It’s true. The crystal vase in every senior partner’s office is a waste of money. And, nobody ate the catered food provided for today’s client meeting.
But, forget about the little extravagancies. Think, instead, about the everyday behavior and continual misspending at your firm.
You might be surprised to discover your law firm is wasting money in the most unsuspecting of ways. Find out why the following five money gluts are bound to catch up to your bottom-line.
1. Overstaffing projects
When firms are concerned with revenue, they look to increase billable hours. So, managers assign multiple associates to a single project, which not only boosts billables, it also seemingly increases the benefits to clients.
But, more hands on deck may not lead to more dollars in the bank.
Overstaffing a project leads to inefficiencies. Instead of making progress on a case, attorneys are duplicating work and then spending more time to filter out the redundancies.
And, instead of seeking out new clients or business streams, law firm partners are wasting valuable hours figuring out who did what and when for their cases.
Overstaffing projects can actually reduce your firm’s efficiency and profitability. Clients may become dissatisfied with results, employees disgruntled over long hours, and the opportunity to explore other revenue streams will certainly be missed.
There’s no added value to redundancy.
Overstaffing projects with costly attorneys? Maybe you need to attend C4CM’s course: Utilizing Paralegals for Increased Profitability, Productivity and Efficiency.
2. Using paper
Ok, enough with the photocopies.
Law firm professionals are inundated with documentation, from internal memos to official filings. But, there’s no longer a need to print out every single document—and definitely no need to create binders of discovery.
If discovery was collected and sent to your firm electronically, discourage employees from printing it out.Not only does your firm run an added security risk should these binders of confidential information get lost or leaked, but going paperless makes more sense financially and environmentally.
Between laptop computers, smartphones, easy-to-view tablets, and cloud storage, there’s no excuse for turning digital age of legal documentation into the dark age.
3. Providing no training to employees
When employees are first hired by a firm, they need to be trained on a firm’s resources. Assistants, paralegals, and attorneys alike need training. There is no exception.
Showing employees where the MS Office templates are located, how to properly fill out a timesheet, and where to find the conference room is simple. Knowing that every employee is confortable with your legal software or specific computer packages, however, is not.
Don’t skip out on training. Your firm will pay for it later with lost productivity and poor time management. The last thing you need is a filing deadline missed by an attorney who has never seen an e-filing before.
Want your first training idea? Take C4CM’s course on Tuesday, February 4, 2014, at 2PM EST: Excel Pivot Tables: Shortcuts, Tricks, and Time-Saving Tips to Crunch Data More Efficiently.
4. Keeping the morale killer
You know that one person in the office who is always spreading gossip? Or that individual who always has a complaint on hand but never a positive thing to say?
Office morale declines when managers let it. Law firm managers are responsible for setting the right attitudes and incentives to keep employees motivated and productive. When there’s a person poisoning the atmosphere, it’s time to make a change.
Talk to that person. Come to a resolution. If necessary, create a morale-boosting event for your team. Whatever the problem, find a solution sooner rather than later. If you’re keeping the morale killer—unknowingly—you’re killing the productivity of others, too.
Get rid of incivility now with C4CM’s course Friday, January 31, 2014, at 2PM EST: Preventing Incivility at Work: Specific Strategies for Creating a Cooperative and Collaborative Workplace.
5. Catering to your weakest link
Law firm partners of a certain generation tend to be resistant to change. But, are you letting your weakest link dictate your firm’s direction?
Sometimes the weakest link in a work force is also the most outspoken one. As a result, policy for all tends to conform to the wishes of one.Let everybody in your firm have a voice.
Whether it’s to refine firm strategy or create new policies, make sure you’re not holding back your firm’s best interests (and revenue) to appease one obstinate partner.
Need CLE hours and interested in avoiding mistakes that cost companies millions? Attend C4CM’s course Friday, February 14, 2014, at 2PM EST: The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA): Methods to Actively Reduce Risk and Avoid the Mistakes that Cost Companies Millions.