How to add value to your business doesn’t cease to amaze me how much time people throw away seeking out fairy-tale shortcuts to add big value to their businesses. Similarly, trying to fulfil business objectives without a proper plan in place is like banging your head against a brick wall – you end up with a headache and little else in the way of benefit.

Starting your own business can be an overwhelming and  challenging experience. Results do not magically appear in the blink of an eye. Rather, as a small business owner, you need to put in hard work and wait patiently for positive outcomes. On the flip side, small business ownership can also be a really positive experience. Small business owners have the chance to learn from other entrepreneurs and adopt the best of tech to make life easier. It can be very rewarding when you see the return in investment of your hard efforts and towards a goal you have set in place for your business.

With this in mind, I am sharing my top 6 tips to add value to your small business:

1. Reduce overheads 

Running a business can be expensive. While a great location might sound attractive, is a shopfront in a prominent location going to bring you any more business or is all of your business online these days?

In the modern era of online transactions, remote or virtual office alternatives are becoming very popular. Think what you could do with the rent you pay on your office premises if you no longer had to shell it out each month.  You could hire another staff member or automate your practice further. The opportunities are endless.

If you are thinking reducing your office space, going remote or even hiring contractors, the best person to speak with is Emma Heuston. Emma is a lawyer with over 19 years’ experience. Late last year Emma won the 2018 Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Thought Leader of the Year award and soon after launched The Remote Expert. Emma offers template documents through to a customised consulting service to help you get your employment agreements, contractors agreements, remote work policies and occupational health and safety needs for remote workers in place.

In addition to speaking with Emma, you can also chat to your local accountant about ways of minimising your business expenses.  While reducing office space is a good start, there are plenty of other ways a business can save the expense drain and divert much needed funds to building a business.

2. Invest in Experts

Invest in people that are experienced in their field that can promote affordable marketing objectives and efficiencies in developing your accounting, IT systems and processes in your business.

For example, is your time worth spending half a day working out how to use mail chimp or could you outsource that to a marketing expert who can have it working professionally in a fraction of the time?  Be smart with your time and your business will repay you in spades.

3. Believe in yourself

The key to the success of your small business lies in your confidence. You are enough. Wear your business and your expertise proudly and you will be rewarded. The confidence doesn’t stop with you either. If you have employee`s empower them so they can be self-assured and represent your business with confidence and grace. Encouraging others and shining the light on them also shines the light back on you and your business.

4. Never give up

Small businesses can be easily discouraged by competitors, but don’t let this be you. Think outside the square. You do not need to compete with other businesses, be different and shine by offering a niche service. Seek support from other experts that can assist you with your goals and objectives. Remember, you don’t have to do all of the things all of the time, sometimes it is better (and far more cost effective) to outsource.

5. Don’t take your skills for granted

No matter what skills you have, don’t ever take them for granted. Showcase them for your clients and potential customers in social media.  While you may have knowledge in a particular area, others do not and are keen to understand and learn from you.

By sharing your knowledge with you can develop whole new areas of expertise and broaden your knowledge. If you have employees, share your knowledge with them and let them develop their own knowledge. Human resource and team management is far more than simply hiring and firing people, it is letting them evolve and shine to bring value back to your business.

6. Work/ life balance

I get it, establishing your own business can be all consuming.  But, you have a family and a life outside of work. Be committed to keeping your professional and personal lives separate so you can give both work and your friends and family the best of you.

As you can see from my tips, starting a business is a lot more than a one person operation. You have a zone of genius and at Legal Business Systems and Solutions,  we can give you the wings to fly and the competitive edge to evolve by taking care of all the back end stuff to let you pitch your business and build value.

At Legal Business Systems and Solutions our mission is to deliver the best service and leverage the market. We pride ourselves on making your life easier. After over 20 years in the legal support industry, Kerry has the proven strategies to implement solutions to enhance the profitability of your business. We can provide support to assist you set up practice management systems or manage your existing practice and client management system. We believe automation and saving you time is key. Check out our services here.

David Toohey, LawMaster

LawMaster

I have known Kerry for 10 plus years now & my team worked closely with her during her time as Practice Manager for Attwood Marshall Lawyers. Kerry exuberates a positive energy with an absolute can-do attitude. Her proven ability to ‘think outside the square’ has seen her implement a number of innovative legal tech solutions that increase productivity and efficiency, while stimulating growth of the firm. Her in-depth knowledge of legal firm processes and the automation of these through workflow was a key driver in Attwood Marshall’s attainment of the ISO 9001 standard. I have no hesitation in recommending Kerry for all matters relating to legal practice procedure and technologies.

David Toohey - CEO
LawMaster

Neil Frick, Netlogyx Technology Specialists

My team and I have worked hand in hand with Kerry over many years and have always found her to be a highly skilled operator in all things legal and work flow oriented. Her straight forward approach to problems and solution focussed system development skills are the best I have seen in her chosen field. Kerry’s integrity, personal and workgroup people skills enable her understand fully the requirements of the systems and to get the job done right quickly. I fully recommend Kerry in all areas related to technology, workflow and human integration.

Neil Frick - Director
Netlogyx Technology Specialists

Katrina Brown, Nautilus Law Group

Nautilus Law Group

Kerry is a unique gem. She looks at projects in steps and processes. She can find solutions to any issue, and create efficiencies in every aspect of life. She is not fixed to any one software or tech solution, and can adapt to varying requirements at a client level. We have been impressed by Kerry’s amalgamation of our firm’s requirements with the advanced work flows and automation constructed by Kerry to deliver greater efficiencies across the firm.

Katrina Brown - Director
Nautilus Law Group

Ian Heathwood, McKays Solicitors

McKays Solicitors

Kerry worked for the McKays Group for 8.5 years. It was her first entry into the legal industry and as such, she started working as the receptionist in our Brisbane practice. Very quickly however we realised that she had greater skills and an enormous commitment to learning all about the business and the industry. She undertook significant studies to substantially increase her knowledge and understanding of not just our business but also the legal industry and good business practices generally. These endeavours, her determination and willingness to put in the hard yards, paid off both for Kerry and ourselves, with Kerry ultimately becoming the Practice Manager for the Brisbane office of McKays.

In the course of her work, she developed many policies, procedures and implemented a number of technology advancements which helped grow and develop our expanding business at that time.
Kerry’s contributions to McKays were greatly appreciated and I know that she has plenty to give to other practices in the legal industry.

Ian Heathwood - Principle
McKays Solicitors

Michael Needham, NCT Asia

NCT Asia

Kerry has the ability to see an issue from both sides and how best to fix. She has a deep understanding of many of the aspects of legal software and technology and this along with her great people skills allow her to merge people and technology for the best result. I have consulted with Kerry in different roles on and off for over 25 years and always to a favourable outcome for everyone.

Michael Needham - Director
NCT Asia

Cara Briggs, OMB Lawyers

Kerry has been extremely helpful in assisting our firm during the transition of Practice Management and Precedent systems. Building a new system can be overwhelming but with Kerry’s wealth of knowledge and experience, she has helped guide us through. We continue to use Kerry’s expertise to assist with further integration and technological advancements within our firm.

Cara Briggs - Office Manager
OMB Lawyers

Chris Clarke, Stacks Law Firm

I have known Kerry for many years and in fact worked with her for 12 years at a law firm at Coolangatta.

Kerry has a thorough and detailed knowledge of legal software systems, particularly Lawmaster and is able to troubleshoot problems quickly. Kerry has a thorough familiarity with SEO, workflow automation, file share applications, PDF documents, and is able to quickly resolve any IT problems that I’ve ever encountered previously. Kerry has a detailed understanding in drafting, organising , implementing and monitoring professional standards including ISO 9001. Kerry has a positive and supporting outlook and is very easy to work with.

Kerry is first class in terms of her support to the legal staff that I’ve worked with previously, I have no hesitation in working with her and look forward to obtaining her assistance in the future.

Kerry has a positive outlook and is supportive of staff around her, which is indispensable in creating a positive work culture and a harmonious work environment .

Chris Clarke - NSW Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law
Stacks Law Firm