New Year’s Eve has always been a popular time to set resolutions for ways we can better ourselves. And, why not? After all, the holidays are often the perfect time to slow down to reflect on the past year and the steps we can take to improve in the coming year. This year consider a few great resolutions to improve your practice as well. As it turns out, what’s good for you is often just what your practice needs as well!
1. Get Fit
Getting fit in your law practice means cutting unnecessary operating costs. Even small savings can add up at the end of the year. As I mentioned in my recent post about how to increase your firm’s profitability, one of the biggest increases in revenue I’ve enjoyed in my business was actually the result of finding cheaper solutions to some of my routine expenses. That doesn’t mean you need to cut out all of the little things you enjoy, but you should certainly evaluate whether you have cheaper options for certain expenses, as well as considering whether certain costs are really worth their price tag.
2. Be Happier At Work
To some degree, being happy at work is partially about cultivating the right state of mind. Many of us will spend unhealthy amounts of time worrying about outcomes that are unlikely and will probably never happen. Staying rooted in the present and worrying less about potential – often unlikely – negative outcomes is one way to be happier at work. Similarly, refusing to focus on negative thoughts and instead focusing on positive things can change your entire outlook. Check out 3 ways you can be happier at work for more.
3. Learn Something New
Expanding the number of practice areas you’re qualified to handle is a great way to expand your business. And, of course, in most states attorneys are required to take continued legal education courses anyways. So why not strategically select CLEs that will help grow your practice and bring in new clients? You can read some of our tips for selecting a good CLE.
4. Help Others
Performing pro bono work can be another great way to develop useful experience and knowledge in other practice areas while helping people in need. Indeed, I hear time and time again from successful solo practitioners that the connections they make while working in legal aid clinics and other non-profits help them succeed in their solo practice. Sometimes it pays to do good.
5. Be More Organized
Organizing your practice helps you be more efficient and accomplish more. There are many ways to organize your practice, but having the right tools helps a lot. Practice Management Software (such as Clio, MyCase, Total Attorneys, and Rocket Matter) can help you organize your invoices, your clients, and matters. Similarly, I recommend Evernote for organizing everything from your practice to your everyday life.
6. Be More Social
As our Guest Contributor Marcela De Vivo points out: “social media sites … represent tremendous potential to grow your practice.” That has certainly been true for me. I initially met most of my clients through social media or by connecting with them through blogs and other websites.
7. Get a Better Job
If your not happy with your current job, then it’s time to work towards creating your dream job. It probably won’t happen overnight, but there are few jobs that are truly out of reach if you’re willing to be patient and work towards them. You’ll need to learn the necessary skills and network the right people. Learn more by reading our post about how to create your perfect career in the legal industry.
8. Be a Better Boss
If you’re not effectively managing your team it can negatively impact workplace morale and efficiency. Good bosses empower their employees to make important decisions; provide their employees with the proper tools and information to complete their job properly; and recognize that their employees have lives outside of their work. If you’re concerned that you might be a bad boss read our post Are You A Bad Boss? to find out.
9. Travel More
We often put off travel because we don’t think we have enough time. Of course, it’s often true that we wouldn’t have enough time if we had 30 hours in a day. Recognize that you may never have enough time. Not only that, it’s been proven that without necessary breaks our productivity actually suffers. So if you want to get more done, sometimes you need to take the time to recharge your batteries. This year don’t just dream of taking a break actually make it happen!
10. Look Better
The New Year is also a great time to update your firm’s look. Your website, for example, is one of the ways in which new clients will judge you, so take some time this year to update your website. If you’re using social networks like LinkedIn to connect with potential clients and other professionals, then you should take time to update your profile pages on those sites as well. Sometimes appearances to matter – especially in business.
Is your New Years Resolution related to your practice? Let us know how you’re resolved to improve your practice next year in the comments section.