If you’re an attorney who has embraced the work-from-home lifestyle, you’re not alone. Many attorneys have found that they are just as efficient working from home and that they are able to reduce expenses associated with maintaining an office.
One of our recent clients decided to take full advantage of a remote lifestyle and become a virtual nomad. The only thing that was in her way was getting her law office organized. It was critical that her legal operations were automated and self-regulating, so she reached out to Equivity to help her set up the internal processes that would lower her overhead business costs and allow her to start traveling.
Whether or not you are interested in going totally virtual, now is the time to consider how you can become less reliant on a physical law office. Here are some steps you can take to achieve that goal.
Step 1) Evaluate your Operations
Are you ready to hit the road? Transitioning to a virtual office is not as daunting as it might seem. To get organized and on track, start with the following questions:
- Who handles your incoming calls? If you use a virtual receptionist already, you might be ready to transition. If you do not have any assistance, consider a virtual receptionist company, like Ruby, who can give you a plug and play solution for handling client calls and scheduling meetings.
- Are you satisfied with your current intake process? Collecting and storing all of the necessary information for screening potential clients can be a job in itself. Managing your leads, following up with potential clients, and keeping your clients happy can be too much work for one person. Utilizing a virtual paralegal, or a virtual legal secretary, can improve your client satisfaction.
- Do you have an efficient close file process? Take your close file checklists and go paperless. After that, evaluate which parts of the process can be automated or passed off to someone you trust.
Make adjustments to your internal procedures as needed. Whether that means creating or redoing intake questionnaires or drafting templates for close file letters, put all of your systems in place so that your remote office is ready and efficient.
Step 2) Incorporate Helpful Platforms or Software
Technology can support us at every twist and turn in our business efforts. While navigating these options can be overwhelming, once the software or apps are implemented they can make life much easier.
Think about using software for:
- Billing and client payments
- Document signing and e-signatures
- Lead generation and lead management
- Email marketing
- Virtual meetings or conferences
- Digital advertising and social media advertising
- Customer support and review collection
You can set up your chosen software or outsource that step to an expert. It will save you the time and the hassle. The end result is that you keep your internal processes organized, your clients happy, and your practice profitable.
Step 3) Implement a New Marketing Plan
A common mistake is to wait for business to slow down before increasing marketing efforts. Marketing is another area that can be outsourced to a professional so that you can focus on client cases. Creating content for blogs, social media, or newsletters is time-consuming. From engagement letters, to lead nurturing emails, to drip campaigns- automating your marketing process takes some of the work off of your plate.
Are you using a CRM that matches your law firm’s needs? Are you implementing lead management tools? Do you have an automated system of preparing and sending engagements once the lead becomes a client? Make sure that your marketing strategies aren’t neglected.
Step 4) Plan Your Travel Logistics
Just as you would with any other type of long-term or international travel, make sure you contact your bank or credit card company, along with your phone provider. Make any necessary adjustments to your current plans or financial resources before leaving home. It is also a good time to research your options with insurance, taxes, and consider the cost of living in different locations.
While you make your itinerary, consider the time zone changes or if your business hours will be affected. Go one step further, and use the time zones to your advantage. Are you able to open up your target market and expand your clientele?
If you are planning on staying in one place for more than a month, there are co-working spaces that could facilitate a work environment that feels productive for you. Or you can find digital nomad communities so that you can travel with other working professionals. At the very least, confirm your Wi-Fi options while making your travel plans.
Step 5) Enjoy the Benefits of being a Digital Nomad
Without the overhead costs of your office, you have saved money. You have freed up your time and you now have the freedom to do what you want. It’s time to explore your new found independence! Working from home does not have to be exclusive to your home. In 2022, you can redefine ‘home’. You can be working on case files from a remote cabin in the woods, or from a tropical beach, or a quaint European cafe. Whether you are interested in spending more quality time with long-distance family or visiting all of the countries on your bucket list, becoming a digital nomad is doable. You do not need to wait for a vacation or retirement to pack your bags.
Taking the steps to prepare for a digital nomad life can free up your billable time. Your ability to stay productive with your caseload, and connected to your clients or colleagues, is not tied to your office. If you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our legal team members to discuss your current systems and options feel free to contact us at: 800-679-5315.