In this week’s edition of Things I Wish I Knew, New York solo lawyer Joleena Louis shares her thoughts on the progress of her firm now that the year is more than half over.
Over the past couple years I’ve found that doing regular “performance reviews” of my business has helped me make sure I am on track to reach the goals I set for my firm at the beginning of the year.
By systematically doing a high-level review of my practice, I got a clearer picture of what I need to take care of in order to continue to grow.
Now that the year is more than halfway over, it’s time for a more extensive check in.
Review Your Goals
The first thing I do is review the goals I set at the beginning of the year. Cross out the ones you’ve accomplished and the ones you no longer have a desire to complete. Whatever is left is what you need to focus on. My three primary goals were to finish my book, get a speaking engagement, and to increase my firm’s profit by 30% from last year.
Determine What’s Working And What’s Not
For each goal I ask myself: Did I reach the goal? If not, why? What can I do to achieve it by the end of the year? If I did achieve the goal, what did I learn to help me reach goals in the future?
So far I’m on track with reaching my goals. I’m almost done with my book, I have a speaking engagement scheduled for November, and I’m on track with my profit goal.
Now I need to write down those steps or tips that I used to achieve those goals, that way it is easy to replicate them the next time around!
Review The Numbers
First I take a look at my profits so far this year and determine if I’m on track. From here I can determine what I need to do to stay or get on track if necessary.
Next, I take a look at my expenses. For example, I noticed that I am paying for several subscriptions that I rarely ever use. So, logically, I canceled them.
Next, I look at the types of cases I’ve taken on so far this year and their profitability. I took on a lot of custody cases in family court and noticed that I had to do a few of those in order to earn what I do for a divorce. So I decided to raise my fees for those type of cases since there appears to be an increase in demand.
Lastly, I took a look at where my referrals have come from this year. My top two performers have been other lawyers and social media. I know the end of the year is a little slower for me, so I have decided to ramp up my weekly networking lunches and focus more on social media for the next few months in preparation for that down time.
Adjust Your Plan
Finally, after it is all said and done, I take all the data I’ve gathered and write down an updated plan of action for the second half of the year. This way I know how to finish the year strong!