When you decided to start your own solo law firm, you may have had a pretty peachy vision. Quality time and laughs by the pool with the kids, a bank account that just will not stop growing, and all the freedom in the world to live your life on your terms while still having a successful legal career.
But right now…maybe you’re well into flying your own kite and feeling very far away from that vision.
First things first, take a deep breath because you’re not alone in this. Start-up solos are often successful at hitting their income goals but they still feel tied to the hustle and grind and just aren’t sure what they’re doing wrong. OR they feel like they’re right on the precipice of the next level in their business but for some reason, they cannot seem to break through.
My number one answer to both dilemmas? Outsourcing.
Outsourcing tasks that are taking up too much of your time and energy may be the very key to what’s holding your firm back from rising to the next level or from you tapping into that freedom you’ve worked so hard to obtain.
A lot of solo lawyers tend to shy away from bringing on help because they don’t think they can afford it when in reality…you cannot afford not to. You can only be a one woman (or man) show for too long before you start to get overwhelmed and onto the fast track to burn out. By bringing someone on, you can continue to focus on the big picture AND on the things that truly light you up with your clients.
Hiring an extra set of hands doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Do your research on standard rates for different service providers and start shopping around. Keep in mind that if you’re willing to teach someone, beginners may be a great compromise. You’ll be able to bring someone on at a lower rate while teaching them all they need to know.
As a bonus, they’ll be able to grow with you as your firm does too!
Consider hiring someone you can put in charge of client communication (emails, phone calls, text messages etc.) A Virtual (or Executive) Assistant is an ideal candidate for these tasks.
If you cringe every time you open your email (or worse, you avoid opening it) consider hiring someone to manage your inbox. They can stay on top of letting you know the important things, filtering out any junk and filing away things already taken care of. Consider hiring a Virtual (or Executive) Assistant for these tasks!
Social media is an extremely valuable marketing tool to get your firm’s name out into the world and build your “trust” factor within your expertise. Consider hiring someone to strategize, plan, and create content to keep you active and in front of your ideal audience. Hiring a Social Media Manager may be the solution to help you create fresh and consistent content.
You can pass the day-to-day tasks involved in running your firm to an expert, as well as other miscellaneous back-end type work (i.e. website updates, automations, system setups, docket management, calendar management, team management etc.). A Virtual Assistant or an Online Business Manager just may be the answer!
If you hate accounting and spend way too much time on it, finding someone who loves playing with numbers might be a goldmine for you!
With so many tasks to accomplish regularly, it can be difficult to hone in on what you can truly pass off and what you need to personally take charge of. Use my free Delegate and Automate worksheet to determine the tasks you’d like to comfortably outsource for your firm so you can focus on climbing the ladder to success or, more importantly, not missing out on pool time with the kids!
Your firm is successful because of all the smart business moves you’ve made thus far and it’s time to trust your gut and move to the next step. Even if you’re just starting your solo practice or thinking about it, the hard work you’ve already done to get into law school, through law school, and gain valuable practice experience proves that you are smart and tough and completely capable of making the dream of a flexible, virtual practice a reality.
Outsourcing will put time back in your hands and increase your efficiency and productivity.
Write down a list of things that are either taking up way too much of your time OR that don’t spark your joy and start there! Determine the type of help you need to bring on, the amount you can afford to currently pay and then start asking for referrals or putting out some feelers. Although it may cause you a temporary setback in income, you’ll be able to focus on the bigger picture that will ultimately bring in more leads and generate more revenue.
Also consider other work you could do on the side to offset the expense of a virtual assistant. An hour of legal content writing may pay for 4 hours of help with tasks you don’t know how to do, don’t enjoy, or don’t have time for.
Trust the process!
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