My first column in Law Practice Magazine is out, and it's all about improving and managing cash flow.
If you establish good billing practices, you're already on your way to better cash flow. Here are some of my tips from the article:
*Require that clients pay something up front
*Don't wait until your retainer is completely exhausted before asking clients for an additional payment
*Accept credit cards or electronic payments
*Send bills consistently and on time
*Include relevant details about the work that was done on each bill
*Don't use legal jargon in your bills; clients need to understand the work that was done or they won't want to pay for it.
*Review your billing practices in detail during your initial consultation with the client
*Quote your fee up front, or give clients a budget or estimate
*Explain the factors that might increase the fee
*Review key financial indicators regularly
*Conduct cash flow reviews of individual matters
As always, make sure that all of your billing and collections practices comply with your jurisdiction's ethical rules.
If you want more details, read the complete article, "Simple Steps: Improving and Managing Cash Flow" here.