Posted by Jay Kamlet on Apr 23, 2014
Solo law practice – Tips for keeping your business house in order
At home, you might be working on prepping the lawn and garden for the warm season, or you might be cleaning out that front closet and donating old items you no longer need. It’s the time of year for some good, old-fashioned spring cleaning, and clearing out can not only make your space look nicer, but it can help your brain feel clearer. In fact, studies have shown that housekeeping and spring cleaning can actually help reduce stress.
So, when’s the last time you did some housekeeping in your business? Clutter doesn’t necessarily have to be a stack of old papers in a forgotten filing cabinet. It can take the form of a disorganized client database or antiquated accounting tools. Look around your office (or computer) for areas of your business that could use a little sprucing up this season:
- Taxes. This year’s taxes have been filed, but it’s not too early to plan for next year. Talk to your accountant about ways to save on taxes and how to stay organized for your next filing.
- Billing. Do you have an efficient system for billing and tracking payments? Capterra offers reviews and descriptions of legal billing software that can help.
- Filing. Do you keep hardcopy files that could be scanned and organized electronically? The American Bar Association has put together a handy guide for going paperless.
- Backup. Invest in cloud storage to backup files.
- E-mail. Purge your e-mail inbox. After you’ve done the big inbox clear-out for spring, entrepreneur Pamela Springer recommends taking 15-20 minutes at the end of each day to file and organize e-mails.
- Go mobile. Consider apps on your smartphone and tablet that can help you with note-taking, scheduling, accessing court documents, dictation and more. This list of apps from Cyberadvocate will get you started.
- More of it. Have you outgrown the kitchen table or your home office? Then it’s time to look at office space. LawBank offers affordable office space for lawyers in Denver, from co-working space to full office suites, without the long-term commitment of a traditional office lease.
- Neatness counts. In a survey from staffing firm Adecco, 57 percent of respondents admitted to judging coworkers based on a messy office or desk (it’s even worse if your clients are judging you on it). Clear your desk of piles, empty drawers of old/outdated files and “keep only what you need at arm’s length,” according to Forbes.
What are some of your tips for staying organized in your solo law practice or small law firm? Tell us here, using the subject line “Lawyer spring cleaning,” or Tweet us at @Law_Bank using #lawyerspringclean.