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Where are you in your growth journey?

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Are you in Year 1 or Year 15?

Depending on where you are in your law firm journey you will have different financial focuses. Here are the three phases of financial growth I typically see with the firms I work with.

  1. When a solo attorney reaches a financial level where they are ready to hire a full time paralegal, law clerk or associate. Previously this solo attorney may have had part time contract help.Taking on the financial responsibility of another person full time adds a new level of stress. You must maintain the cash flow to make payroll, pay your overhead expenses and pay yourself. Some days you may feel like you are thriving and other days you may feel like you are surviving.Revenue for this first phase is typically around mid six figures and can vary depending on the solo attorney’s personal financial goals.
  2. When a small firm is reaching the seven figure mark for the first time. At this point the firm owner most likely has support staff, increased overhead expenses and maybe an associate and law clerk.This is where things can get really scary. The firm owner has to start delegating more and may start to lose some of the control they had before (in a good way).Financially there are a lot more variables to consider day to day. Is there cash flow for payroll and expenses? Should we invest in a new marketing plan? Should we look ahead and invest in growing our team to continue to grow? Reaching 7 figures is a great milestone, but can come with some growing pains.
  3. When a firm is pushing to reach 3 million and beyond. This is when the firm owner most likely has a support staff, some associates and a more extensive leadership team. This may even be the time to take on a partner if that is in the business plan.While decisions may still rest solely on the firm owner, those decisions are probably made by a leadership team. The firm owner may not be as involved in day to day operations as they once were.The financial stress on the firm owner is probably a different kind of financial stress. At this level of financial success there should not be fear of not being able to make payroll week to week. Instead the firm owner will be looking at cash flow to fund projects or other growth opportunities.

When you are pushing towards phases TWO and THREE that is when having a Fractional CFO on your team is most beneficial. Teaming up with a professional who can help you navigate the data and financial decisions will help bring clarity when making strategic decisions.

I LOVE working with solo attorneys who are in phase ONE that have a growth mindset. I do this by providing bookkeeping services with some extra advisory added in.

Leah N. Miller, MBA

Written By Leah N. Miller, MBA

Founder & CEO

My name is Leah N. Miller, MBA, founder and CEO of Firmly Profits. Starting as a paralegal, I worked my way up to become a firm administrator and CFO of a personal injury law firm in Fort Myers, Florida.

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