There are two ways to increase your profits when running a law firm. The first, and most obvious method, is to bring in more business. The second method is to cut law firm expenses.
We've written about rainmaking and trying to bring in more business on several occasions. You can read about it here, here, and here.
In this post, we focus on how you can grow your bottom line by cutting down on expenses. Here are five tips:
Go Digital. Paper costs money. Toner costs money. Printers and printer maintenance cost even more. If you go paperless, you'll save a lot of money. Plus, saving every document in a digital format may help you become better organized as you avoid cluttering your office with boxes of old documents.
Rethink Your Staffing Needs. It's really great to have a full staff complete with a legal secretary, paralegal, assistants, and even associates under you. You'll feel like you're really running an office. But think about how much you'll have to pay for each of these employees. And rethink whether you really need so much support.
Rethink Your Office. Similar to having a full legal office, think about whether you even need an office in the first place. Sometimes an office can be beneficial such as having a downtown location and making your firm look more professional. But more and more lawyers are turning to home offices, and running an office out of your home may not be such a negative any more.
Don't Mistake Yourself for a Techie. A lawyer is not a software engineer. A lawyer isn't even an 18-year-old college student. Rarely does a lawyer's work justify racing to get the latest Apple product or updating your laptop every year. If your two-year-old computer does the job, think about keeping it.
DIY. If the courthouse is nearby, you may want to swing by during your lunch break to drop off documents instead of hiring a courier. If you have down time, consider typing your own documents instead of hiring a secretary. There are plenty of tasks that a busy lawyer outsources. But if you are not really that busy, you may want to perform these yourself.