Whether your firm’s humming along at a profitable pace or struggling to make it from one day to the next, it undoubtedly has room for improvement. Seemingly benign management errors or neglect can have disproportionately negative effects on your bottom line. Marketing, which some view as a luxury, has a direct impact on the success or failure of your firm, and unfortunately, marketing is one of the first things that unenlightened management cuts.
Instead of questioning what can we do to bring in business, they cut the marketing budget. Then they look for other things to cut. What happens next? What do you think??? Business dries up…maybe not at first, but it ends up becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy. Few things can doom a firm faster than unenlightened, weak or neglectful management. Now is not the time to cut the marketing budget…you should be putting more time, money and effort into your marketing. Now, I understand that in many firms, partners receive little to no marketing training, so those without natural marketing abilities may shy away from business development activities. Everyone needs to be encouraged to make rain. Partners who claim they’re “too busy” to develop business should be provided with human and technological resources that will help free up their time. Don’t take no for an answer. Create an environment in which collegiality, accountability and profitability go hand-in-hand. Lay the foundation early and clarify everyone’s roles and the expectations other people have of them.
Entrenched policies and internal politics may hinder change, which is why the advice of outside advisors can be particularly valuable when your firm is ready to address shortfalls and find solutions. The resources are out there. As we said in a recent blog post, market your practice before you don’t have a practice to market. Give the unenlightened a back seat…Don’t let them doom your firm.