Reduce Your Number of No-Shows and Cancellations with a Proper Confirmation Process

By Kristina Schneider, Practice Success Coach Having worked with numerous estate planning professionals over the years, one of the issues that a lot of people have struggled with are appointment and seminar no-shows and cancellations.  One of my first questions is always, “What does your confirmation process look like?” For some, they don’t have any process in place at all.  For others, they have a mixture of an e-mail that is sent or a phone call the day before.  While something is better than nothing, there is always room for improvement to help reduce the number of no-shows and cancellations….

Drowning in E-mail? Tips to Save Time and Be More Efficient!

By Kristina Schneider, Practice Success Coach Electronic mail, otherwise known as e-mail, has become a vital and primary form of communication for most businesses.  In fact, it’s the very reason you’re probably reading this newsletter article. While e-mail has become a very efficient way to communicate and handle business, it can also become a source of major inefficiency and time-wasting in the office.  Think about how much time is spent sifting through all of your daily e-mail.  Double or triple that when you come back from the weekend.  And let’s not even talk about how much e-mail we come back…

A Conversation About Perceived Value

By Melinda Merk, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, AEP® (Distinguished) This time of year, we tend to see an uptick in estate and trust administration and guardianship cases. All too often, we see situations where the deceased or incapacitated person did their estate planning on the cheap, did it themselves or, worst of all, did nothing. Unfortunately, their families and loved ones are now bearing the added cost and emotional burden of a court-supervised probate or guardianship proceeding and other unintended consequences, which could have been alleviated had the proper planning and documents been in place, working with an experienced estate…

Top 6 Strategies for Managing Interruptions in the Workplace

By Kristina Schneider, Practice-Building & Marketing Specialist According to a study, the average time spent per day by employees being interrupted and trying to refocus is 2.1 hours. Interruptions at the workplace is estimated to cost businesses in the U.S. over half a trillion dollars each year!* While interruptions at the workplace are inevitable, it doesn’t mean that they cannot be minimized or reduced. Below are what I consider to be the top ten strategies for managing (and reducing) the amount of interruptions at the workplace. Strategy #1: Evaluate (and change) your physical workspace. One of the biggest eye-openers for…

Free Checkup Meetings Generate Lots of Revenue!

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law In a prior article, we discussed the “free service package” alternative to an annual maintenance fee program.  The package included a free attorney checkup meeting every three years. You may be wondering, “How do you get your existing clients to come back in for these checkup meetings and actually generate additional revenue from them?” (Before I address these questions, let me first note that, even if you do have and decide to keep your current maintenance plan, periodic checkup…

Staff Reviews & Setting Goals at the Beginning of the New Year

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law In successfully running a law practice for over 40 years, I have found that it’s vitally important to periodically meet with each of my staff members (even ones that may be part-time or independent contractors) to review their job performance and set clear and defined goals.  Once you do these reviews on a regular basis, you will be amazed how much more motivated and productive your staff will be! I do these reviews semi-annually, at the beginning of January…

The Success of Your Business Starts with a Happy Work Environment

By Kristina Schneider, Practice-Building & Marketing Specialist “Businesses often forget about the culture and ultimately suffer for it because you can’t deliver good service from unhappy employees.”  – Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos   An often overlooked aspect of developing a successful business is really taking the time to look at the employees, the work environment and the company culture.  The fact is, if you have a disorderly, stressful, and hostile work environment, chances are that you have unhappy employees who don’t like coming into work every day.  And the bold truth of it is that your business will suffer…

Tips for Boosting Morale In Your Office This Thanksgiving

By Kristina Schneider, Practice-Building & Marketing Specialist There’s no doubt that this year has been a challenging one for many people – – both professionally and personally.  There’s been a whirlwind of things going on this year and it’s hard to just “check it at the door” when you come into the office. Speaking with numerous attorneys about their current challenges in their practice, one thing seems certain.  Office morale is down. Low morale at the office usually results in reduced productivity, compromised work performance, tardiness and absences, and even personal conflicts and emotional outbursts. As we wind down the…

Six Big Mistakes When Choosing an Associate Attorney

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Although attorneys are trained in the technical aspects of the law, we haven’t been taught how to run a successful business, often relying upon trial and error as costly teachers. In the process of building my own practice, I have made each and every one of the following mistakes when hiring associate attorneys, so I am speaking to you from experience. Mistake #1: Focusing mainly on the associate’s law school, credentials, experience and technical expertise. As educated and experienced…

6 Ways You’re Holding Yourself (and Your Firm) Back Without Even Knowing It!

By Kristina Schneider, Practice-Building & Marketing Specialist If your practice isn’t where you want it to be and you feel “stuck”, do you know why?  There may be plenty of reasons why.  However, more often than not, there are a lot of things that you, the estate planning attorney, are doing (or not doing) that are the reasons why can’t seem to move forward. Having worked with estate planning attorney, Philip Kavesh, for over 16 years, both in his law practice and with our attorney customers of The Ultimate Estate Planner, I’ve seen a commonality in most attorneys and what’s…