Are You Fitting Jobs to People?

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Hiring, training, and managing employees have certainly not been easy things to learn when it comes to owning my own law practice.  I say it time and time again, but these are the things that we never learned in law school, but yet seemingly take up a great deal of time (and expense) if not done well. One common mistake that I am guilty of making in the past, but that I’ve seen come up quite a bit lately…

What to Do When Everything is Urgent & Important?

By Kristina Schneider, Practice Success Coach Too often for most people, there’s far too much to do and not enough time to do it.  This requires a balancing act of figuring out how to prioritize your work. For most people, the work that gets set aside are the non-important, but also sadly, the non-urgent and important items.  The things that you know you need to get to, but that don’t have a looming deadline to be met.  Those tasks will constantly be backburnered into an oblivion, perhaps for eternity. We implement what is known as the “Urgent & Important” (or…

The Art of Confirming an Appointment

By Kristina Schneider, Practice Success Coach Knowing the steps of how to properly confirm an appointment – – any kind of appointment, including a phone appointment, client meeting, lunch meeting, etc. – – is extremely valuable to any office looking to continue to operate efficiently and effectively. However, I have found that a lot of people don’t do this (or don’t do it properly) and this can result in a lot of disruption in the office. Whether or not you are the one responsible for confirming appointments, if you know that your office could benefit from a makeover in your…

Multiple Financial Advisor Referral Relationships May Be a Big MISTAKE!

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Does that sound crazy to you? Probably! But, hear me out. (By the way, if you’re a financial advisor, what I’ll say applies equally to you having too many estate planning attorney relationships.) Over the years, I have consistently heard fellow estate planning attorneys tell me all of the reasons why the dedicated, single-financial advisor referral relationship (or a relationship with only one company or group of advisors) that I use in my practice doesn’t work or why it…

Blow Up Your Annual Client Maintenance Program!

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law In this article, I addressed the marketplace issues confronting estate planning attorneys, in particular commoditization of our “products” and increasing low price competition.  One of the ways that I discussed to combat these issues is to emphasize how your “product” is better than your competitors’.  Another way to differentiate yourself is to emphasize your “service after the sale.”  When someone purchases a car, he or she wants to know what kind of service or maintenance program is available and what…

Top 10 E-mail Etiquette Rules for Estate Planning Professionals (and Their Assistants and Staff)

By Kristina Schneider, Practice Success Coach Electronic mail (otherwise known as e-mail) plays an important part in any business these days. It’s helped make communicating and doing business far more efficient and simpler. However, as with most things in business, there are certain rules that professionals should follow when it comes to using e-mail. If not done correctly, it can actually create unnecessary confusion, chaos, and an unnecessary amount of miscommunication (and maybe even legal liability!). Below, you will find what I consider to be the ten most important e-mail etiquette rules to live and work by. (NOTE: These are…

Effectively Managing Your Boss’ Busy Calendar

By Kristina Schneider, Practice Success Coach Whether your boss is an estate planning attorney, CPA, financial advisor or life insurance agent, chances are, he or she has an overwhelmingly busy calendar.  From client meetings, phone calls, seminar presentations, conferences and CE programs to numerous projects to be completed, goals to be reached, and endless obligations to be met. How do you organize, prioritize and manage it all while getting everything scheduled and done? Ask for Assistance with Prioritizing First, ask for assistance in prioritizing your tasks (and your boss’ tasks).  Thankfully, most executives acknowledge that their assistants are juggling several…

Do Client Maintenance Plans Really Work?

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Two of the major issues confronting estate planning attorneys are the commoditization of our “products” and increasing low price competition thanks to the do-it-yourself kits and internet trusts.  One way to combat these issues is to emphasize and show your prospects how your “product” is superior to what your competitors have to offer, such as by differentiating the services available to the client after the sale.  Think about it, when you purchase or lease a car, don’t you usually…

7 Common Mistakes When Disciplining and Terminating Associates and Staff

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Dealing properly with employees is yet another key challenge to running a smooth-operating practice.  And, once again, this is the kind of stuff we never learn in law school or any other continuing education course.  Unfortunately, I have made all of the following mistakes and have had to learn the hard way.  By reading this article, I hope that you will now be adequately warned and can hopefully avoid making the same mistakes! Mistake #1: Quick to Hire, Slow…

The Importance of Taking Time Off and Getting a Break from Work

By Kristina Schneider, Practice Success Coach The concept of taking time off of work or stepping away from work seems like an obvious one, but for those that are super-dedicated to their job, this can actually be a difficult task to do sometimes. It took me some time, but it was something that I had to learn over a number of years of going full-steam, with very little to no breaks. I can recall when I was first hired by Phil back in 2004, I was an eager, freshly graduated college student. There were a lot of details to my…