, walk the dog, drink a cup of coffee, then I get ready for my day. We could debate whether my degree in economics and focus on efficiencies came first or if my brain has always been wired for finding the fastest way to complete tasks but it all came in handy when I started my business. Whether you’re wired like that or it’s an acquired skill, when it comes to tech tips for new lawyers or any business owner, it’s important to have systems in place even if you’re running a solo practice.
Get out and get networking.
You’re not going to meet people by sitting in your office all day so you’ve got to participate in the community. Use apps like MeetUp to find where your ideal clients are meeting. Network with other attorneys and don’t be afraid to ask them questions; they likely have a wealth of knowledge to share.
In addition to meeting people in-person, I recommend developing a strong social media presence and a mobile-friendly website.
If you’re an estate planning attorney, consider Facebook as it is where many parents and grandparents spend time and they’re the ones seeking your guidance. Connect with your power partners and other attorneys on LinkedIn. Find groups related not only to the legal profession but also to your ideal client. If you’re a business attorney, find groups for business owners, entrepreneurs, and other professionals. Give your brand a voice so people can get to know you.
All too often I hear business owners tell me that they wish they had processes and procedures in place before their business expanded. Then they find themselves managing clients but their backoffice is either non-existent or inefficient. It might seem insignificant to have systems in place for appointment setting, document sharing, and task tracking when you have a small client load but trust me when I say that you will thank yourself later.
- Calendly or Accuity are good for appointment setting and can be integrated with iCal or Google calendar.
- Asana, Trello, and Slack track tasks. Slack has the added benefit of managing multiple tasks and conversations at one time. This can come in handy if you have an assistant or plan on hiring one later.
- Utilize CamCard to keep track of business cards and contacts instead of having stacks of cards all over your office.
- Evernote and Google Keep are perfect for on the go note taking and task tracking.
- Timekeeping apps like Toggl will help you track billable hours.
Keep in mind your practice will evolve and you will find other resources to replace to free and nearly free apps that are available. What is important is to get processes and procedures in place so you have a system for running your practice. If you don’t commit to that now, you may be drowning in tasks later.