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Is It Time To Conduct An Internal Audit?

When last did your firm take a good look at what it does and how it delivers the overall service to your clients?

Has your firm stagnated or worse, seen a downturn in income or profits and you are not 100% sure what has caused this and how to implement change to achieve a more profitable future?

Whilst it is true to say that managing and running a law firm is not easy and the industry has a regulatory burden that other businesses do not have; law firms can and do make profits. (Business generally is not easy.)

As we move around the legal sector engaging with law firms and other businesses, there is a general view that achieving profits needs constant attending to and hard work, and often not all the hard work gets rewarded.

With many law firms falling into the SME category often business feels harder as the owners are not just required to run the business but are also expected to fee earn and are often the main fee earners. This diversion of time and resource makes life of running a profitable law firm harder.

However, the legal sector provides a full range of services to clients and these services are needed. There are businesses and individuals throughout England and Wales engaging with law firms from advice and support. The market is there are you need to establish and retain your place within it.

Complacency allows the competition to take your market share and makes the life of new entrants easier. You need to keep pace and you do this by using the infrastructure you have created.

Getting to where you are will not have been easy but maintaining it should be easier!

As a firm you will have your regulated infrastructure in place, you will have staff (in most cases) and you will have clients. The foundations and more are in place. An established law firm should be the envy of a start-up (and there are new firms opening every week) as you have already achieved what they will need to. (Brand, services, clients, staff etc etc)

Whilst it is true to say that an established firm may have legacy issues to deal with an as a result a cost base that may not be reflective of what the company does and can afford changing that is within your power.

The purpose of this article is to bring to the attention of law firms and their owners that they must take the time to review their firm. Some core activity will produce results. For example: -  

  • Look inwardly at your firm, what are you doing, how are you doing it, and can it be improved and where
  • Assess what your competitors are doing
  • Review your staff and their performance
  • Listen to your clients and review feedback
  • Speak to suppliers what is new in what they are doing and how can they improve your firm?
  • If you do not have a future plan and strategy get one – it will give you focus

The legal market is not a complex place and your firm is not complex. The fundamentals to a law firm are the same as any other business. You need to confirm

  • What you are selling?
  • Who you are selling to?
  • How you are going to provide your service?
  • What you need to provide your services?

These are fundamental practices which form the foundation to your firm’s strategy, and they need to be assessed constantly to ensure your firm keeps pace with the needs of your clients, your staff and the market.

Not every law firm wants to achieve growth but trying to stand still allows others to overtake and threaten you so you always need to assess what you are doing and how you can improve as others around you will be doing this.

You, your staff, your clients and your suppliers know your firm better than anyone else and you have the information at your fingertips to unlock the potential of your firm. It starts with understanding and that means taking the time out to look at your business and what is happening around you.

From there you can build a plan to implement change and make informed decisions on your next steps.

The Strategic partner has a wealth of knowledge and experience of helping law firms strategise, plan and unlock the true potential of their firm. To find out how we can assist your firm in achieving greater profitability to tackling challenged contact us on 020 3911 9710, email us info@thestrategicpartner.co.uk and visit our website and complete an online enquiry.

A conversation with us is free and without obligation and it may lead to building a valued and positive relationship between us.

The Strategic Partner is a knowledge hub for law firms. We work with law firms adding value across their whole business with a focus to improve what they do and their profitability and achieve their goals.

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