By Legal Futures’ Associates Redbrick Solutions
Protecting your business in uncertain times is key to future success. The national lockdown may have ended and schools are open but we are still a long way from being back to normal, as the announcement of the introduction of the ‘rule of six’ highlights. Add to this the indications that the Brexit negotiations do not appear to be progressing smoothly, and the result is more uncertain times and uncertain times which may last well into 2021. However, there are actions that law firms can take to help protect their business and Redbrick Solutions are here to help.
Cut your costs
The first thing to address is your cost base. Ask yourself when deciding where to cut back “What is nice to have, and what is essential?” Any products, services and expenses that add to your business product, client experience or staff well-being should be considered before anything that will impact your company’s operations. If after this step cash flow is still tough, ask yourself further questions: What could be cut down on without making too much impact? What can you pause and what is an irreversible cut.
One budgeting strategy is redistributing, for example, pull resources from marketing to focus on customer service. However, don’t be overzealous as the aim is to keep the whole business running, just on a lower gear. You’ll still need certain areas to be working at optimal capacity, such as customer satisfaction. Redbrick Solutions Case Management can help to reduce your costs as it is charged on a cost per transaction basis therefore not adding to your fixed cost base – If the work is not there, neither is the cost.
Look at your resources
Secondly, see where you could be saving time and resources. Assess all the different sectors of your business. Can you save money by redirecting resources to the most at-risk areas of your company? Time is money, even if people are working from home. You’ll need to rethink the best way your employees should be using that time. When it comes to conveyancing, saving small amounts of time at every stage in the process quickly adds up to make a significant difference.
By making each matter more efficient, Redbrick Solutions Case Management can increase the efficiency of your matters and so can increase the number of matters you can handle without increasing your headcount. By making your business leaner, you’ll probably pick up some innovative solutions, such as moving face-to-face meetings with clients to virtual meets. If they work well, you can make these permanent. But again, don’t overreach here. You don’t want to end up losing the value of being hands-on with clients, or of having the people who work together be able to communicate face-to-face regularly.
Your clients may be weighing the pros and cons of doing business with you, and you want to make yourself indispensable. To do so, align yourself with your client’s needs. Do your research, how have they been impacted by recent months? What else is happening in your clients’ lives right now that they may need help with? Redbrick Solutions Case Management provide automated Text and Email messages which can be pre-programmed into your workflow so that they are sent automatically at key milestones, keeping your clients up to date, improving client satisfaction by demonstrating how pro-active and efficient you are and keeping your matters on track.
This rule applies to all of the above. Ask yourself if you would make a particular decision if times weren’t so uncertain. If not, why not? Would it damage your image irrevocably? Would it compromise your integrity? Set some lines in the sand then don’t cross them. A common reaction is to give discounts. But you shouldn’t be doing so, unless you really have to. If you give a large discount now, especially if they are a long-term customer, they’ll probably expect one the next time, and the next. If you must discount a contract to keep the client, put terms and time limits on it so they know it’s an extraordinary measure.
In summary, the last few months have taught us that flexibility and the ability to react quickly to customers’ needs is key to surviving in these uncertain times. Redbrick Solutions Case Management’s pay per transaction model allows you to minimise your fixed cost base whilst maintaining customer service and maximising effective use of resources during these changeable times.
In addition, ‘Redbrick Insights’ is a data driven intelligence service which provides analytics and reports on a range of key success based factors. The service is exclusively available to Redbrick clients and with over 10% of all conveyancing transactions going through their system, Redbrick Solutions are well placed to analyse the market and provide clients with pertinent statistics and success strategies.