In January of 2013, we posed this question to several of our law firm members: “What changes are you making in your collection practice in order to grow in 2013?” Today we’re taking a look back at some of those responses to see how those ideas worked and to compare them to what our law firms can do to grow in 2016 and beyond.
The words “Compliance Management” and “Consumer Satisfaction” were repeated in multiple 2013 responses. NL added “Compliance Manager” to the list of key personnel we ask firms for. Many of our firms now have a person with this title or at least someone dedicated to this responsibility. If anything, compliance is more of an issue now than it was 3 years ago, and having a Compliance Management Plan in place is a necessity for every successful and growing collection practice.
Other 2013 responses we received included, “turning our Compliance Department into a profit center,” “using smart technology,” “aligning client relationships toward mutually beneficial goals,” “delivering the highest level of results to our clients,” “develop/foster/grow relationships with existing and potentially ‘new business partners,’” and “become certified in Compliance Management.” All of those goals still seem viable and very important to achieve today.
In 2013, David Lovik, Lovik & Juhl, PLLC, said, “This past year was one of transition for our office. We switched our predominate practice area to Creditor’s Rights. As a result, we have made significant changes in our practice to meet the expectations and needs of our client base. Having embraced industry standards like YGC, we will effectively and efficiently produce for our current and future clients.”
Asked recently about his 2016 perspective, David said, “A lot has changed since 2013. We have experienced growth by adapting to the needs of our clients and streamlining processes. This has been very effective and has netted fantastic results. We are happier, our clients are happier, and we look forward to continued success.”
Randy Johannes, of Machol & Johannes, L.L.C., said in 2013 that their goal was to, “Do What’s Right. This applies to consumers, our employees and to our clients. Clearly our employees and our clients are our most valuable assets. We strive to protect them with everything we do. This also goes hand-in-hand with our renewed focus on compliance. We recently hired a full-time in-house Compliance Attorney and a full-time in-house Compliance Manager.”
When asked to comment on what they will do for growth in 2016, Randy said, “Our 2016 goal is to remain a leader in performance and compliance while finding additional opportunities to partner with other firms. We know that margins remains tough in this business, and we’ve been able to successfully partner with a few firms to make true win-win arrangements. Doing so will enable us to provide better coverage to our clients and to improve our economies of scale.”
A little research yielded these 16 ideas for promoting growth in 2016:
- Trust that growth is possible when you take the first step
- Don’t exceed your firm’s client capacity when you grow
- Look for sources of growth capital at every level of growth
- Make sure your online presence is strong and effective
- Update your apps and technology
- Use the latest case management and lead tracking software
- Reach out to new prospects
- Expand into a new market
- Travel to meet at least one client in person
- Outsource the small things
- Improve your bottom line by getting someone else to do what you don’t like to do—cheaper
- Consider alternative billing methods
- Hire someone with a unique skillset
- Attend a new conference
- Take a course related to your business
- Stick to your vision; don’t say yes to every opportunity
So….. What are the goals you’ve set to help grow your collection practice in 2016? How are they working so far? We encourage all of our members and friends to post a response.