Management Strategy – Delegate and Eliminate to Grow a Successful Practice

April 3, 2010 by  Filed under: Management 

Business Growth Strategy: Delegate and Eliminate

Scrambling to manage your practice but never gaining ground in your market? It’s possible the need to do everything yourself is holding you back from real growth. If you started as a solo practitioner, you may be hesitant to let go of key processes. But if you plan to grow your firm into a major player, you’ll have to learn to delegate and eliminate work before you can dominate your market.

Build Strong Systems to Promote Growth

What can a “do-it-yourselfer” do to begin letting go of the reins? Three words: “Create Good Systems.” Well-planned business systems are like a good lawn sprinkler setup; they work without your intervention, encourage new growth and can be monitored with little effort.

Any number of office automation applications can help create the systems you need. From an inexpensive customer contact manager with add-ons for billing to a large-scale software implementation, there are tools available to consolidate business processes and reduce your involvement. Build in whatever reporting structure you require to feel comfortable and then let go.

Reassign or Eliminate What Wastes Your Time

If you don’t like the word “delegate,” decide to “reassign” duties that keep you from running your business. What are you spending time doing that someone else with a reasonable amount of training could do?

In most businesses, there are things being done out of tradition rather than expediency. If you have a hand in them, it’s time to pull the plug. What worked well for you when you were the Lone Ranger may not make sense in a growing office.

Give your staff the opportunity to increase their skills as your practice grows. It increases their investment in your success. Signing checks and chairing every meeting are tasks that can be safely restructured with appropriate controls. Also, take advantage of reliable outsourcing firms to offload processes you’re used to managing. Whether you outsource tasks to outside vendors or hand over control of them to staff, you’re making a commitment to your firm’s growth.

Investing in Growth is Time Well Spent

Here’s the question to help you get started delegating and eliminating the tasks that don’t grow your business: “What is the return on my investment of time?” Smart business owners always have their eyes on future growth; you can hire good people who have their eyes on your firm’s day-to-day.

What could you be doing with the time you save that will strengthen your market position? Capturing a larger market share requires planning. Schedule network-building activities, work with marketing experts to perfect your branding or plan how your firm will absorb the new work created. Those are ownership activities that support growth.

You will probably feel a sense of relief when you’re no longer involved in the smaller details of your business. The sense that everything you do makes a difference to your firm’s long-term growth is invigorating. Delegate your way from “do-it-yourselfer” to “forward-thinking business owner” and eliminate unproductive tasks from your schedule; it’s a sure path to positioning your firm for the future.

Brian Methner, JD, founder of Methner Group, has developed a comprehensive program designed to stop the overwhelm that firm principals experience in trying to successfully manage their law practice. At Methner Group, LLC he helps law firm principals transition from service providers to service firm owners. They do this by providing an array of services to bankruptcy and other law firm practice owners that teach them how to take their firm to the next level of success. You can submit your questions about transitioning your business so that you run your business instead of constantly keeping up with it at Brian will get back to you with a posted answer within 2 business days.

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