In today’s episode, I want to talk about something that’s caused me a lot of anxiety over the years, and that’s what to do when things slow up. What should you do when work starts to dry up and you’re not as busy?
If you’ve been in law practice long enough, you know you’re going to have ebbs and flows to the work, especially if you’re running your own firm. So, how do you handle times when all of a sudden two go by and the phone’s not ringing?
First things first, you should not panic. I used to panic all the time when this would happen. It’s important to remember that if your firm has been open and operational for some time and you’ve had work coming in the doors, something didn’t just happen to make the work stop. You’re probably fine. It’s just an ebb in the work coming in.
You need to not lose days of time worrying and losing sleep when this starts to happen. You need to focus on something else and start working on things that can actually build long-term value into your firm.
Ultimately, you should take the slow times in your firm and use them to your advantage. When you’re busy with legal work, you can’t work on your practice, you’re just working in it. But if you’ve got a slow time, now all of a sudden, we can take a step back and work on a few things.
Here are your three priorities when business slows down in your law firm.
1. Improve on your internal systems.
One of the best things you can do in your down time is improve your internal systems. Think of things that you need to get off your plate and onto someone else’s.
Find ways to automate or outsource any repetitive tasks you find yourself doing too often. Do you have a paralegal or administrative person in your firm that could assist you with those tasks?
Make a list of everything you wish you could spend less time on and work on making them easier to do.
2. Update your website.
The next thing you should look at when business is slow is your website.
In a lot of law firms, the website is where most leads are coming from, so it’s critical to ensure it’s up-to-date and optimized.
Do an honest assessment and take note of any pages that need to be altered or improved.
3. Create more content.
When time is permitting, you can create more content.
Add new blog posts to your website, record a podcast, or make some videos. If you don’t know to do something, spend a bit of time researching it.
Digital marketing and content creation can be extremely helpful when trying to convince potential clients to work with your firm.
As you can see, there’s plenty of things for you to do if your work slows up. The most important thing is to not panic and to focus your energy on something constructive that can bring in more work.
Focus on improving your internal systems, updating your website, and creating more content for about two or three weeks. See if things turn around naturally.
I remember when I started my own law firm in 2008 and I would go through slow times and wonder if my business was going to make it. Then, after six or seven years, I realized I a set of stable clients, repeat business, and new leads coming in from my website. I had different places generating new work and the slow times became fewer and fewer.