The Secret to Business Success
During our law firm management coach’s visit at High Point University with Dr. Nido Qubein, he provided a presentation on the three things that each business owner must be able to do in order to become successful. The magic is that there are only three things, the secret is: you must do all three.
These three things are
- Make It
- Market It
- Manage It
Simple, right? Let’s take a closer look at each.
Making Your Law Firm Products and Services
The “It” here is the product or service you are offering. For a law firm, your job, for the most part, is to be ready to provide a service that solves a problem for your clients when they have a need. In order to make your product, you either have to learn the practice of law in question or hire staff that can provide the service for you. There are attorneys who prefer to know each practice area their firm is offering, and there are attorneys that would prefer to focus on the business and allow their associates to focus on the law. There are pros and cons to both discussions, but this is not the place for that discussion. What must be discussed is the idea of providing a quality service. Whether you decide to personally offer the service or bring in an associate who does offer the service, it’s vital we get the job done correctly. But how do we define “correctly?”
In Dr. Qubein’s case, most people would argue that High Point University could have simply hired excellent professors to teach the classes and most would argue that as long as the outcomes were in place, they did their job correctly. But Dr. Qubein is not like most people. He flipped the entire system on its head. He said the definition of “correctly” at High Point University is to realize that the client is both the student and the parent. They are who we are here to serve. And, we must do so with excellence. So, while, yes, they did hire excellent professors to teach classes, and they did measure performance metrics of a successful school, it was what every other school was doing, too.
So, how were they going to differentiate? By focusing on the client and what was important to them, and for them to go way past the point of simply educating. The entire campus is designed to “Micro Manage the Client Experience.” Everywhere you look there are signs reminding you to be Extraordinary. At each turn, from the largest detail to the smallest, every moving part has been doted over, from the flags being changed every year to avoid tattering and the buildings built in the grandest, most user-friendly manner, to the smallest detail such as the garbage cans all facing the exact same way. When you come for a visit for the very first time, your name is literally in lights, welcoming you to the campus. So, I ask you, what’s important to your clients? Yes, you get the work done, but so does your competition. What can you be doing to differentiate your clients’ experience with your firm?
Marketing Your Legal Practice
You can have the best “It” in the world, but if you don’t purposefully promote it, you’ll be waiting a very long time for the business to come knocking at your door. What’s interesting to note is that Dr. Qubein doesn’t measure marketing the exact same way we teach it around here. He couldn’t tell me the cost per lead. But he could tell me the cost to acquire a new student, and it took him less than 3 seconds to recall it from memory.
- Using influential people in your marketing campaigns. Dr. Qubein chose to back into his marketing by providing an excellent experience first, then use his “who” to drive traffic. Then he supported those two causes by using marketing material that supported his position, which included the use of celebrity at every turn.
- Consistently showing your brand. As you walk the halls, you will see pictures of major world figures whom Dr. Qubein has interviewed hanging on the walls showcasing the school’s positioning. But, like a good marketer, Dr. Qubein uses every interview as a tool to build glue between his students, their parents, alumni, and financial donors. Each interview Dr. Qubein is one more brick that builds a steel fence around his herd. One of Dr. Qubein’s secrets is to never have an event without giving away a gift. He never produces anything that doesn’t have the High Point Brand, colors, logo, or both. Even the lunch tables are in the shape of an “H”, “P” and “U”.
- Don’t stop marketing. Dr. Qubein has a budget for everything, and as the revenues increased, so did the marketing budget. He’s always looking for new ways to get his royal purple colors front and center, and he does it really well.
Managing Your Law Firm by Training Your People
Dr. Qubein, when he first started at High Point University, was intimately involved with every little detail of the school. But today, his staff members managed it all on their own. So, how does he go from managing most of the details himself to passing it along to his staff?
- First, like Dr. Qubein, you should hire the right staff for your law firm and have a system for it.
- Second, he doesn’t ask them to do anything he isn’t willing to do himself, and he sets the example of Excellence.
- Third, he manages by walking around. While he is no longer in charge of many daily activities, he sees everything because he’s involved in his business, daily. And he wants his staff to know it. On this particular day, the school arranged to pick Dr. Qubein up from his home to ensure he was there. But, he made sure that someone went back and picked up his car and parked it in his spot. Why? Because he wanted everyone to see while they were making sacrifices so the trains could run on time, so did he. He wasn’t at home enjoying a snow day; he was working, just like they were.
- Finally, Dr. Qubein is constantly looking to take things off his plate and to train others to do it for him. Then he manages them by report and holds them to it. He told us he hires Intelligence, Character, and Energy and then he said, “We live, they watch, they learn”.
I’m thrilled with that one time we went to High Point University. In many ways, the trip validated that we are on the right path and it also pointed out that we have so far to go.
Consult A Law Firm Management Coach
If you find yourself distracted or overwhelmed during the workday, you must learn how to manage your time. It helps to ask yourself what routines productive individuals do. There are lots of good time management tips out there, but they all come from a principle of prioritizing to get work done. In order to accomplish more and be more productive, it is important to use your time wisely.
Delegating and scheduling can help you avoid interruptions, which gives you more time for accomplishing major and smaller tasks. Always try to prioritize and manage work hours so you can do what needs to be done. Effectively managing your law firm will allow you to be successful and for your business to be more productive. Remember that an effective manager is a successful manager. If you need help, there are management consultants you can reach out to, one of which is law firm management coach Richard James.
Are you taking management seriously? How about personally? Are you looking for ways to delegate tasks to others and manage them by report? If you need help training your staff and increasing your law firm’s efficiency, schedule a 1-on-1 consultation with legal systems expert Richard James to get your customized practice growth plan.