The headaches of budgets and holiday e-cards.
Now that we’ve passed the Labour Day holiday that marks the unofficial second start of the business year, the two major bumps in the road to year-end are the creation of budgets and holiday e-cards.
Which is the bigger headache? Flip a coin; both tasks are time consuming and require intense effort.
Given my druthers, I choose budgets. Understanding the financial side of a law firm’s business is crucial to long-term planning and success. Also, having been known to submit budgets with a note that says, “There’s a chainsaw in here. Find it.” I enjoy the challenge and humour of the annual budgetary puzzle.
For me, the mix-and-match of funding is far more preferable to plotting how to pounce on clients, prospects, friends, and others in the firm’s contact database and subjecting them to a generic one-message-fits-all-and-takes-too-long-to-load holiday message.
There are only a handful of firms that do holiday greetings justice. One firm that springs to mind immediately is Lax O’Sullivan Scott Lisus LLP, now renamed Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb.
Always self-effacing, this whip-smart crew is known for taking their work seriously but not themselves. Famous for a no guts, no glory approach, the partners have starred in various send-ups, including Trailer Park Lawyers – a riff on Trailer Park Boys – and last year’s holiday e-card profiled them as members of the Canuck (Duck) Dynasty.
Only firms that go to the extent of one-of-a-kind messaging along with spending big bucks on really terrific and tightly targeted creative should be left to their own devices.
The rest of us would be wise to stop fussing about how to convey greetings of the season without prejudicing somebody along with agonizing over how to get the animated snowflakes to fall just so and instead, step away from the blessed send button.
Finding something better to do with that time and money might be a thought. Maybe like sending a card with a handwritten note that shows you really care – and nailing the budget.
Heather Suttie is an internationally recognized legal market strategy and management consultant to leaders of premier law firms and legal service providers worldwide.
For 25 years, she has accelerated performance within law firms and legal service businesses — Global to Solo | BigLaw to NewLaw — by providing consultative direction on legal business strategy, market strategy, management strategy, and client strategy. The result is a distinctive one-of-one legal market position and sustained competitive advantage culminating in greater market share, revenue and profits.