Law Practice Management-- How To Identify Your Costs



When believing through their law firm marketing strategies, identifying charges is a tough law practice management task for a lot of attorneys. In figuring out fees for certain services, attorneys typically fall brief of what they ought to charge. A lot of attorneys are scared of even charging the competitive cost for their services when making their law firm marketing strategies. Further, they make the prices decisions typically with no information or conceptual structure. Furthermore, rather of focusing their efforts on how they can justify getting leading dollar for what they provide, they charge a cost that is often way too low and frequently in fact can scare off potential clients who believe there is something missing out on from a service that is " low-cost". Additionally numerous lawyers do not recognize that the majority of purchasers in the market without a doubt are "value purchasers" and not looking for "cheap".

Prior to you sit down and start believing through your law practice management pricing method you require some distinctions around pricing frequently utilized in law firm marketing preparation. Do know a law practice management law firm marketing strategy is not reliable if you only attract people who want to pay the lowest fee for a service. Rather, you want to focus your law practice management and law firm marketing plans on attracting clients who will end up being long term assets to the firm.

There are essentially 4 ways of determining just how much you must be charging for your services. Lets move right into those now.

The Marketplace Method In Law Practice Management Prices

This is one great way of determining rates. Get your assistant to support you in this law practice management job and spend some time finding what the series of pricing remains in the community. Have her do a " secret consumer" study by calling around as if he/she were a prospective client and learn what your rivals say on the phone to her around rates. She might need to call from her house phone to prevent caller ID. As another alternative you could have him/her call other assistants or paralegals at your competitors and provide to exchange your charges for their costs or you could do that with other legal representatives yourself in your market. If you really wish to get into it and have maximum data you can write maybe a couple of dozen rivals in your marketplace and say you are doing a charge survey and if they would send you their cost list you will create a composite list that does not determine those reacting and send them a copy of the results. To keep it basic for them include a stamped, self-addressed envelope with a list of the most common services provided in your practice area. Now you will see what individuals are charging for services comparable to those you provide. You should be able to create a variety of rates. Utilize this range to set rates for your own services. My suggestion in law practice marketing preparation is to charge at the 75% level of the list. So you should be at or in the top 25% of the charges.

Keep in mind that in basic it is not a great law practice management method to compete on rate. Most possible customers will see rates that is too low as a signal that there is something missing either from the service, the supplier, or the firm. And individuals who are looking for a low price will follow that low price any place they can find find this it rather than becoming long-term customers. Be sure that your cost covers your expenses and a sensible revenue margin.

The Cost Method in Law Practice Management Prices

This law practice management prices approach is really uncomplicated truly. The most common mistake in law practice management utilizing this approach is to disregard to consist of some form of your cost.

OK, let me state it again. In law practice management often you count yourself out of the costs and you should include yourself in the costs. Why? Often you are doing a minimum of a few of the technical work. Yes? Often you are doing at least some of the management work. Yes? As the owner of the company you are due a sensible profit. Yes? If you are all 3 of these in one, you need to consider one wage as due you for your time and competence as the technician and supervisor in addition to a earnings of fifteen to thirty percent due you as the owner. Be sure to include a affordable cost for your technical and managerial work in the expenditures part of this formula.

Fixed Rate Method in Law Practice Management Prices

This is the method utilized by many automobile mechanics (it is called "the flat rate book") and other provider. This approach is where you figure out a fixed rate for different tasks and charge that rate no matter what. He makes more if the mechanic spends less time than allocated for the job. He makes less if he spends more time than designated. However in the end, all of it levels (well, generally to the mechanics' favor if you ask me). Another example utilizing this approach is how managed healthcare has actually used this system with hospitals and doctors . Attorneys can use this system if they desire.

The "Rule of Three" in Law Practice Management Prices

This " guideline" called the " guideline of 3" utilized in law practice management is not what your CPA might inform you and it does not fail you either. Ask your CPA what they think of it and they will like it. To begin we are going to be thinking in thirds. For the first 3rd we will take the total quantity of salaries/bonuses (not advantages simply incomes-- advantages go into the 2nd third coming next) for the earnings generators and/or timekeepers (this includes you if you are creating income) and call that our first 3rd. So build up the salaries of the legal representatives, paralegals, and legal secretaries who generate profits or are timekeepers and call this your very first 3rd (lets just state that number was $100,000 to keep it easy). Whatever that number is take that number once again and it is your second third which we will call your "overhead" (thus that second third is $100,000 and do not forget you if you are doing some managing partner type duties because that part of your time goes here in overhead). Then take that exact same number and we will call that your last 3rd, which we will call gross profits (another $100,000). What you need to do is take the total amount (in this example $300,000) and now figure out just how much you should charge per billable hour, per fixed rate or how numerous contingency fee cases won to be sure you struck the target we should hit given our very first third number times three (in this example $300,000).

This method shows you just how much per hour you require to charge. Because you understand the number of billable hours each profits generator can do each month, simply divide that into your total of all thirds ($300,000) to see what you require to charge per billable hour to make your numbers come out properly. As long as you hit your targets you will be ensured of a 15% to 30% net make money from your operations. After all if you are the owner of the practice you are worthy of a fair earnings also don't you concur? This method is called the Rule of 3. , if this method is a bit too confusing do feel complimentary to call me and I will our website help you arrange it out in a few minutes on the phone.

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It is a great idea to analyze all of these prices approaches in identifying your law practice management pricing strategy before setting a cost and continuing with a law office marketing strategy to ensure you are completely checking out all options. Remember the propensity for a lot of lawyers is to price too low. Don't do that! In another post I will tell you how to speak with prospective customers so you never have a issue getting the fee you should have.

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