Earlier this summer, when gifted a large watermelon, I accidentally discovered an easier approach to cutting it. After splitting the watermelon in two, instead of balancing the watermelon on its rind and slicing down on the fruit, I found that flipping the watermelon over and cutting directly into the rind enabled me to finish the job in a matter of seconds – and with more uniform, attractive slices besides.
Admittedly, mastering watermelon is a small task (plus one I could have figured out years ago if I’d consulted the internet – duh!) – but it’s made a huge difference. Since my discovery, my daughters and I have easily consumed a dozen watermelons (not to mention watermelon feta salads and watermelon fruit water) – whereas typically, we would have indulged only at picnics or other events where someone else was doing the cutting.
My watermelon experience got me to thinking: are there are small, seemingly insignificant tasks in a law practice which if changed could produce far greater financial benefits or personal pleasure? Again – I’m not talking about big structural reforms like adopting a law practice management system or hiring an employee, but rather simple changes in habits that alone or collectively improve your mood or your bottom line.
Here are two quick examples from my practice:
– Hands-free wireless headset. OK – so this one came at my audio-book-loving husband’s urging – but he was right. The hands-free headset makes it easier for me to return phone calls on long drives (since I often go out to visit pipeline sites or handle cases in Baltimore, which is a 50 minute commute), and to listen to audio books on days that I walk or bike to my office. The headset makes me more productive at work, and lets me squeeze in an activity – reading – that I couldn’t make time for.
Uber Accounts – I’ve written previously how setting up Uber accounts for my daughters has served as back up for times, particularly when my husband was sick, that I couldn’t fetch them myself. This summer, setting up a Business Uber Account for my two law clerks – neither had cars — so they occasionally needed to rely on cabs when Metro wasn’t running or simply broke down. Instead of setting up a petty cash fund or having the clerks outlay their own money and then wait to be reimbursed, with Uber, they’d push a button and my credit card would be billed (Note to conference organizers – maybe you should set up Uber accounts for speakers so they don’t have to pay for cabs). Seamless.
Taking things a step further, are there small changes that can transform your client’s experience in your office? Maybe offering hot coffee or snacks, having wireless available in the Internet or following up after you’ve sent a large document to see if your client has any questions. These tiny changes can pay back big time, and make your client’s experience as sweet as well….a slice of cold, neatly-segmented watermelon on a hot summer’s day.
What are some of your firm’s small practice tweaks that have improved your experience or made your clients’ lives easier. The Comment section is open.