When we look at our marketing and business development activities, we look at what we did and the results. But, we seldom look at what we were NOT able to do because we were doing that activity. That my friend is an opportunity cost. Let me explain…
- I have a client that has been involved in his practice area section of the bar, exclusively. He has learned a lot, and has gotten a couple of cases from others that have conflicted out of a case. So what is his opportunity cost? By only spending time with his practice section he has missed out on networking with lawyers who DON’T practice in his area and have the potential to send more cases.
- Another client who is a criminal defense lawyer is on the rotation wheel to receive court appointed cases. She signed up to have a steady flow of cases. The hourly rate for these cases is $175 per hour; her regular rate is $300. What has happened is she is spending so much time on the court appointed cases that she has little time to develop her own referral sources. This one is a BIG opportunity cost.
Now, I don’t recommend going "cold turkey"! What is needed here is balance… balance that will take effort and discipline to achieve…
- Balance your bar activities with the goals of education and business development. EVERY event you attend plan an expected out come… such as meet one or two new people who do not practice in your area, etc.
- With court appointed cases you can’t pick and choose which cases you will take but maybe you can take a leave of absence from the program. And use the time wisely. Get out there and build your relationships. For fastest results ONLY work on established relationships that you have neglected, later on you can forge new ones. Then… ask yourself if you REALLY need those court appointed cases or are they just a crutch you have become dependent on because you haven’t built your own referral sources.
What opportunity cost are you not seeing?