The Remote Law Firm
Our firm has been remote-based since 2008. We've been doing virtual meetings with our team internally and with our clients for years now. We are familiar with the current tools to be remote, like Zoom, I have the Yeti microphone, have the ring light and green screen. We are proud to say that Artesani Bookkeeping is a future-ready accounting firm.
But many of our law firm clients are new to this type of technology. We have supported them to get their accounting up-to-date. But law firms are notoriously known for paperwork and some antiquated workflows and systems. They are slow to adapt. Some of our Zoom meetings with our customers are done with the staff using their phone and calling into Zoom. When this pandemic sent them home to remote work, many of our law firm clients had to call the IT guy to set up the staff with VPN's (Virtual Private Network) and a setup VOIP or forwarding phone systems so they could receive calls from home.
Some more great tips on other aspects of a remote firm can be found in this article By Nicole Black, "How to Create a Remote Working Plan for Your Law Firm".
Tools for a remote law practice
The number one thing to keep business going during this pandemic is you need to get your head wrapped around doing video meetings. You want as little friction as possible. A smooth meeting without technical difficulties. We don't know how long this new way of working is going to be happening. I realize not because everybody is a tech-savvy guru, but video meetings using the tools are not difficult anymore.
Tips for successful remote at home business meetings
Positioning your camera, getting good lighting, a good background, use a headset if you have a lot of background noise, are the core tips. You don't have to be tech-savvy as it is pretty easy to get the pieces needed to do a video conference, mostly plug and play! But the number one tip is to get your camera up to eye level. I have experienced some video meetings with people on their laptops and I am staring into their nostrils (thank you Dell for such a wonderful placement of your camera!).
I believe that when we come out of this pandemic, many of the ways we work will change. There is much value in being face to face if you can do it well. If you think you are going to do this more long term, having an excellent background at night just the brand of your law firm and the image you're trying to portray to your clients becomes super important. If you have a picture of your office, you could use that with your logo, so you brand that as your background. Just be sure to test it.
Help from my Assistant
If you're connecting with a client, you will be able to read body language and for them to be able to see your face. To provide exceptional service, sometimes a video as a follow up instead of an email will help your client know that you empathize with them, that you care.
Even when hosting a meeting with staff, you must show that you have taken the time to organize your meetings and be professional. Keep that sense of team even though you are all miles apart. Maybe think outside the box about something team building. It can be lonely working from home. See this post from last week that will help calm the nerves.
The elephant in the room is there is going to be an economic impact as a result of this pandemic. Restaurants and other businesses have had to close. Attorneys may be asked to help when it comes to assisting with the ramifications of this. Will you have to reduce your billable or hourly rate? Maybe this will have your office rethinking even billing a client hourly? This may be the time to move to a subscription-based practice so that your fees are more affordable, and you can help your clients get through this. Now more than ever, is it time to think like a leader and take charge of your firm and practice. Look at your offerings. Make that move and become a rockstar of your profession. Your clients may be in crisis right now. How can you help them? They still need peace of mind, and they still need a resolution.
While there is uncertainty about when things will return to what I am calling "the new normal," we can take action to keep our staff focused and reassured that their jobs would remain intact, that they will be paid, give them some love and attention at this time. Send them a virtual hug. Help them feel less isolated. Give them a high five if they do something you are grateful for.
Next week I will give you the financial steps to survive these weeks while we hunker down at home. Join our Facebook group, QB Community Live, as we are sharing some great content with pdf's and videos from some of the accounting industry thought leaders.
If you need help from me directly, I would be happy to. Reach out. Even if you just want to chat. I am more than happy to listen and guide the best I can. We are in this together and will rise stronger on the other side of this.
We’re looking for awesome clients to partner with.