As we start on Week Number 4 of the pandemic lockdown, everyone is growing restless and nervous. For many solo and small firm lawyers, the reality of at least another month’s worth of case postponements and reduced intake has settled in. Meanwhile, if my personal email box is any indication, vendors, marketers and coaches galore are bombarding solo and small firm lawyers with dozens of offers on automation, boosting revenues, pivoting a practice and everything else under the sun.
Don’t get me wrong – there are some amazing offers to be had as some vendors have slashed rates for their full scale programs while others are offering cheaper mini-programs. So if you can find a deal with no strings attached, by all means take it. But now is NOT the time to lock into a long term contractual commitment for any product no matter of how desirable because you don’t know what lies ahead. But more importantly, few other so-called experts know what lies ahead either and therefore, the extent to which they can be useful to you is questionable.
Which brings me to the point of this post: the importance of investing in yourself. Even if you lack funds and work is slow, as a law firm owner, you now have time to think about what your clients really need, and explore ways to pivot to serve them. That’s what one company suggests in this article by its CRO, Chelsie Rae Lee. Lee writes that when SnackNation realized that their customers’ biggest challenge was boosting morale while employees work in isolation, it began offering remote snack boxes to be delivered to employees’ homes. Are there issues that your clients are grappling with where you could create a streamlined easy service to help them? Even if you price your service at less than your usual rate, you’d be buying loyalty for future business when the economy revives. Here are some other examples of what businesses have done to pivot.
Even if you decide against making any significant changes, there’s nothing like good old fashioned cost cutting to buy yourself some flexibility. Keep in mind – cutting back doesn’t necessarily mean moving backwards. But when you’re a busy attorney, you’re inclined to get lazy about cutting recurrent subscriptions for product that you aren’t using or you may not have had the time to seek out lower cost solutions. I’ve written extensively about cost-cutting tips in the past here, here and here.
Right now, we’re all navigating uncharted waters. You can look to back to success stories born out of the Great Depression or 2008 Recession for inspiration. Ultimately, there’s no tried and true approach or silver bullet that will guarantee a steady flow of cash – and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But there is one safe bet in rocky times – invest in and trust yourself. You’ve got this.