3 ways to help yourself, your law firm and others during the coronavirus outbreak
A guide on how to formulate a clear vision and make the correct strategic decisions for your law firm while caring for your team and community, amid COVID-19 outbreak.
Let’s stay human, now more than ever. You and your law firm can stand out, and become a point of reference for your employees, your clients, and your local community.
Health and sanity are the top priorities these days. Not only physical health, of course, we all have to stay alert and careful to protect ourselves and our beloved ones from COVID-19, but mental health as well. Anxiety and stress are normal, but we all need to take a deep breath, clear our vision, think and act strategically about all the necessary decisions.
As a leader in your law firm, you probably need to make various critical decisions during these days that concern different business matters, so let’s break them down.
1. The firm’s team
Cash is King, as businessmen and investors say. Payroll is a consuming part of your firm’s cash flow, but be careful, before taking any steps and laying off anyone from your staff, evaluate their work and think of what they have offered to your practice. Think of ways you can use their talents and skills while working remotely. There is valuable knowledge in every single one of them and several ways to make the most out of each one of your employees.
Talent is so rare nowadays, and the best advice from us would be “Do not act in fear”. Yes, we are all scared, but what happens when you let somebody go during such a difficult situation and in a little while you need them back? Talk to your people, reassure them, show them that you are a caring leader and they will appreciate it, now and in the future. Make sure that all your decisions are well thought and strategic.
Tip: Content is key, as we always say, use some of your staff to create content for you. Moreover, you probably have some native Spanish speakers in your team, make good use of their valuable skills and guide them to start a transcreation of your website, if it’s not already culturally translated. If it already is, have them create Hispanic content. Evaluate your local Hispanic audience and identify the opportunities. It’s a great opportunity to be ready for brighter days. Don’t forget to keep track of each team member’s performance; remote working can be effective and you can evaluate contributions. If you need a performance tracking software, you could use Harvest or Worksnaps.
2. Communicate with your clients
The first step to take on this matter, and if you haven’t done it already please do it immediately, is let your clients and peers (current, or previous) know that you are still open for business. Send them an email with your new working hours, your updated procedures and your methods of communication. It’s important to keep them updated during these uncertain times. Remember to check your listings as they might be affected by generally suggested closures.
Finally, monitor practice areas. Some of you might see a drop in some important areas for your firm; be it speeding tickets, or DUI. However, no matter how unfortunate this is, we will probably face an increase in domestic assault and divorces. If these are areas of interest for you and your law firm, make sure that you are ready and you have let prospects know about this. You should update your website, communicate it via newsletters (email marketing) and social media (for instance Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn).
Tip: Create interesting newsletters for your clients and peers. Take your smartphone and record a short video. We, at Nanato Media, have used a video solution called Vidyard; applications like this can add value to your efforts.
3. Your community matters
As a law firm, you probably act locally, your former or prospective clients are people who leave in your city or a neighboring one. Guess what, the community is in need these days. Think of ways that you can help. You can make significant contributions that can turn you into a community caretaker. Are you able to offer hand sanitizers? Masks? Gloves? Go for it. Are there people in need because of unemployment? Show that you actively care. It would be great if you can partner with a restaurant and offer some free take away meals.
Tip: It’s always amazing to help your community, but it’s even more impressive during these unprecedented times that everybody is feeling insecure. Use this material in a sensitive way for your PR, show that you care for those around you, and become a community caretaker.
To sum things up:
- Don’t act in fear. We are all scared, but we need to keep in mind that we should help each other and not destroy what we’ve built
- Be proactive. Envision brighter days that will follow this storm. Introduce strategic changes that will help you, not only now, but also in the future.
- Community matters. Open up to your people, support them whenever possible.
- Content is key. Write articles, record videos, translate your material. Do all the things you didn’t have time to do before.
- Talent is so rare and valuable. Respect it and make the best out of it.
- Monitor areas of practice. What seemed of low interest a week ago, might soon become your bread and butter.