When business is booming, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to imagine that things might slow down in the future. However, anyone who owns a business, no matter the industry, is keenly aware that there are typically busy times of year and slow times of year.
The legal profession is no exception. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to predict when you will feel so overwhelmed that you have no idea how to get all your work done on time versus when you will have very little reason to get to the office early – because there is no work to complete that day.
Excluding the holiday season, which is typically very hectic for retail establishments but slower for solo attorneys, there might not be a reliable way to predict when your next slow week or month will hit. This is precisely why it’s important to have list of tasks to accomplish when business is sluggish.
It is important to understanding (and accept) that your solo law firm might not be overwhelmed with business every single day of the year. Instead of stressing about your lack of billable hours when things are slow, use your downtime to take care of tasks that you know will benefit the success of your firm in the long run.
When Business is Slow, Focus on One or More of the Following:
Don’t Get Too Discouraged. The longer your law practice is open, the easier it will be for you to understand and accept that business is sometimes slow. Ups and downs are inevitable. A few slow days or weeks should not cause you to obsess on the “probable demise of your practice.” In actuality, your firm is probably doing just fine! All businesses experience a cycle. Try to focus on the future by working on a plan that will help drum up new business.
Write a Few Blog Articles for Your Website. Not only might prospective clients read your informative blog articles, but updating your blog on a regular basis can help elevate your website’s search engine ranking. The higher your website is ranked, the more likely prospective clients will find you, contact you, and hire you.
Avoid Taking an Expensive Vacation. It might seem as though a down period is the perfect time to take a luxurious vacation. However, think twice before booking your Caribbean cruise or buying a plane ticket to Europe. When business is slow, many attorneys feel an overwhelming sense of stress, anxiety, and panic. Planning a vacation in advance, and while business is bustling, is often recommended. You want to enjoy your time away from the office – and not spend your time worrying about the future of your law practice.
Enroll in Continuing Legal Education Classes. Knowing that you have a required number of CLE credits you must earn, a good time to enroll in classes is when business is slow. You never know… you might meet someone in one of your classes who is looking to refer a client to a solo attorney with your exact skills and experience.
Even though most solo attorneys would prefer a constant stream of reliable business during all weeks and months of the year, this can be an almost impossible feat. Keeping a list of tasks to accomplish during your slow periods will help you realize that there is always work to do – even if the work does not include billable hours.