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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of May 27, 2014

LawBiz(r) newsletter

This week we celebrated Memorial Day...the traditional start of summer, marked by sales and barbeques. Amidst this celebration, let's not forget the real meaning of the holiday: to honor those men and women who lost their lives serving our country.

If you think your practice does not have value, download our new whitepaper and learn why everything you thought you knew about selling a law practice is obsolete.

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Business Models: Keeping It Fresh

Keeping it fresh is good advice in many aspects of your life, perhaps none more so than your business.

There's something to be said for the reliable, dependable, you-can-count-on-it business model-the model that you've been using and that's been working for you. On the other hand, the world around you is constantly changing, and, at the least, you need to stay abreast of changes that could affect you and changes that demand that you change in response to them.

Recent media reports have highlighted some interesting changes in diverse business models. Of particular note are Frontier Airlines and taxi-like transportation services Lyft and Uber.

Frontier Airlines has decided to lower its fares but charge fees for services that passengers have typically received for free. For example, under Frontier's new business model, advance seat assignments and overhead-bin-storage for carry-on bags will now incur extra cost (but it will still be free to store something under the seat in front of you).

Lyft and Uber are smartphone-based companies that mimic taxicab companies by pairing drivers and passengers for transportation services. Under the auspices of these companies, drivers drive their own cars. Because the companies are not exactly public transportation services, they are not yet regulated in many areas. Cities are still trying to deal with these upstarts.

As business owners, lawyers should take note of these various new business models. Lawyers should pay attention to what's trending and what customers desire. In addition, as business owners, lawyers should always pay attention to the bottom line. Sometimes new business models offer a likelihood for improved fee collection and/or increased financial growth.

This is not to say that lawyers should necessarily embrace these models. However, business owners should always be aware of these models and investigate the possibility and potential of implementing aspects of these models into their own business, as have some lawyers. For example, some charge for unbundled services rather than forcing the client to select them for the entire matter; other lawyers use alternative fees to structure their engagements. With the changing economy, lawyers must be alert to the need/opportunity to change the legal model as well.

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Business Models: Keeping It Fresh

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