By Kristina Schneider, Practice-Building & Marketing Specialist
There’s a saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!”
That’s definitely a very positive way of looking at things and during these current challenges that so many are going through right now, there’s certainly a great deal of lemons being handed to us right now.
There are definitely some opportunities here to make some lemonade though, but I am also going to share another piece of advice that (frankly) I’m sure some of your staff might not want to hear either.
Let’s Make Lemonade!
So, let’s start off with something positive and share with you some of of the potential lemonade-making opportunities that you have available right now:
- LEMONADE-MAKING OPPORTUNITY #1: Growing and adapting to technology. If there’s one thing that this pandemic has brought, it’s certainly forced people to quickly adapt and learn to become more comfortable with technology and this “virtual” world. From turning in-person meetings into Zoom meetings, getting you and your staff able to work remotely from home, to converting in-person seminars to webinars. Many firms were forced to immediately enter into the 21st century. With that comes a lot of great opportunities though, which leads me to…
- LEMONADE-MAKING OPPORTUNITY #2: Ability to expand your services. With all of this technology comes the ability to expand your services. In particular, we’re talking about expanding your service area. With in-person meetings as the only means of meeting prospective clients, many practices were limited to servicing those in and around the vicinity of a physical office location. Thus, satellite offices were opened and used to service a larger service area. However, with the use of technology and virtual meetings (and webinars), the potential service area of your practice expands pretty much state-wide to the states you’re licensed to practice in (WOAH!).
- LEMONADE-MAKING OPPORTUNITY #3: Unexpected “free” time. While we have a lot of attorney-clients who seem busier than ever, there are a lot of attorneys who find themselves with a lot more free time on their hands. The one thing we always here from attorney-clients is that they don’t seem to ever have enough time. With unexpected free time, use this to get your systems and processes in shape. Take those courses on how to successfully run and market your business (hey, did you hear that our Ultimate Level event has gone virtual?! LEARN MORE). Perhaps you’ve got a backlog of files that are half done that you need to catch up on. Maybe you’ve been meaning to start that e-mail newsletter and finally get that CRM system up-to-date and working for you. Whatever it is, use this unexpected free time wisely because you might not always have that free time to do those things you’ve been wanting and needing to do, but never seem to get around to.
- LEMONADE-MAKING OPPORTUNITY #4: Your clients have more “free” time too! Just like you, your clients now have more free time. Some are working from home. Some aren’t taking care of grandchildren right now. With the inability to go about and do life as normal, people are at home and looking for things to do. The opportunity in this is that people are home to check mail and e-mail, people are looking for infotainment (helloooo webinars!) and, more than just the time, the huge opportunity lies in this final lemonade-making opportunity…
- LEMONADE-MAKING OPPORTUNITY #5: Estate, tax and financial planning are more important than ever! Estate planning, in particular, was often looked at as something that you did when you were older, had a lot of money, or perhaps had a concern about possibly becoming ill or dying. Well, the possibility of something happening to you has never been at the forefront of peoples’ concern than right now. On top of that, with the current concerns of the potential state of the economy, people are worried about protecting whatever assets they do have and making smart investments. They’re looking to turn to experts who can help them in this time of need and address all of these concerns that they may have. Right now might be one of the best times to look to target a younger audience and help so many more people right now!
How to Make Lemonade Without the Lemons!
So, with all of these opportunities to turn lemons into lemonade, there’s one lemon (and hopefully just one, but you might have more) that I want to talk about. This is the lemon that no matter how much sugar you might add to the water, you’ll just end up with sour lemonade. What am I talking about here?
I am talking about those cancerous employees that you might have in your firm. You know who I’m talking about. The ones that are under-performing. Perhaps they have an attendance problem. The ones who are gossiping and causing drama among the other employees. The ones not completing their work on time. The ones constantly making mistakes. The ones who show up late or take 2 hour lunch breaks. The ones that cop an attitude with you and who you can’t seem to talk to, so you’re not entirely sure how to deal with, so you just ignore it because it’s easier to ignore.
But, I’m telling you that this pandemic is the opportunity for you to force these kinds of cancerous employees (or lemons, as we’ll call them) into a situation where they either are going to need to shape up or ship out. There are a lot of people perfectly capable and hard-working people who have been recently laid off from their jobs who would be extremely grateful for the opportunity to work for you and join your team. Things have shifted for employers now and in a time where you’re having to possibly downsize and restructure your firm, this is something to take into consideration.
I’ve heard my boss say this over and over again, but there’s no amount of education, experience, or skills that would make an employee worth keeping around if they have a bad attitude and are constantly bringing drama or morale down in your firm. All it takes is one bad apple (or in this case, a lemon) to ruin the bunch.
Use this as an opportunity to figure out how to resolve the potential problematic employees and their behaviors. Ideally, directly have a conversation with them about what expectations you have and what types of behaviors will no longer be tolerated. You will certainly want to consult a labor law attorney and review your own state’s labor law rules about how to lawfully lay off or terminate employees during this time to ensure that you follow proper protocols, particularly if you might look to hire someone new to replace this employee. The hope is that you can rectify the behavior, but the key will be what kind of action you will take to follow through if the behavior and work performance is not improved.
Whatever you do, it’s almost summertime and it’s time to go make some lemonade! 🍋
THE ULTIMATE LEVEL HAS GONE VIRTUAL
The Ultimate Level is an event unlike any other you’ve ever attended. It helps teach all of the things you’ve never learned in law school or in any continuing education events about how to actually develop, set up, run, and manage your law practice. It also covers marketing and how to drive in revenue into your firm, including a component about how to market your firm during these challenging times.
What used to be a 2-day live event has now been converted into a 3-part interactive webinar that you and your entire firm can attend from the convenience of your own office (or home). Our next one is scheduled for June 11-13, 2020 from 8:30am to 12:30pm Pacific Time (each day). Plus, you will want to act now because you and your entire firm can attend for $0 down and $199 per month for 6 months. For more information and details, click here.
We hope that you’ll join us! This event very well might become the opportunity for you to address the “lemons” you might have!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristina Schneider is the current Executive Director of The Ultimate Estate Planner, Inc. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 2004 and was hired right out of college to work for the Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis, coordinating and facilitating Philip Kavesh’s “Missing Link” Boot Camps while also providing administrative support to Mr. Kavesh as his Executive Assistant for over seven years. Through her direct hands-on experience in Mr. Kavesh’s law firm, Kristina has been able to assist numerous estate planning professionals through The Ultimate Estate Planner and, equally as important, many of their staff members, in the successful implementation of Ultimate Estate Planner’s products and systems. You can reach Kristina at (424) 247-9495 or by e-mail at email@example.com.