The following post concludes the series on excerpts from our free e-book, Ridiculously Remarkable Legal Billing. Better billing practices improve your law firm and your life. Here’s a summary of 14 rules from the book.
RULE #1: The Longer You Wait, the Less You’ll Get Paid – The longer you wait to send out the bill, the more likely you’re in for a haircut and the bigger that haircut is likely to be.
RULE #2: Clients Won’t Pay a Bill Unless They Receive One – Whatever “slow pay” instinct a client has doesn’t even start until she gets the bill to begin with.
RULE #3: Not Billing in a Timely Fashion Sends a Message – When you don’t send bills in a timely fashion, you send your client a message that receiving prompt payment really isn’t all that important to you.
RULE #4: Don’t Poison Relationships and Scare Away Business – Sending late, large, and surprising bills will ruin your relationship with your clients and hurt your chances of earning more business from them.
RULE #5: Don’t Cause Problems For Your Client & Screw Up Her Budget – When your bills come in on-time and on-budget, your client is more likely to automatically pay them without thinking twice. RULE #6: By not sending your bills out on-time, you are essentially offering interest-free financing and performing your services at a discount.
RULE #6: Delaying Billing is Like Giving Away Free Money – By not sending your bills out on time you are essentially offering interest-free financing and performing your services at a discount.
RULE #7: Avoid Communication Breakdown – A regular, descriptive bill is a nice backstop to ensure that you are keeping the client well-informed and that you are on top of the matters at issue.
RULE #8: Predict Your Future Income – Getting your bills out regularly and on-time is the most important tool you have in predicting your future income.
RULE #9: Capture Time With Easy, Modern Tools – Get in the habit of capturing time as close as possible to when it’s being expended, which is easy to accomplish with 21st Century tools.
RULE #10: Beat The Procrastination Monster – Realize that procrastination costs you money. The Pomodoro Technique, checklists, and time blocking can help you get the bills out on time.
RULE #11: Get a Bill Buddy – Working with someone else will keep you accountable and help get your invoicing done on-time and regularly.
RULE #12: Standardize the Tools – Employ easy-to-use and reliable tools to make billing easier, eliminate errors, and keep the office staff on the same page.
RULE #13: Make Small Improvements Each Quarter – Don’t try to introduce new changes to your office practices all at once. Instead, incorporate a couple every quarter, starting with the most important fixes.
RULE #14: Rolling Out Changes and Letting Your Clients Know – Let your clients know in-person when you are making a change to your billing practices.
Legal Billing Rule #1: The Longer You Wait, The Less You’ll Get Paid
Legal Billing Rule #2: Clients Won’t Pay a Bill Unless They Receive One
Legal Billing Rule #3: Not Billing In A Timely Fashion Sends A Message
Legal Billing Rule #4: You’ll Poison Relationships And Scare Away Business
Legal Billing Rule #5: Don’t Cause Problems For Your Client & Screw Up Her Budget
Legal Billing Rule #6: Delaying Billing is Like Giving Away Free Money
Legal Billing Rule #7: Avoid Communication Breakdown
Legal Billing Rule #8: Predicting Your Future Income
Legal Billing Rule #9: Capture Time With Easy, Modern Tools
Legal Billing Rule #10: Beat The Procrastination Monster
Legal Billing Rule #11: Get a Bill Buddy
Legal Billing Rule #12: Standardise the Tools
Legal Billing Rule #13: Make Small Improvements Each Quarter
Legal Billing Rule #14: Rolling Out Changes and Letting Your Clients Know