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Growing Pains

Discussion in 'General Business Chat' started by RPI, 6th Sep, 2016.

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  1. RPI

    RPI Well-Known Member

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    My legal practice's growth has been substantial and while it is a good problem to have, growth does cause some growing pains.

    Leasing
    When we first leased space on a 3 year lease, I out grew it in 6 months.

    My current lease is up in March and we now need to rent an entire floor in the city if we are going to attempt to last the next 3 years without bursting at the seams. On current growth rates I would anticipate almost needing 2 floors in 5 years time.

    Overheads

    My conveyancing searches bill, which I get paid for an average of 22 days after I pay for them has gone from $2k a week to over $10k a week

    Staffing
    At the moment we should have another admin person, another legal assistant and 3 more lawyers. We have grown from 3 people to almost 30 since March 2014.
     
  2. Property Twins

    Property Twins New Member

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    So inspiring @RPI
     
  3. arrowwise

    arrowwise Active Member

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    So the question remains in your head is bigger better? are you happier and is pushing to this level worthwhile?
    I'm sure sometimes you prefer to back at the simpler, smaller days.
     
  4. 2 Dollar

    2 Dollar Active Member

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    Good stuff RPI.
    Just wondering if your profits have experienced the same 10 fold increase that your staff levels have?
    Or, at least has your life/work load become easier due to the extra staff assisting?
     
    Last edited: 7th Sep, 2016
  5. RPI

    RPI Well-Known Member

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    Yes. As per most businesses you need to decide whether you stay primarily you and a few as that or go for large. In my field, myself plus 3-5 with me on the tools has more profit in it then up to 10 or so.

    I really enjoy the business side of things, expanding, beating numbers, opening offices, employing people.
     
  6. RPI

    RPI Well-Known Member

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    If i stopped and said we are at the right size now then yes. Constant growth means you are chasing your tail and in a rapid growth we have experienced since the new financial year it does make it tougher. There is always a lag between outlays and income.

    Definitely easier then when I used to sleep on the floor in the office because it wasn't worth going home for a few hours. Up until the last month or 2 my workload has been down to 60 hours a week. This last month or 2 is more like 80. I love what I do and tend to have workaholic tendencies. It is really only when I become short staffed that it is an issue. I am not really on the tools at all anymore, or at least not supposed to be. But each time we get to the needing to employ someone workload wise, but the actual cash coming in isn't quite there yet stage I need to get back on the tools to make sure our service stays outstanding. It is probably also partly my fault in that I have been through multiple economic cycles and so I am always cautious about making sure it is indeed a full trend and not just a 2 month upswing. Also we run without overdrafts/loans etc so am extra sure that the actual cash (as opposed to income) is there before hiring extras.

    I can go away for a week or 2 weeks and the place runs perfectly well without me. In reality I could do an hour or 2 a day and the place would run well now. I have done the hard yards and systemised everything.

    The downside of that is that it wouldn't keep growing at the rate it is. I am looking at building a national business, or at least an east coast business, Perth is a world of hurt if you or your staff need to travel regularly. My 3-5 year goal is to hit capacity of market share throughout Queensland and have added a Melbourne office to the mix and a $1m a month in turnover. At that stage I'll step out for 3 months and go for a full re-evaluation of priorities. At that size we either sit happily or take it to the next level.
     
  7. RPI

    RPI Well-Known Member

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    Business is not rocket size though and luckily for me lawyers are terrible at it.

    1. Customer Service
    2. Treat your staff well
    3. Train and delegate - you can lead but you can't control. people will do things differently to you, doesn't mean they are wrong.
    4. Work at delivering your offering as efficiently as possible while ensuring 1.
    5. Advertising works, set a percentage of turnover (then probably double it because it is too low). Measure what works and if it returns profit then it is not really an expence, it is a cashflow and capacity issue only.
     
    Property Twins likes this.
  8. Lil Skater

    Lil Skater Member

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    Awesome job!

    What type of marketing have you done since starting? And how long have you been running?
     
  9. RPI

    RPI Well-Known Member

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    Direct Mail, radio, billboard, adwords, brochures for referrers, coffee, coffee, lunch, more lunch, a lot of alcohol, an awesome party, adwords, adwords, linked in, adwords and adwords.

    3 March 2014 with 3 people in total was Cetus official start. Spent 18months inside the old firm getting ready for it though.
     
    Lil Skater and Srini Ranganathan like this.
  10. Srini Ranganathan

    Srini Ranganathan Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing RPI. Very inspirational!

    Of these marketing methods, which ones would you say worked best for you and why?
     
  11. RPI

    RPI Well-Known Member

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    best return on investment - coffee, alcohol, lunch and parties
    easiest to track - Adwords
     
    Zen likes this.
  12. arrowwise

    arrowwise Active Member

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    And radio advertisements where do they rank?