Owning your practice vs. running your practice


There’s a lot going on in an active law practice; if we’re not careful, we spend most of our time reacting to what happens instead of making things happen.

We handle the cases, work with the clients, fight the fights, put out the fires, send out the bills, and then we do it again. And again.

We don’t do enough (or any) planning. Or managing our plan. We don’t decide what we want to happen, and what we’ll do to make it happen.

We just keep busy doing what’s in front of us.

But if you’re in charge, there are things you need to do to make sure the practice runs the way you want it. One of these is to manage your numbers.

Tracking how many, how often, and how big. But not just the ultimate results (new clients, revenue, etc.) but the numbers that drive those results.

These are your KPIs—your “Key Performance Indicators”. They include things like advertising dollars spent, keywords, networking events attended, articles and blog posts, consultations, social media campaigns, and whatever else you do to drive traffic to your website and prospective clients to your door.

You need to know your numbers. So you can do more of what’s working and less of what isn’t.

Don’t obsess over the numbers. But do watch the trends. But don’t rely solely on the numbers. Your instincts and judgement are also important.

Running a practice means keeping an eye on what’s going on. Or hiring people to do that and keeping an eye on them.

One more thing.

If you don’t run your own practice, if you work for someone, you still need to track your numbers. So that when it’s time for a performance review and you’re asked what you been doing, you’ll have some numbers to show them.