One of my college pre-law interns remarked, while I was in the kitchen making myself lunch today, “I was comparing our billables for this past month with the same month last year and I was so proud to see that we’re way up! Why do you think that is?”
What Did We Do Differently?
I, too, pay attention to our billables. Practice what you preach, right? And I preach about tracking your success by tracking your numbers.
Still, I had to pause for a moment and give Madison’s question some serious consideration. She was new to the office, four months ago, so she may have had something to do with it. Austin was just getting his sea legs under him last August, having started working for me in June, so I know that his billables have improved. In fact, thinking about it, his billable time has increased exponentially, as he has graduated from merely clerical to legal assistant to assuming many paralegal responsibilities, the first two task-types being completely non-billable but the last being very profitable for the firm.
But Austin had simply replaced another paralegal so that likely wasn’t the root of the improvement. And, when I doublechecked with my time and billing program (I really love these software programs), he was billing more than Megan had done but not enough to account for all of the enrichment. So what was it?
I pondered this question while Madison was also thinking. As I left the kitchen, she followed up with another question. “Do you suppose it’s the lockdown, causing more divorces?”
I suggested that she call the clerk of court and find out whether filings are up. Earlier today, I had seen a news piece out of Sacramento, which maintained that new filings were actually down! Sacramento Newsreview. The clerk’s office tracks that information here too, but, apparently, that is not the case in Tampa Bay.
Married to Marketing
And then it hit me. Marketing is very much about stick-to-it-tiveness. You can’t just market a little bit; you can’t just market for a short time and hope that it will make the difference. You have to commit to it. Marketing must become your way of life. When it does, the results will become more and more and more apparent as your marketing momentum yields more and more and more positive results . . . and clients. Since I’ve begun to focus my efforts on promoting my practice regularly and religiously, the number of folks calling Open Palm Law has increased, the percentage of those calls resulting in consultations scheduled has also gone up, and the proportion of retainers executed as a result of those consults has also surged up.