2012 October | Jan Copley Atticus Blog
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Jan Copley
Certified Practice Advisor
Atticus, Inc.

530 South Lake Avenue, Suite 250
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 696-3145
(626) 421-6747 (fax)
jan@copleycoaching.com

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Meetings You Need to Have – Part 1

October 31, 2012

Filed under: Meetings — @ 1:43 pm

I’ve previously blogged about meetings, how deadly they can be, and how to improve them.

However, some meetings are essential. I recently gave a presentation about focus management to a group of successful attorneys. Among other things, my co-presenter, Vinnie Bonazzoli, and I talked about weekly meetings you should schedule on your calendar. The audience surprised me by wanting to know more.

Vinnie and I both recommend that you have a meeting with yourself once a week. Why? So you can focus on what you need and want to do over the next seven days.

So, consider doing the following first thing every Monday morning:

    1. Close the door and turn off the ringer on your phone. DO NOT CHECK YOUR EMAIL!

    2. Write down the good things you accomplished over the last week (to get your confidence up).

    3. Look at your calendar for the next week to see what’s coming up.

    4. Look at your revenue for the month. How close are you to your goal? How much money do you need to make this week?

    5. Look at your list of open cases and prioritize the work you need to do, with an eye to working on the cases that will bring in the most money.

    6. Check your long-term goals. What can you do this week to move them forward?

    7. Review your wins again (so you get your confidence up again).

If you do this every week, my guess is that you’ll have the necessary clarity to accomplish what you want. On the other hand, if you don’t have your self-management meeting, I predict you’ll have trouble growing your business — and be frustrated by the feeling that you’re constantly running just to stay in place.

Please let me know how this helps you!

Don’t Let the Important Things Slip

October 26, 2012

Filed under: Focus/Time Management — @ 8:00 am

I co-taught a presentation about time management to a group of successful attorneys last week. All practice management coaches talk about time management (and I’ve written about it), so what’s the big deal?

Well, I’ve found that every time I teach something, I learn something new about the topic. This experience was no different: I began to consider how planning your time on a monthly — rather than a daily or weekly — basis can help you move your practice forward.

Think about it — there are some crucial aspects to running your business that you don’t have to do every day or every week. For example, you probably don’t send out your newsletter more than once a month; the problem might be that it doesn’t go out at all because there isn’t structure in your schedule for writing the content. Similarly, some attorneys don’t get their bills out regularly because they don’t have the time for billing written into their routine.

So, if you find you let these kinds of things slide, you might want to consider planning your time on a monthly basis. Get out your calendar for the month and create designated times for:

  • Marketing
  • Meeting with clients
  • Production
  • Meeting with your team members
  • Billing
  • Monthly newsletter
  • Email and phone calls
  • Strategic planning

And, don’t forget the truly important stuff:

  • Fun
  • Date night
  • Sleep
  • Weekend away

Please let me know how this helps you!

Little Things Mean a Lot … Or, How Ignoring the Details Can Cost You Business

October 24, 2012

Filed under: Practice Management — @ 6:26 pm

My brother-in-law died recently, leaving his widow, my sister-in-law, with an estate to settle. For us lawyers — especially the estate planners — it probably looks like a pretty simple estate to settle, but, for my sister-in-law, it’s overwhelming.

So, my sister-in-law made an appointment with the local lawyer who had drawn up her and her husband’s wills. What happened? She walked into a messy office, was greeted by a distracted receptionist, had to wait fifteen minutes, and then shown into the lawyer’s messy office. The experience did not instill confidence in her, and my sister-in-law chose not to retain the attorney.

So, what’s the point of this particular blog entry, you say? It’s that because this lawyer was sloppy about first impressions, he lost business. And, if he’d just used some manners and common sense, my sister-in-law probably would have retained him — she was already predisposed to do so.

What should the lawyer have done differently? He should have focused on the message he was conveying through first impressions, including:

  • Keeping his reception area and meeting room clean and neat
  • Making sure my sister-in-law was greeted warmly —and with sympathy — at the door
  • Not making my sister-in-law wait

And, really, how hard would it be for him to do these simple things? Wouldn’t it be worth it so that he wouldn’t lose business?

Please let me know how this helps you!