Covid-19 has changed the way law firms work. The traditional working practices are changing, and with them, the challenges facing law firms in the next five years. These challenges will be varied, with more teams working from different locations (not just the office), new tech and faster decision making becoming a priority.
However, with the appropriate technology, progressive law firms can adapt to the new ways of working and succeed at growing just like they did in the past.
Challenges facing law firms
Performance management whilst working remotely
Firms in the legal sector are now used to working from home and it looks like this shift in working practices is here to stay. Even organisations like the SRA are reducing their office space to cut costs now that more people are working remotely.
However, remote working also has some disadvantages. For instance, managing a team used to be much easier in the pre-Covid era before working from home was the norm. As the rest of your team was there sat in the office next to you, you knew roughly what they were doing and you could see they were working.
Now that teams are not in the office, it is tempting to think that, instead of working, your colleagues may be sitting at home homeschooling or maybe even watching daytime TV. Many team leaders worry their teams are not as productive as they used to be when they were working in the office. But the main problem is that most managers don’t have any tools in place that they can use to check whether this is actually the case.
Fortunately, technology can provide you with the visibility you need. Katchr streamlines performance management in law firms by giving team leaders, managers and firm owners visibility over workloads, throughput and outputs. By giving team leaders the information they are looking for, teams can continue reaping the benefits of working from home, such as having more autonomy and flexibility without having to worry about a decrease in productivity.
Generating new business
For decades, partners, managers and principals responsible for finding new business opportunities have relied on physical events to find more business. So now that the traditional events-based marketing and networking events such as golf days, conferences or breakfast briefings are on hold, finding new corporate and business clients can be frustrating.
As events are no longer in the mix of the marketing activities that law firms can use to generate new leads, identifying cross-selling opportunities can be the answer to find new opportunities. Winning more business from existing clients is always cheaper and more effective than winning new clients, but this has been highlighted even more by the pandemic.
Cross-selling streamlines your law firm’s marketing by effectively focusing your time and efforts on an activity that does work. Cross-selling is more effective than trying various marketing strategies that take more time to find potential clients and generate new revenue.
Besides generating more revenue, cross-selling helps you retain and grow relationships with existing clients. Your clients already know you, so they are more inclined to give you more work than other prospects.
Additionally, cross-selling is a great strategy to make sure your clients don’t hire other firms to do work in areas that your firm can also cover. By serving the full range of your clients’ needs, your firm becomes their primary advisor. This greatly reduces the possibility of clients leaving or other firms stealing your best clients.
To make it even more efficient, you can rely on technology to evaluate any new cross-selling opportunities. Katchr uses the data available from your clients to create an out of the box cross-selling analysis. The Katchr dashboard provides you with a visual picture of opportunities that you can pursue, allowing you to find more cross-selling opportunities.
At the start of the pandemic, Financial Directors, heads of accounts and business owners immediately needed more visibility over their finance. They needed to know where their business was in terms of cash and pipeline and to project forward.
However, preparing detailed financial forecasts that illustrate the potential impacts of various possible outcomes is necessary to manage the business on an ongoing basis, not just during unstable times. To be accurate and complete, forecasts need to be fully integrated with a balance sheet, profit and loss account and a funds flow statement.
Katchr improves financial planning in law firms by giving customers fast and easy access to their data, making this complex task less stressful and more reliable. Katchr’s forecasts allow law firm leaders to identify the points at which cash flow may be tight, giving them enough time to make appropriate decisions.
Faster decision making
Decision making based on data rather than opinion can be far more effective for partnerships or any business with collaborative ownership. Lawyers have access to a staggering amount of data that they can use to support their decisions and business strategies.
Katchr processes the data available to law firms and surfaces the information that partners need to make better decisions and to make them faster.
Spreadsheet risk is one of the biggest challenges facing law firms nowadays. So many firms run their business based on spreadsheets, but these have issues, namely:
- Spreadsheets create multiple versions of the truth: Whoever authors the spreadsheet decides on how the data is interpreted and what the output looks like. Additionally, with spreadsheets that can be shared and copied, it is easy to end up with various versions of the same document in multiple locations. If these files are edited by different people or teams, they can cause them to make decisions based on different data and incomplete information.
- Security issues: Multiple copies of spreadsheets, emailed around the firm, easily get into the wrong hands. These can either be used maliciously or result in an innocent misunderstanding of the data. The “insider threat” of the firm’s own employees (even when it is unintended) is currently one of the biggest security problems facing law firms. Spreadsheets increase the risk of negligence within teams.
- They are prone to errors: Complex spreadsheets with multiple tabs always contain errors. Different team members might also interpret different sections in different ways, causing the data input to be inaccurate. What is worse, errors in very complex spreadsheets are difficult to spot so they often go undiagnosed for long periods of time.
Katchr removes any spreadsheet risks in law firms by removing the need to use spreadsheets for reporting. All data is securely held in one central place and each person in the firm has access to consistent information. They can access it via a secure browser connection from anywhere in the world.
With security being an increasingly important issue in law firms, using the right technology is more important than ever.
Teams using Katchr don’t need to use spreadsheets that might be emailed to the wrong person by accident, wrongly edited or cause other security issues. Instead, they have access to just one version of the truth shared by all.