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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of November 12, 2013

LawBiz(r) newsletter

Today it's all about the grandkids. One became a hero in water polo as a goalie despite his small stature ... he seemed to fly into the air to block a goal attempt. Another was given an award for most improved junior cyclist ... and won the raffle for a fancy road bike! Yet another is a member of a chorale that was accepted for a performance in Washington, D.C. on Flag Day, June 14, 2014! There is more but I won't bore you.

Call me to sign up for our Group Coaching for transitioning out of law practice. Talk with contemporaries and learn about their challenges and paths of choice just as you are contemplating yours. The group sizes will be limited to no more than 6 lawyers .... Click here for more details.
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What Defines a Good Banking Relationship?

Law firms are attractive customers for banks; banks are valuable allies for law firm cash flow management. The key to developing such mutually beneficial business relationships is adequate preparation. Not every lawyer can properly represent every client, and not every bank is appropriate for every law firm. In picking a bank, understand the niches in which it specializes - high wealth individuals, large commercial accounts, small or mid-sized businesses. Get suggestions or recommendations from your accountant, local bar association and clients of the firm. Generally, your choice should depend on convenience and personal relationships

The lawyer/banker relationship must be open, candid and built on trust. Good bankers are creative people who will find a way to assist a good customer of the bank. Bankers can be more creative if they understand the lawyer's goals and business, which requires you to maintain an ongoing process of education with your banker. Don't just limit yourself to your loan officer or branch manager. Getting to know a senior manager - a vice president or even the president of the bank - will be your ally in the long run. Ensure that both the senior personnel and your regular contact understand your firm's business, marketing and receivables plans.

The longtime managing partner at an 80 lawyer firm told me, "We want a bank that knows our business and understands our problems as a professional service firm, and that doesn't pigeon-hole us along with manufacturers and retailers. Responsiveness is equally important. We look for bankers to have a sense of urgency in answering our requests, and to maintain ongoing working relationships through contact people we know and can rely on. Our current bank is not a global giant, but it has the resources to serve us - and the desire and commitment to do so." Similarly, the head of a small, thriving family law practice said, "I believe I get the personal service I need from my bank because my banker sees that I am a viable, thriving business. They know and have confidence in how we are managed, and can help with my business needs - whether it's financing our office facility, or covering occasional client check overdrafts."

It's a simple truth. If you have established an ongoing relationship with a bank so that it understands your law firm's business dynamics and is comfortable with your business sophistication, the foundation will be prepared for the bank to fully meet your needs.

The Profitable Law Office Handbook

Attorney's Guide to Successful Business Planning

The Profitable Law Office Handbook

until Dec 1
(reg. $49)
(or $15 e-book)

To Order:

or order online at

Read an excerpt!
Learn the essential elements of how to create a plan that your law practice will really use. Learn more.

"The central premise of this book, which I wholeheartedly support, is that law is a profession AND a business and that running an efficient business is an essential prerequisite for professional success and satisfied clients.

"Ed Poll contends that an efficient business requires a business plan and then devotes the rest of the book to creating a step-by-step guide for the creation of a business plan; working through the key elements of goal setting, developing a marketing plan and budgeting."
- Sally Dyson, Director, Firm Sense Limited


What Defines a Good Banking Relationship?

The Profitable Law Office Handbook - 50% OFF!

Video: When to Raise Your Fee


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When to Raise Your Fee 

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"I felt 'stuck,' but I didn't know how to market myself to clients or to other firms. Ed provided a solid rounding of me to evaluate my current situation and a platform from which I could start growing my own practice."

San Francisco, CA

"I look at Ed as my business partner now-my once a week essential business meeting to take the pulse of my practice. During our one-hour phone conversations, we hash out the larger and smaller business challenges of my law firm. I always come away from those conversations enlarged, challenged, and sometimes even quite shaken, but with the tools necessary to move forward down the path he and I are constantly redefining for me and my firm."

Northern California


Ed Poll, LawBiz® Management

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