When we began contemplating change at our firm, it was overwhelming. We knew we wanted to work smarter and more efficiently. We knew we wanted to have more flexibility and more time to spend with clients. We had a clear vision of what we wanted our firm to look like but we didn’t have any idea were to start. We read everything we could find about practice management and efficiency. We attended conferences, seminars, and webinars. We quickly found that there is no one way to do it, no guide, no one size fits all approach. We found that we had to make our own way in our own way.
We wanted to be a paperless office in the cloud. That one statement is so multifaceted that it can make a firm give up before getting started. To keep this from happening at your firm, pick one thing to change. One simple thing. Change that one thing and when it is working smoothly, change something else.
At our firm, we stopped storing paper documents. We worked in paper until the end and then scanned the finished product. That went really well, so the next change was to stop working in paper. Once that was running smoothly, we moved to the cloud. Then we invited some of our best clients to the cloud so we could collaborate with them in real time. And so on.
The changes we’ve made since we started the process are monumental and have revolutionized the way we provide service to our clients. They have also greatly impacted the type of service we provide to clients… but we didn’t make them over night. We made the easiest change first. Once that change was rolling, we upped the ante and made bigger and bigger changes. We saw productivity and client satisfaction rise quickly, which made us more eager to make the next change and the changes began happening faster. They followed a logical progression. We didn’t lay out a detailed plan before we started because we wanted to be flexible. We regrouped each time a change was up and running and asked ourselves, “what makes the most sense to change next?”
We continue to look for opportunities to make our processes better, our client service better, and our flexibility better. Firms must continue to evolve as technology and client relationships change. Keeping things the same for comfort’s sake will only make the change more uncomfortable later.
If you could change just one thing at your firm, what would it be?