In this week’s edition of Things I Wish I Knew, solo attorney Joleena Louis shares 4 key performance indicators she uses to rate success in her practice.
Every time I talk to my father he asks how business is going and I respond saying, “I was able to pay all my bills this month so it’s good.”
While it is a great to cover your expenses every month, it’s not the best way to measure success.
This year I’ve been focusing on setting and accomplishing specific measurable goals. I’ve found that tracking key performance indicators (or KPI’s) has been a great way to achieve and measure success.
Here are four KPI’s I measure when rating success in my practice:
Indicator 1: Lead Generation
In my practice I receive a low volume of highly qualified leads.
Each month I set a goal for the number of qualified prospects I need to meet with in order to have a successful month.
By having a number in mind it’s easier for me to tell if my marketing efforts are working or if they need to be adjusted. It makes me more conscious about generating leads, instead of being happy with whatever amount walks in the door.
Indicator 2: Average Fee Per Case
Tracking the average fee per case is immensely helpful in deciding the types of cases I handle, and the ability to offer fixed fees to my clients.
It’s also a good indicator of demand, which is important because as a solo I can only take on so many cases at one time. Since I’m not ready to hire an associate, I increase my prices with growing demands.
As a result, a steady increase in average fee per case is another great indicator of success.
Indicator 3: Outstanding Invoices
I am adamant about being paid in advance. Having no outstanding invoices indicates that I have the right clients, my cases are being managed effectively and that I am generally on top of things.
In previous situations when I had money owed to me, the problem originated from taking on a client that could not afford me or wasn’t a good fit. There have been situations where I was at fault as well. For example, there have been times where I failed to stay on top of a case to ensure the work did not exceed the retainer balance.
I believe having no outstanding invoices is a key indicator that my business is on the right track.
Indicator 4: Client Satisfaction
The purpose of my practice is to not only help my clients, but to also make sure they’re fully satisfied with my services. To track this indicator I regularly reach out to individual clients to see how I can improve.
At first it was painful to hear a client was dissatisfied with certain things. For example, there was a two month period where I had multiple trials and hearings, and as a result I wasn’t as responsive as usual to my clients. I didn’t even realize there was a problem, but by taking the time to ask for feedback I was able to immediately make the necessary changes.
Because of my experience with receiving feedback, I believe client satisfaction is an important indicator of the health and success of my practice.
By using measurable ways to determine success, these benchmarks will help to ensure your practice is on the right path. What key performance indicators does your solo practice track? Let us know in the comments below.