My Goal: Guide Your Firm To Alpha
by Justin Martin January 13, 2018
It’s one thing to run a law practice. It’s another thing to build a law business. The two are not synonymous. How so? You can have a successful law practice without having a successful business.
The metrics for measuring law practice success differ greatly from the metrics that define legal business success.
There are many reasons for this. One is, lawyers are prolific procrastinators. We all know it. The die is cast in law school, and then proliferates once we start practicing. There, the court system is built around our time management deficiencies, and by design, is extremely deadline driven. Hence, we tend to wrap things up right before each deadline expires. As a result, law practices tend to place a heavy emphasis on what’s due today and focus very few resources on tomorrow. Said another way, if there’s no deadline associated with it, we don’t see an action as particularly important.
But, in business certain actions are extremely important. In business, there are certain precepts that are paramount. In business, it is universally accepted that what gets measured gets managed. Which means that successful management starts with the action of measuring the right things. In business, inputs happen far in advance of outputs. Sales funnels are inputs, and sales metrics count in today’s highly competitive marketing economy! We don’t learn this in law school.
As a result, when it comes to navigating sales metrics terrains, I find that most law firms are comfortable playing the role of tourists, and put their firm’s future and safety in the hands of tour guides. The truth, in my opinion, is the tour guides often take you where they are safe, and not where you’ll be safe. I’m talking about economic safety. I’m talking about the safety of having a sustainable profit model. I’m talking about the safety of laying the foundation for tomorrow’s competitive advantage today.
As your tour guide, I plan on challenging you to educate yourself about the marketing plan for your business. I plan on guiding you towards places where consensus has not yet converged. Why? Because the price of a marketing opportunity, at a given point in time, reflects the consensus of other firm’s investing in the same opportunity. This is the place where returns are marginal or average at best. Average returns are average. Safe, but average.
Longterm strategy should include seeking above average returns – finding Alpha.
Above average returns arise when firms execute marketing strategy that’s not just about being right, but about being more right than the consensus. My purpose is to guide you to Alpha.