In this week’s edition of Things I Wish I Knew, New York Lawyer Joleena Louis shares the five things she is doing in September to help her solo firm prepare for the stressful holiday season.
It’s already that time of year again. Now that fall has officially arrived, it’s time for me and my firm to start planning for the holiday season.
The holidays can be really nerve-racking for self-employed lawyers, especially if you don’t plan ahead. Between trying to see family and the already hectic nature of this time of year, the stress adds up quick.
Here are five things I’m doing right now to prepare my solo firm for the holiday season, and to make sure my firm gets off to a good start in 2017.
Schedule Time Off
My calendar is already filling up for November and December, and the end of the year is going to be here in the blink of an eye. I know that if I don’t block off time right now, I’ll end up working through the holidays.
Like many other solo lawyers and self-employed business owners, I feel compelled to always be working. While it is good to want to improve your business, you don’t want to overwork yourself.
Last year I only had a few days off during the holiday season and I regret not spending more time with my family. This year, I’m making my loved ones a priority and taking more time off to be with them.
Prepare My Clients
While I don’t get many new clients during the holiday season, I still have plenty of work with current clients. There are often custody disputes during the holidays so things can quickly get very busy for me.
Since I intend on taking more time off, I need to prepare my clients so that no one feels ignored.
At the beginning of November I’ll send my client’s an email with my “holiday schedule.” Give them the opportunity to meet and discuss any foreseeable issues. I’m also working on my content calendar to include more information and tools to help them better co-parent during the holiday season.
Plan Holiday Marketing
Again, I don’t get a lot of new clients during the holiday season, but that doesn’t mean I want my marketing to stop. While it’s not the most effective time in terms of marketing, the holiday season still provides an opportunity to reach potential clients for the new year.
I’m also planning on sending holiday cards. Not only is this a nice personal message that enhances my brand, but it is the perfect opportunity to reach out to old clients and referral sources and remind them I’m still around.
Hire A Virtual Assistant
I have been debating this for some time now, and I’m finally hiring a part-time virtual assistant.
A virtual assistant can be brought on to help your firm during busy or chaotic times, like the holidays, and you only pay for them as needed.
Now is the perfect time for me to enlist some extra help. A virtual assistant can assist with my holiday marketing, handle some administrative tasks so I can take more time off, and I’ll have a chance to feel them out before things pick up in January.
Find A Way To Give Back To The Community
Lastly, and most importantly, I want to find a way (or ways) to give back to the community this holiday season. This won’t directly help my practice or bring in any new clients, but I think it is important to do, especially during the holidays.
I’m currently researching volunteer opportunities that will be a good match for me and the values I hold for both myself and my practice.