No one is more excited about going on vacation than you. Yet no one has more angst about taking time away from the office than you. With proper planning, you can eliminate the stomach ulcers and last-minute marathon sprints to get everything done before you leave. Isn’t that what we tell our clients? “With proper planning….”
This year has been the year of vacations for me. In February, my family took its first winter break to go skiing. My children are five years old and I figured it was the best age to introduce them to the sport. In April, we went to Arizona to enjoy the desert. Then, in June, we went to the beach for a week. That made three one-week vacations within six months. Last January, I was paralyzed at the thought of being gone so much. How would the office make money in my absence? How would the work get done?
Knowing this was coming, I made three necessary changes to the structure of my office.
- In December, I hired a full-time marketing associate. With the financial goals the team set, it was imperative that the firm extend its efforts to get our name out there and have a greater presence in the community.
- To help manage the increased workflow, whether I was in the office or on vacation, in December I also added an “of counsel” attorney who works in the office two days a week, meeting new clients and participating in all document signing appointments. That allows my office to accept more appointments and gives me an entire day to work on client files, since I am no longer doing the signings. More importantly, when I am out of town, we are still making money because the attorney is meeting new clients while I am gone.
- In March, I promoted my government assistant paralegal to “manager” and hired another full-time paralegal. The manager now supervises two government assistance paralegals, is the first-line review authority for all of their work, and prepares the first draft of any VA or Medicaid appeals. This automatically shifted my role into reviewing, not doing, and dramatically reduced my time working on files.
To accommodate the workflow, I hired additional team members. Yes, overhead expenses have definitely increased. However, I never add a staff person unless the addition either makes the firm more money or creates more free time for me, or both. When it does that, it is an investment, not an expense.
What do you want more of – time or money? What kind of changes to your structure are you willing to make to achieve what you want?
To maximize productivity, we all need to take a vacation to rejuvenate. Don’t skip it, just plan for it. If you want to learn more about how Lawyers With Purpose can help you grown your practice and your revenue, join our Having The Time To Have It All webinar on Thursday, July 23rd at 2 EST. Register now and reserve your spot today!
Victoria L. Collier, Veteran of the United States Air Force, 1989-1995 and United States Army Reserves, 2001-2004. Victoria is a Certified Elder Law Attorney through the National Elder Law Foundation, Author of 47 Secret Veterans Benefits for Seniors, Author of Paying for Long Term Care: Financial Help for Wartime Veterans: The VA Aid & Attendance Benefit, Founder of The Elder & Disability Law Firm of Victoria L. Collier, PC, Co-Founder of Lawyers With Purpose, Co-Founder of Veterans Advocate Group of America.