Monday, January 12, 2015

Don't Let Exceptionalism Keep You From Improving Your Revenue Stream

Lawyers tend to get stuck on law practice exceptionalism, "the belief that nearly every aspect of the practice of law is unique and must be considered in isolation from what we see elsewhere," writes Dennis Kennedy in The Productization of Legal Services. And that can keep them from adopting new strategics and techniques that will raise the bottom line. But it doesn't have to be that way:
Consider these examples:
  • Ernst & Young creates and publishes a popular (as I write this, in the top 100 among taxation books on Amazon) and affordable ($24.95) annual tax guide for the public.
  • Attorney Larry Katzenstein creates and sells a widely used software program called Tiger Tables that computes actuarial factors for tax calculations and planning.
  • A prominent technology company sought out a law firm to create a document assembly application for standard agreements that the company would license on an annual subscription basis.
  • A law firm produces training videos on legal topics for sale to the public.
  • A law firm packages research information updated on an annual basis as a subscription offering.
At the heart of each example is adapting a service or set of services traditionally done by time-based billing for a single or limited number of clients into an “information product” that can be licensed or sold to a much larger audience than the client base. The result is a new revenue stream that can be added on to the traditional services model. In other professions, this approach is often referred to as “making money while you sleep.”
Kennedy outlines a nine-step process for "productizing" legal services that can help you supplement and even enhance traditional services. Read the post. Try something new.

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