You’re so not alone. All rapidly growing law firms need cash infusions from time to time to meet financial obligations or to take advantage of cool opportunities. When you KNOW you can create a cash infusion whenever you want, you are free to take on new opportunities such as a bigger office, a new associate, a 3-week trip to Norway – or work with me.
Need $1,000, $10,000, or $50,000 for a cash flow crunch or fab opportunity? That’s okay; you can do this. Keep in mind that you make money by helping people better their lives. Everyone wants their life to be better; it’s a human condition. And, I would suggest that you have an absolute duty to let people know how you can help. Otherwise, you’re leaving them vulnerable and unprotected.
How do you create a cash infusion in your own law firm?
First, make a list of everyone who owes you money and go get the money that’s yours. Have a sales conversation with them, showing them how their lives will be better if they pay and worse if they don’t pay.
For example, “To keep your family protected, we need to have an ongoing relationship and I can only do that if I can pay my bills and run my business.”
Second, prioritize the work you’re doing right now so you can bill for it. I’ve had attorneys complain about a cash crunch only for me to discover they have $80,000 of un-billed work sitting in their trust account. Do the work now, email the freakin’ bills immediately, and transfer the funds lickety-split.
Third, call everyone who has come in to see you and said they’d “go home and think about it” or who said that they had to talk with someone such as a spouse or partner.
Focus on these 3 things:
1. Where they are now; where do they want to be?
2. What they’ve tried to do to make their life better? How that worked out?
3. How life would be better if they work with you and worse if they didn’t.
Don’t stop calling until they’re on your calendar or they literally tell you to stop.
Fourth, call former clients – 50 clients, a 100 clients, 200 clients (not kidding) – and check in with them. Just 15 minutes a call and work with fall in your lap. Seriously. You’ll hear, “Oh, yes! I’ve been meaning to call you. XYZ has happened.”
Ask these 2 things:
1.How they’re doing, noting you haven’t spoken for awhile.
2. What’s new in their life and say that you’re calling because you care.
Then, look for ways to help them, which may include a referral to someone else or a good book – or your services (if appropriate to the conversation).
Fifth, revisit your fee structure; you may be undercharging. Look to the value you’re providing, not the time involved. Even if you can review a contract or draft a document in 15 minutes, it likely took you 30 years to get to the point. Value bill wherever and whenever you can. If your children’s lives depend on hourly fees, then put yourself at the top of the heap, not the bottom and not the middle. Experts charge significant fees.
Sixth, look for ways to add value (and fees) to current clients by adding on something extra such as a client care program aka maintenance program, related services, family meeting, updating, etc. Start with the assumption there is something to add.
You’re a business owner, not a chicken
Don’t be chicken to try these cash infusion techniques – yes, you have to put yourself out there and that’s both uncomfortable and good – how else are folks going to know how you can help them? These techniques work – and your firm, family, and clients depend on your willingness to be the entrepreneur you are.
The confidence you gain from creating a cash infusion will change how you see your law business and your life. Instead of living in fear and feeling out of control, you will know you have the power to meet any cash crunches that come your way.
You got this!!
P.S. If you’re nodding yes, if you’re ready to protect more people, if you have the vision of building a million-dollar+ law firm but don’t know how to get there, let’s chat about where you are and where you want to go. Set up your Breakthrough Strategy Session here.