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Here are five basic tips for hourly billing attorneys to help maximize your cash flow and realize a profit. Are you uncomfortable discussing fees with your clients? If so, you may be prone to setting lower hourly fees, be too willing to negotiate discounted retainers, and be unmotivated to pursue the money you are owed. Unfortunately, a whole host of issues may arise from your lack of comfort in setting and collecting fees. Our suggestion: if you cannot go through your fee agreement and articulate your arrangements in a clear and concise way, delegate it. Have an office manager or other trusted, responsible person go over the agreement with prospective clients. Others are often less attached and better suited to have these discussions without self-doubt issues clouding the conversation. Are you sending out invoices on a monthly basis? This is incredibly basic, but a problem we constantly encounter in our coaching practice. If you let long periods lapse before billing clients, you are cheating yourself. The chances of being paid in full lessen over time.  Psychologically speaking, clients value your work when their problem is most pressing and less so after it’s resolved. If you don’t send out bills in a...

How does the average solo and small firm partner think about the profit their firm produces each year? In very simple terms, their mental equation probably looks something like this: Revenue – Expenses = Profit This is the traditional and very rational view of how profit is produced. And the traditional result is that profit is incidental. Basically, what’s surplus after the bills are paid. But, according to the book Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by former Wall Street Journal columnist Mike Machalowicz, the right equation should look something like this: Revenue – Profit = Expenses This new approach turns the traditional "profit is what’s leftover after overhead and expenses are paid" method on its head. According to Machalowicz, a much more proactive approach is needed to guarantee that a profit will be there at the end of the year. He advocates that when revenues come in a portion is immediately set aside for profit and the rest covers overhead and expenses. To do this successfully means profit is budgeted for in advance.  How is that done? We believe you do this by looking at the last several years of gross revenues and profit percentages to...

Attorneys whose DISC profiles make them a CS or an SC do not fit the stereotypical image most of us have of law firm leaders. In fact, the very title “Humble Leader” may sound like a contradiction in terms.

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Your initial consultation with a prospective client is critical. When handled well, you will inspire trust and convert a prospective client into a paying client. When handled poorly, the client will seek the services of one of your competitors.

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When it comes to solving crime in any age, Sherlock Holmes is a great example of an expert’s expert. His keen powers of observation and obsessive love of detail were critical to his success.

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