What Lawyers Can Learn from the Business World

This article was provided by our friend, Kristen David. Her company, Upleveling Your Business, empowers business owners to build thriving, profitable businesses run with systems. Learn more at www.uplevelingyourbusiness.com.

Law school taught me a lot of things, but the one thing it didn’t teach me was how to actually run a business. I went through a lot of trial and error (and worked a lot of 85+ hour weeks) before I learned how to run my business like a business. When I did so, I went from burning the candle at both ends to actually having the time (and money) to do the things I love to do without worrying about what fires might start in my absence. In less than two years, I doubled my revenues – and then doubled again – and eventually, I sold my firm for a profit. Now, I work with lawyers across the country to help them do the same!

You might be wondering how I did it; I’m an open book!

1: Create a Realistic Business Plan

Your Business Plan should be a living, breathing document that provides the foundation for your business. It should include your goals, how you plan to reach them, and specific areas of your business that you want to focus on throughout each quarter.

What it shouldn’t include is all the formal language, charts, and graphs that you’ll find in the plan drawn up for investors or your bank. That document is important, and it serves a vital purpose, but it’s not something you can work with on a regular basis. By writing a clear Business Plan in everyday language, you can effectively determine your goals, your action plan, and any revisions you want to make during the year. If you’re ready to write your own Business Plan, check out my free training – you can complete a lot of it in an afternoon!

2: Be a Good Money Manager

Lawyers have a lot going on – and there are times that money seems to go out faster than it comes in. Unfortunately, this can happen a lot more often than we like. I remember back in the early days of my firm, waking up in the middle of the night because I was worried that a payment might not go through. No judgment here – I’ve been there.

Learning to understand my numbers and manage my cash flow were two of the most important skills I learned as a law firm owner. I made the decision to surround myself with strong coaches and advisors, learned how to read my financial reports and use them for planning, and move forward with increasing my profits (instead of letting my numbers control me).

3: Building a Team with Growth in Mind

When we’re so busy we can barely see straight, it’s common to hire people with the hope they can just come in and take tasks off our plate. I call this the “hire and hope” strategy – hire them on quickly and hope they can do the job. When we do this though, we can miss some important factors. Skillsets are important, but personality, work ethic, and the ability to work as a team are just as important – and at times, they’re even more important.

Instead, I advise and train my clients to hire the right person for your team, even if it takes a bit longer to find them. Then, take the time to onboard them effectively so they can do a great job! This also allows you to build your culture intentionally and create a team that’s dedicated to helping you move forward. As a result, everyone is happier and more productive – and your business is likely to become more profitable!

With the right plan, strong money management, and a superstar team on your side, you will be set for growth!

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