Thursday, October 27, 2016
I AM A GENIUS. I have just figured out what might be the best marketing tool ever: listservs.
One of the first things I did when I entered solo practice was to sign up for a few different organizations with
different listservs. For example, I joined the WSBA solo/small practice listserv, and the KCBA estate planning
listserv. Ever since, I have been inundated with hundreds of emails a day with everything from requests for
referrals to questions about probate.
Even though emails can be a pain to get through, I make a point to at least glance through all of them, as I found
I learn a lot about different areas of law just from different questions posed and answers offered. After lurking for a
while, I noticed the names of a handful of attorneys kept popping up, usually with helpful responses. I thought
nothing of this until a client asked if I knew of an attorney with experience suing auto repair shops. Immediately,
thanks to his participation on the listserv, the name of an attorney sprang to mind, and I offered the client the
name without a second thought. Only after I hung up did I realize that attorney had benefited from his thoughtful,
well-written participation on the listserv. Why couldn’t I do the same?
So my new goal, Diary, is to participate as much as possible on the listservs of which I am a member.
Unfortunately, in the beginning, this is not likely to be a lot. However, I have occasionally responded with an
answer or two where appropriate. I like to think it will help in the long run.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
I AM GOING TO KILL THE PRINTER. WHY WON’T IT JUST WORK?
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
We got a new printer yesterday. I wept tears of joy. I wish we
had upgraded sooner as the amount of time I wasted trying to
fix it far outstripped the cost of its replacement.
I also wish I had set up my accounting software sooner
with help from a consultant. About a month ago, after a lot
of research on my own and speaking with other attorneys, I
downloaded Quick Books Online—and immediately felt overwhelmed. I had no idea what I was doing, and when I linked
my accounts to QuickBooks, it grabbed my personal checking
account information to make it look like my business had
more equity than it did in real life. Plus, I still had all these
receipts floating around and I had no idea what to do with them.
So yesterday, after getting a recommendation from a
different writer for NWLawyer, I sat down with a consultant
to talk about how to use QuickBooks Online to my advantage.
The consultant had my personal checking account unlinked
in a heartbeat, and was able to pinpoint why my expense
account was not reconciling. She gave me a list of things to do
in my own time to bring my accounts up to speed, and helped
me figure out how to proceed in the future. “Be consistent,”
she said, as she handed me a piece of paper with suggested
descriptors for my expenses.
While I still have yet to commit to a case management soft-
ware, I wish I had sat down with a professional to help set up
my books when I first started my solo practice. I had no idea
what I was doing, and no idea how to run a small business. The
only saving grace is that I have not had too many business
transactions to categorize and reconcile. Had I waited until
the new year to set my accounts in order, I likely
would have been extra frazzled, especially with
tax season looming.
Why can’t I just listen to my own advice? Play
to your strengths, I said. Bookkeeping is not one of
them. Why gnash my teeth in frustration when
it is well worth my time and peace of mind to pay
someone to help me? Solo practice is a constant
cost-benefit analysis. I have to remember that. NWL
ATTORNEY KATIE LUDWICK is the
owner of the Law Office of Kathryn L. Ludwick in Bellevue. She
can be reached at katie.ludwick@
gmail.com or 425-646-0555.