How Narrow Focus Limits Your Law Firm Growth


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Are you a law firm owner who is hoping to branch out and learn new ways of working? In this episode of the Maximum Lawyer Podcast, Becca Eberhardt, CEO at Maximum Lawyer, encourages law firms to seek inspiration and strategies from outside their industry. 

Becca shares how she has seen a narrow focus to only learn and grow within one’s own industry, which is happening across many organizations including law firms. It is important to understand how other areas are succeeding so it can be applied to your own industry. In the case of law firms, not exploring the business advice or strategies of other industries can have a negative impact. Becca expresses that if all attorneys or firms do everything the same way, clients will look at them like commodities rather than individual people who bring different things to the table.

Looking at other industries for inspiration can really benefit a law firm. It can lead to learning unique and innovative ways to practice. Maybe there is a new recruitment technique happening within the HR space that could really help a law firm do better when it comes to recruiting lawyers. Exploring outside of an industry can also help increase efficiency and improve client services. Looking at industries such as retail, hospitality and sales is great because they do this every day and are experts.

Take a listen to learn more!

Episode Highlights:

  • 00:24 The tendency to stay narrowly focused within one's own industry
  • 1:21 How being focused on one's own industry can lead to tunnel vision
  • 5:18 Examples of businesses that are innovating


Transcripts: How Narrow Focus Limits Your Law Firm Growth

Speaker 1 (00:00:01) - Run your law firm the right way. The right way. This is the maximum Lawyer podcast. Maximum lawyer podcast. Your hosts, Jim Hacking and Tyson Matrix. Let's partner up and maximize your firm. Welcome to the show.

Becca Eberhart (00:00:24) - Welcome to another episode of the Maximum Lawyer podcast. I'm Becca Eberhardt, CEO at Maximum Lawyer, and today we're diving into a topic that's often overlooked when discussing growing law firms. That's the importance of learning beyond your industry. I've observed a critical trend the tendency to stay narrowly focused within your own industry. In every industry I've been in, I've seen it in law enforcement, in retail, in nonprofits and in law firms. It seems like the right move. You think, if I can just find out what other successful businesses just like mine are doing, then all to be successful. But a couple of weeks ago, we aired an episode with Dave D and he said it perfectly. If everybody is doing what everyone else in an industry does, why wouldn't clients think an attorney is a commodity? If you haven't listened to that episode yet, go back to December 5th and listen to how lawyers can stand out in a crowded market.

Becca Eberhart (00:01:21) - It's a truly can't miss episode, but today we're focusing on the pitfalls of being so narrowly focused on your own industry and the advantages of looking outside your industry for business advice and ideas. When we get stuck focusing within our own industry, we find ourselves in the trap of tunnel vision. It's natural to focus on the people and businesses we perceive as having expertise in our own industry. But this narrow perspective can limit exposure to diverse business strategies. It's like having blinders on, and in today's business environment, it hinders your growth and innovation by seeking insights from other industries, you can adopt innovative approaches, learn from successful strategies and adapt them to your own practice. This cross-industry learning is a catalyst for increasing your efficiency, better client service, and a more resilient business model. Practices that are routine in one industry can be revolutionary when they migrate to another, especially when they challenge conventional wisdom in that industry. There isn't a better way to fuel your company's imagination than to look for inspiration outside your field. If you want to learn fast, learn from strangers, look for creative people who aren't constrained by the assumed limitations of the legal world.

Becca Eberhart (00:02:46) - Creating this type of disruption is going to require you to look at the set in stone practices in your industry, and find ways to redefine the art of what's possible. Could you leverage marketing techniques from tech, streamline operations inspired by manufacturing, or enhance client communication based on practices from consumer centric industries? There was a chief of police in Rhode Island who pushed his insular department to open itself up in general to original ideas, fresh perspectives, and new ways of thinking. One of his initiatives included detectives who sat in with doctors at Brown University Medical School as they discussed tough cases. The detectives watched and listened as the doctors analyzed clues about a patient's systems, sorted through evidence, aka test results, and identified the culprit, aka disease. In turn, the doctor said in on the police department's command meeting to learn how cops dealt with conflicting and confusing information, ruled out suspects and cracked their cases. The goal was for the department to become a place that embraces research that figures out and spreads methodologies that work in ways that medical schools do.

Becca Eberhart (00:04:04) - First set in their way detectives to learn new perspectives on policing. Their chief understood they had to learn from experts in a field unrelated to policing. Here's an example of a business bucking its industry trends. I want you to look up and follow Happy Tooth SLC. So that would be at Happy Tooth SLC. Like Salt Lake City on Instagram. This account is a pediatric dentist in Utah who is just doing everything different in his practice. He has a room full of colorful Nike sneakers. He wears different ones every day. You won't see the dentist or staff in scrubs. There's a colorful mural on the wall that says bite me and a basketball court in their office. I don't follow this account for anything related to pediatric dentistry. I don't even live in Utah. I follow it to see how they're innovating a niche dental practice, and how can these innovations apply to any other business? How can we learn from them and disrupt law firms in a big way? This is the power of broadening your influence into multiple other industries.

Becca Eberhart (00:05:18) - Now let's jump to another industry. The Bilt credit card. I know you're thinking not another rewards card, but that's just it. The built card has no competitor because it's the first and the only so far to offer rewards points on rent. What could you offer that no one else in your practice niche does? How innovative can you get? Built is a great company to follow because they're constantly trying to evolve. You'll see new benefits and partnerships from them. Monthly rent is, for many, the largest monthly bill of them all, but unlike most other expenses, it's not so easy and sometimes impossible to make that payment with a credit card, much less earn rewards on the transaction without incurring a fee that would cancel out the value of earning the rewards with the built card. This lets you earn rewards when you pay rent without having to worry about the extra fee or surcharge, and this card has no annual fee. They also offer other benefits outside of the primary product a credit card that earns reward points and can be redeemed for travel, or to pay for your Amazon account or pay rent.

Becca Eberhart (00:06:32) - And yes, many credit cards offer additional services, but Bilt works to find ways to one up their competition, like their primary auto damage collision waiver. This applies as long as you pay for your rental cars with your Bilt card, and this perk is rarely found in a zero annual fee card. Another thing they do is cell phone protection up to $800 in coverage with a $25 deductible. Again, you just have to pay your phone bill with your credit card. They also have trip cancellation and interruption protection and a free Shop Runner membership. When was the last time you used a product or service you really liked, and tried to create an analogy for your firm? You might think you market your firm differently. You shout to the rooftops that you care the most or you'll fight the hardest. But what if you just blew it up and started incorporating successes from other industries that no one's seen before? That's noticeable. That's a differentiator. While it can be important to adopt improvements that other firms are implementing in order to keep pace, there's a danger that solely focusing on implementing practices that your competitors are doing doesn't lead to any unique advantage for your firm, they say.

Becca Eberhart (00:07:53) - Think outside the box. The box is your industry. Until next week. Stay curious.

Speaker 1 (00:08:01) - Thanks for listening to the Maximum Lawyer podcast. To stay in contact with your hosts and to access more content. Go to Maximum Have a great week and catch you next time.

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