One thing an entrepreneur can rely on is that from time to time she will encounter a rather unpredictable revenue stream. That’s okay, some folks have the stomach for this and others simply don’t. Frankly, I didn’t know the strength of my own gut until I found out in practice.
After eight years as a solo practitioner, I have discovered some tactics that can be employed to help regularize one’s revenue:
1. Maintain the Hustle – In my experience, you must continue, and be consistent about “Showing Up” in your networking efforts, even during busy times. I remember attorneys in Big Law struggling to maintain consistent networking efforts in the midst of their big transactions. But as a solo, I’ve learned firsthand of the damage wrought upon my pipeline from a brief lapse in my own networking efforts.
I recommend you keep on your hustle.
2. Follow Up with Clients and Prospective Clients – At the end of the year, I had several deals go ON HOLD for one reason or another. So, in keeping with my advice above, I stayed on my hustle by following up with those clients to remind them that I am ready, willing and able to refocus on their matters. I also reached out to certain referrals and prospective clients that I was introduced to at the end of last year with the same message.
I recommend you follow up.
3. Invoicing – One of the keys to success is to invoice one’s clients on a regular and consistent basis. If you fail to bill on a timely basis, you send your clients a message that you don’t care much about timely payment. Sounds obvious, right? But, I know plenty of attorneys who month after month got in trouble with Big Law administration for failing to timely submit billing information.
I recommend making billing a priority.
4. Be Curious – When asked recently to what she attributes her long-term success, Martha Stewart said she attributes it to remaining curious and trying new things. See Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party. Martha’s remark harkens me back to one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received. When I first lost my job in Big Law, I had a courtesy interview with a senior in-house attorney at CBS. This woman had seen it all over the course of her long-standing tenure with CBS and its predecessors. Like me, she was a media lawyer, involved in the conversion from analog to digital, as well as the introduction of the wireless and other telecommunications industries. She said, the most important attribute that an attorney could have is to be adaptable.
I recommend you stay adaptable and curious