There is a number that, if prevalent in your legal practice, could have dire, even fatal, consequences. This number lurks and waits for you to start relying on it. It watches you toiling away to look after your clients and sees if you are going to challenge it, or whether you are simply going to accept it and work with it. Once you feel comfortable with this number, it then starts to mess things up for you.
This number is Numer Uno, Number One or No. 1. However you paint it, it is a horrible number. Let me show you why.
Example Numero Uno
You decide you are going to open your brand new law firm in the perfect offices in your local town or city. You arrange decorations, stationery and staff. The big launch day is approaching. You have a friend who arranges a huge launch, you are really going to punch above your weight and your practice will be off to a flying start. This is going to be the perfect start.
You are just waiting for that one supplier you have placed your order for all of your office furniture with to deliver. He could supply all of your office furniture, including the boardroom furniture for your launch day lunch, along with the interior and exterior office signage. He had such a good deal if you paid in advance that you would have been mad not to take it.
Then that one supplier went out of business…
Example Number 1
Your law firm is going places. You are busier than you have ever been, the work just keeps on flowing through the door and you are starting to make really nice profits. All of your work is generated by one method of marketing, a full page advertisement in the local business magazine. This has kept you busy since you first placed it. You cannot believe other solicitors do not advertise there, it is just so successful.
Then another two firms of solicitors start to advertise in the same publication, and offering cheaper rates. Your telephone stops ringing.
Example No. 1
You set up your firm, receiving new leads from a longstanding friend in return for the payment of a referral fee which is very reasonable. You fully intend to add other referral streams to ensure a steady flow of leads, but you are so busy serving the clients from your referral source that you do not have time to do this.
Your friend realises the strength of his position and triples his charges for the referrals.
One is such a dangerous number for any law firm. If you are relying heavily on one member of staff to generate the majority of your fees, or one core supplier of new business leads, or one method of generating your own new client instructions, please change this, quickly.
Do not let the number one control your practice in any way, shape or form. It will lie in wait and wield its power over you at the most inappropriate time.
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