Do you work in a small firm?
If so, you’ll know that this brings all kinds of professional benefits: the camaraderie, the close client relationships, the personal touch.
Be honest: do you occasionally get just the tiniest, secret stab of jealousy when you look at your peers working in big flashy offices, with all the corporate perks and luxuries that this brings with it?
Maybe you cut your teeth in one of the bigger firms and still find yourself daydreaming about those halcyon days of dedicated secretaries and paralegals?
When your time is precious, it’s only natural to wish you had a little more support in handling the simple, day-to-day tasks. A little less pressure to do everything yourself. A few more ways to save time and boost efficiency – ultimately making you more productive.
What’s more, it’s absolutely right that you’re thinking about these issues. Because solutions that streamline your workload, speed up your communication and alleviate bottlenecks are the things that will help your firm to prosper and grow.
But the answer isn’t to try and copy the expensive methods that massive law firms use – it’s not feasible. You can’t simply keep taking on more staff, or paying to outsource your workload.
Instead, you have to work smarter
Using cloud technology to pool your resources is a great start.
You can opt to share online access to applications, hosted software, storage and backups with colleagues and partners, paying a small monthly subscription rather than splashing out on multiple software licenses.
You can use high-performing tools like ShareFile, the Citrix File Share solution, to sync your data and make files securely available on any authorised device, taking advantage of sophisticated features such as secure file sharing with internal and external contacts, on-line signature tools and retention policies – that give you control over who can access information, where and when.
You can collaborate in real time with your colleagues and clients, allowing you to provide lightning-fast turnaround and top-notch client service, while boosting transparency in the process.
And by making use of hosted workspaces, you go well beyond simply making it easier to see and share your files. You can create a business-boosting, unified communications strategy, with phone numbers that “follow” you across devices and locations, allowing you to be easily and consistently contactable. Video and screen sharing capabilities that make it easier to crack problems and share information.
Tools that improve your interactions with clients and within your team, strengthening relationships and loyalties and helping to nurture a sense of company culture.
And, of course, when the likelihood of you getting paid on time is seriously affected by your ability to cultivate client loyalty, keeping your client base happy is a matter of survival.
Plus, this frees you up to work remotely, helping you to become more flexible and responsive while reducing the strain on office space and infrastructure – potentially saving money and facilitating recruitment drives in the long run.
It’s all about reducing the pressure on your cash flow, making yourself more agile, and giving yourself the space to grow.