Maintain and be ready to grow… a note from Victoria

In the days and weeks before lockdown, and particularly the week before the schools closed, it was clear that something big was brewing and it felt a little bit like the world titled off its axis just a little bit. As soon as lockdown started, for a lot of business owners, so did the blind panic. Here at LexRex, I had a period of around 14 days where I literally felt glued to the spot. I couldn’t make decisions, couldn’t think, could barely read – let alone write content (one of my *actual* jobs). It was horrible. But then reality hit. I run a business – I can’t let the team down and I definitely can’t let my clients down. It was still hard to function, but from that moment, I felt driven to do something – anything – to avoid being overwhelmed by what we were facing. I decided that what our clients needed was support, guidance and a listening ear. The first thing I did was to set up a ‘Mastermind’ series. This was a Zoom call every fortnight that our clients could come along to and chat about their immediate challenges. At the start of each session I asked each client what their ‘top 3’ challenges or concerns were. The answers were illuminating and very helpful for me in understanding the current climate. Incidentally, at the same time I was running Mastermind – law firm consultant, Simon McCrum was surveying his clients (see the Covid Survey tab via the link). The insights he shared showed similar concerns and issues to the feedback I was receiving. As well as the Masterminds, I also decided to set up a series of webinars which would enable law firm leaders to come and learn about the exact concerns that they had at that time. We used the feedback from the Masterminds to help guide the content. We ran a super series of 7 Trusted Partner webinars, with topics ranging from How to access a CBILS loan, Creating effective cash-flow statements, Creating Covid-safe offices, Getting staff back to work and finally, Getting business development back on track. We had a really wide range of people coming to the webinars – some attendees came to every session, others to 3 or more, and some people came just to the ones that were obviously relevant to them at the particular time. We received great feedback for the sessions, and it was interesting to take on board the advice of such a wide variety of experts. It’s also worth noting that we were supported hugely in our endeavours on the Trusted Partner front by Manchester Law Society, who shared our sessions to their mailing list and on social media. Thanks to Fran and the team. Here’s a quick selection of the feedback we received (well – it’s my blog and I’m allowed a moment of self-congratulation every now and again!) “I felt that I came away with new knowledge after each one and I would highly recommend them” “‘The LexRex Trusted Partner webinars have been really pertinent to the day to day challenges that our firm and no doubt others were facing during lockdown” “All webinars are informative and helpful.” “The webinar was very good and helpful” You can watch the full Trusted Partner series via the LexRex YouTube channel. A couple of things that felt really important during lockdown were:
  1. 1. Having a plan: our was essentially “maintain… then be ready to grow”.
  2. 2. Creating targets: ours was “to maintain 100% of our clients by the end of June 2020”
So how did we do? As a team, one of the things that held us together during the uncertainty of lockdown was humour. I used to joke (badly) that having a plan was the main thing, and it didn’t really matter if the plan was shit – as long as we had one. In hindsight, I don’t think the plan was shit. We haven’t quite ‘maintained’ and, as you would expect we’ve had clients pause retainers, reduce their budgets temporarily and one has given notice. However, we used this time to develop a brand new product (coming soon), make some significant changes to our website (again coming soon) and really review what we offer as a consultancy. We did actually manage to maintain 90% of our clients until the end of June (the 10% was a paused retainer so the client is still actually on the books – we’re just not active currently). It was after this date that a client gave notice (with sadness and with nothing but praise for the work we’d done – we sincerely hope they will be back in due course). The good news is that we are now very much “ready to grow”. The Trusted Partner series enabled us to reach law firms we haven’t been in contact with before and to create some really effective video assets, amongst others. I also hope that the sessions were useful to those who came along. Now that summer is here and the schools are mainly closed again (thankfully for holidays this time) we’ve decided to take a breather from Trusted Partner. Whilst the economic challenges for the legal sector are probably only just beginning, we have at least now moved on from the terrifying uncertainty of lockdown. We will be back with a webinar on Thursday 24th September when the editor of the Chambers High Net Worth and two of the sub-editors of the main Guide will be joining us for an insights session. Sign up to our newsletter here to get priority access to book your places. However, for now, I really hope you have enjoyed hearing from us over the last few months and that we were able to provide some insights along the way. I’m looking forward to a slightly quieter August and then it will be launch-date for our new product – LexRexLITE. I’ll see you in the Autumn! Victoria.

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