Build Your Own Law Firm #8: Time Management, Part 1 – Hierarchy

Business owners get paid when they work.  You’ll no longer be collecting a salary and feeling comfortable about going online to shop at Amazon for a half hour in the middle of the day any longer.  The name of the game is hustle.

That being said, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed when starting a law firm.  One of the primary symptoms of that problem is the desire to do everything at once.  It’s frustrating to know that you’re good at what you do, but that your business is taking time to take off.  But, the key to building a new law firm, and what you should spend the vast majority of your initial time on, is letting everybody else know how good you are.

If you don’t have a book of business, you need to spend 90% of your time — and, that is not an exaggeration— building one.  While you may not want to be overly aggressive in year one in constructing a revenue projection model, there is no way you can be too aggressive in creating a marketing plan.  In fact, if you think your marketing plan is too aggressive, you should up the ante.  The sooner you can get that marketing engine in place, the sooner you meet and exceed your financial projection, the more likely it is that your business will succeed.  Of course, it doesn’t stop there; and, consistent business development is the watchword for every successful solo or small firm lawyer.

If you do have a book of business, and it’s not enough to cover your expenses and/or a salary for yourself, revert back to the last paragraph, and read it again.  If you do have a book of business that is comfortable for you, even for an extended period of time, note well that revenue is always a moving target for law firms, and you must continue to discover new referral sources and client generation modules to guarantee your future success.  You should also keep in mind that your new brand will not resonate overnight; that will take at least two years to develop.  The fact that you have shifted from (insert seven names) Law to (insert your own name or brand name) Law means that it’s going to take time for people to associate you with your new business rather than your old business.  And, frankly the more successful you were marketing yourself in your old job, the harder it will be to disassociate yourself from that brand, and to associate yourself with the new one.

Marketing is job one for every new law firm owner; and, the truth of the matter is that it will likely remain job one for the remainder of the life of your practice, whatever form it takes.

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