Today’s law firms have to be better than a team of good lawyers. They have to know how to market themselves so the right customers can find them. Once they find their customers, they have to know how to maximize their profitability. Tracking time accurately, spending time wisely, and then collecting fees promptly are all activities that improve a firm’s bottom line immediately.
Fortunately, lawyers do not need to be experts in all these areas on their own, nor do they have to start from scratch to get the job done. There are a variety of high-quality technological tools to get your firm operating on all cylinders.
Use Social Media Planning Tools
Making money starts with attracting clients, the right clients for your particular area of expertise. Chances are your firm knows its strengths and weaknesses and understands its style. You need to translate that brand into the right marketing. Marketing these days, especially to younger and modern clients, will naturally have to include social media.
There are some easy-to-use tools to help you manage the various social media platforms without having to hire a team of PR experts. You can pre-schedule posts as well as track marketing dates to meet ethical requirements.
Also read: Why Law Firms Need SEO
Intake is time-consuming and typically not billable. So, the faster you can get through it, yet still do it well, the better. Onboarding clients, including collecting their personal information, doing a conflict check, setting up a fee agreement, and all the other steps can be accomplished much more efficiently and reliably with a good onboarding system.
Using technology can ensure that you and your staff do not skip any vital steps to ensuring a proper intake. Further, the best technological solutions are customizable to your specific intake processes.
Track Every Billable Minute
You have the clients. You are doing the work. If you let the billable time you work slip by without properly recording them, you are throwing your profits away. Fortunately, time management software for law firms can help. Good timekeeping software helps ensure that your team accurately captures every minute they spend on a case. No more scrambling at the end of the month to piece together how you think you spent your time, based on emails and notes. Estimating time inevitably hurts both your ability to bill and, potentially, your firm’s reputation if you bill incorrectly.
Good time tracking technology makes it easy for each team member to record how they spend their time, which is automatically paired with their individual hourly rates. The highest-performing firms take every billable minute seriously. Your accounts receivable department and bank account will thank you.
Accept Credit Cards
Once you have generated your firm’s complete and accurate bills, the next step is to get paid. If you can get a client to pay while they are still in the office, or at least make the client’s ability to pay as easy as possible, the easier you will see a profit. The easier it is for a client to pay, the more likely they are to pay on time, in full. It’s that simple.
Technology tools have never made accepting credit cards easier. Businesses used to be limited to clunky merchant services devices, obtained through a bank. They were so much cost and hassle, they only made sense for high volume users like retail stores. Now, payment terminals are agile and can be as simple as a PayPal account or a small device that attaches to any computer with internet access.
Know your limits. Your firm needs a strong IT system, not only to protect its own data and systems but also to safeguard your clients’ information. Information technology management is not billable time, nor is it likely your area of expertise as a practicing attorney. As such, look into the right technology, and tech experts, to make sure your files are backed up and your firewalls are intact.
Picking and choosing technology to assist your firm starts and ends with understanding what your firm does efficiently. When you select tools to augment your practice, you should be able to draw a clear line between what that tool does to help your firm and how it ultimately makes or saves you money.