Victoria Collier: Planning for the Future of Your Law Firm

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Victoria Collier discuss:

  • Thinking about your law practice of the future.
  • Selling a book of business versus an actual business.
  • Balancing future needs with your current lifestyle.
  • Key components of having an exit strategy and preparing your firm for sale.
  • Technology that is supporting law firms to run better.

Key Takeaways:

  • A solo practice is an asset as a business itself, beyond the goodwill and book of business, when the practice is streamlined and built well.
  • Everyone can build assets into their firm, even if they are a solo firm.
  • Focus more on the net revenue, not the gross revenue, and you’ll be surprised to see how much your firm can grow and thrive.
  • Clients don’t care about the name on the door as much as they just want their problem solved.

“Gross revenue is not where the value is, that’s in the net revenue. If you’re making decisions based on ‘I want to grow my gross revenue,’ then you are making other microdecisions below that, that affect your net revenue, and often it’s not in the same direction.” —  Victoria Collier

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About Victoria Collier, Founder and CEO of Quid Pro Quo: Victoria is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the legal industry. She is a Certified Exit Planning and Value Builder Advisor and has been coaching lawyers since 2008 on how to add value to their law firms. After building and then selling her own 7-figure law firm in 2020, she founded Quid Pro Quo. It is now her mission to teach others the art and science to creating turnkey law offices, positioning to transition, and selling for profit.

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Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.



[00:00:00] Steve Fretzin: Hey everybody, if you’re looking to level up as a lawyer, you want to join me and my friend Rachel Steininger, who’s been on the show a couple times. For 10 easy to execute hacks to unlock your full potential, you can sign up on my website Fretzin. com slash events and hope to see you there and enjoy the show.

[00:00:20] Narrator: You’re listening to Be That Lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer coach, Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.

[00:00:42] Steve Fretzin: Well, hey, everybody. Welcome to Be That Lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin. I’m happy that you’re with us today for another wonderful and exciting episode. You guys know this show. It’s all about helping you to be that lawyer with Fretzin, someone who’s confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. Today, we’ve got a very unique guest.

[00:00:58] Steve Fretzin: I enjoyed our conversation, Victoria, a great deal. And I just like, I was just excited to get you on the show. So I’m happy that you’re with us. Welcome. 

[00:01:06] Victoria Collier: Thank you. I appreciate being here, Steve. 

[00:01:08] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Yeah. We’re going to have a really engaging chat today about something that most lawyers don’t think about maybe enough or often enough.

[00:01:14] Steve Fretzin: And that’s really about Just not just scaling, but also, you know, how do you get yourself in a position to to exit at some point or, um, or sell the, sell the, sell the practice and things like that. I think, and, um, you know, this is, uh, about a month after, but my, my father, Larry, the lawyer passed away in the last week or so.

[00:01:31] Steve Fretzin: And one thing I’ve identified about, about him as a solo. Wrapping up his career was, I think he did a really lousy job of coming up with an exit strategy. I think he did well, he made money, he put money away, but I think he could have done much better if he had been, had, if he had met you or, or had the forethought about the future in the last three to five years.

[00:01:53] Victoria Collier: Well, the thing is, Steve, that, you know, we are great lawyers, um, and sometimes we’re good business people, but rarely do we think about Exiting because we’re so excited and involved in what we do on the day to day and we’re happy doing it. So why would we ever think about not doing that and exiting? 

[00:02:12] Steve Fretzin: Yeah.

[00:02:12] Steve Fretzin: Right on. Right on. So he did a lot of things right. And that was one that I identified. Maybe could have, could have done better, but, um, sort of, it is what it is at this point. And, uh, everybody listening, Larry, the lawyer, my 200th episode, uh, if you want to hear me, yeah. Yeah. But up with my, with my now late father, feel free to check that out.

[00:02:29] Steve Fretzin: Just the best guy in the world, Victoria Collier, you’re the CEO of Whitbro Quo. And um, let’s start off with our quote of the show. Begin with the end in mind. Why is that your quote of the show? 

[00:02:39] Victoria Collier: Well, just as you just mentioned about your father, and I’m sorry to hear that he passed recently, but, you know, we don’t think about the end and the end is really where it all begins, um, because.

[00:02:51] Victoria Collier: You know, we’re spending years, I mean, how many years did your father spend being a lawyer? Um, 20, 30, 40, yeah, 40 years. It’s the majority of our time that we spend away from our kids, away from our spouses, you know, to help other people, to be in service, um, and the way we can really be in service to others.

[00:03:12] Victoria Collier: Is to leave a legacy and we can’t do that if we’re not thinking about what does that legacy actually look like? What do we want it to look like and carry on? And sometimes that’s financial to our own children and grandchildren sometimes that’s Just the purpose of what our firm provides to others the good works that we do But unless we can really get a clear vision on what we want that to look like We’re just spending every day or the dollar or spending every day for our purpose But not really for that purpose to carry on.

[00:03:45] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And I mean, going back to your background, I mean, was that something that you experienced and one of the reasons that you got into helping other lawyers or, or not so much? 

[00:03:54] Victoria Collier: When we go really deep into my background. Um, and everything I’ve ever done other than working at Burger King has the central core.

[00:04:03] Steve Fretzin: I was, I was a McDonald’s teenager. So there you go. 

[00:04:06] Victoria Collier: Yeah. So I was at Burger King. Um, and you were one or the other back then, but you know, my first look back is when I worked as a nurse’s aide in a nursing home. And so I was working with people at the end of their life and I got to hear people talk about what they wish they had done differently or what they were really happy that they had done.

[00:04:25] Victoria Collier: Yeah. Yeah. And so while I certainly wasn’t thinking about that, you know, thinking about, you know, someday I’m going to use that when I’m a lawyer, it’s stuck in the back of my head. So when I did become an elder law attorney and I was doing estate planning for people, again, I was planning for people at the end of life and it did not occur to me, Hey, I could open a business called Quid Pro Quo and help lawyers at the end of their career until I had already sold my own practice.

[00:04:51] Victoria Collier: And I was farming hemp and my colleagues who I’d been coaching since 2008 reached out to me and said, how did you do that? Can you help me do that? And I realized, yeah, I mean, I was 50 when I sold my law firm, but I realized that people that were 20 years older than me hadn’t even thought about what it should look like or could look like.

[00:05:14] Victoria Collier: And that they were relying on me who was 20 years younger and say, Hey, wait a second, you got money when you did that? Um, and so even though I was already a certified exit planning advisor. You know, and knew how to do that because I was working with my estate planning clients. It really took on a whole new life after I sold my business and I saw the huge need that lawyers have, um, out there to exit.

[00:05:37] Steve Fretzin: So if, if a lawyer is listening to this and trying to figure out, all right, do I want to stay a solo? Do I want us, you know, get to five lawyers? Do I want to build a 50 or a hundred? Like everybody’s got different sort of ambitions or ideas about that, but there’s pros and cons with, with all of those.

[00:05:52] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And so how do, how should lawyers be thinking about their law practice of the future? 

[00:05:59] Victoria Collier: Well, we talk about, you know, the difference between selling a book of business versus selling an actual business. And we definitely have to think about how do I balance my future With my current living lifestyle and desires of today, right?

[00:06:17] Victoria Collier: Yeah. And so, as you said, you know, some people are always going to be a solo practitioner. And so when we are that, and we want to be that, then what are the things we need to do to put in place so that I can hand over this business? Sometimes, you know, I, it was only recently that I opened my eyes that a solo practice could actually also be considered a business and not just a book of business.

[00:06:41] Victoria Collier: When you can streamline everything, use AI, use, um, you know, systematize everything, that’s still a value. And that is an asset, um, above and beyond just the goodwill and the list of contacts. Um, so I think that we all, whether we’re a solo practitioner or built into a much larger scale firm, uh, we all can build assets within the firm.

[00:07:07] Victoria Collier: And the question is, what does that look like? And how does that support me in my current day and desire of the kind of lawyer and the kind of owner I want to be? 

[00:07:17] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I know they’re different. I mean, there don’t have to be different lifestyles, but there typically are until people get it figured out.

[00:07:24] Steve Fretzin: Like someone that’s running a 10 person law firm and is billing hours, managing the firm, making it rain, dealing with admin and hiring and all these things is trying to then also spend time with their family. Okay. Different than maybe someone who. You know, is running a 10 person firm, but only wears one or two hats.

[00:07:44] Steve Fretzin: And so I think that’s, there are people that are fearful about that growth because it means that I’m not going to get the lifestyle, but there are also people that have the most amazing lifestyle because they’ve figured out the business side. 

[00:07:56] Victoria Collier: Right. And I mean, I just kind of see that as, or at least my experience has been, and what I’ve witnessed in others has been, is do you have an abundant mindset or do you have a lack mindset?

[00:08:08] Victoria Collier: Because you’re always gonna think, if you have a black mindset, that the more people I hire, then, uh, I have to manage, and, uh, that’s an expense, and, uh, Am I how am I going to do this? But if you have an abundant life Mindset, it’s how many people can I hire to do the things that I do so that I can go do the things I enjoy doing in addition to law and to me it all comes down to that.

[00:08:29] Victoria Collier: It’s just mindset. 

[00:08:30] Steve Fretzin: Well, I think mindset but also business acumen, so there’s a number of Professionals, you know rainmakers that in ceos and people that are on the show Talk to the transition they have to make from billing hours to delegating that and not billing hours. And that’s a hard, hard thing for lawyers to let go of, right?

[00:08:50] Steve Fretzin: Because they love the law. And then there’s someone I spoke to recently who is. Exclusively the rainmaker for an 80 person firm because he’s now hired a CEO, a COO, a CTO, you know, on the team that’s really running the business so he can go and do what he does best, which is make it rain. 

[00:09:08] Victoria Collier: Absolutely.

[00:09:09] Victoria Collier: Absolutely. And that’s the thing though, is it’s the mindset as to what do I want to do? And then I have to replace myself for all the things I don’t. 

[00:09:16] Steve Fretzin: Right. 

[00:09:16] Victoria Collier: And, uh, with the lack of mindset, we just never get to the point of replacing ourselves. And that doesn’t mean, so, so when I look at exiting a firm, right, there’s two phases, generally speaking.

[00:09:28] Victoria Collier: One is replace yourself within your roles, the ones you don’t want. Always keep the ones you want. That’s what motivates you to get out of bed every day, right? And then ultimately replace yourself completely by exiting the firm at some point, right? Because you die or you’re disabled or you decide to cash out.

[00:09:47] Victoria Collier: Um, but, but look at, and, and that both of those play into your lifestyle. 

[00:09:52] Steve Fretzin: How do, how do lawyers who go out on their own know what path to take? Again, they can have a gut about it. They may have some ideas about it, but is there, are there attributes that an attorney has that would, that would give them more, more room to scale and grow versus someone who should stay, maybe stay solo?

[00:10:13] Victoria Collier: I think it’s personality. Yeah. Yeah. And, um, I think. That’s so, first of all, I think the word entrepreneur is used too broadly and entrepreneur does not just mean business owner, generally speaking in my mind, at least, but I think that those that want to scale are, have the personality where they’re setting high goals.

[00:10:36] Victoria Collier: They’re, you know, wanting to go with others. They’re wanting to really develop others. They want to be leaders. And they see a bigger vision to support their mission. Uh, and not, that’s not to say that solo practitioners don’t have visions and missions and goals, but they’re just different. And I think you can see that when you’re in a room with just go to any local bar association, you can see.

[00:11:03] Victoria Collier: Very easily those that want to scale. And I think those that prefer to stay, uh, smaller, um, they network different, they have different conversations. And so I think it’s personality more than anything. And, and, and I didn’t know when I opened my own practice, who I was or what I wanted. Initially, I didn’t even know what the word entrepreneur was and, you know, and then I started reading David, uh, Richard Kiyosaki’s, you know, rich dad, poor dad, and this awakening came into me and then I hired a coach and then I just saw more possibilities and people outside my four walls.

[00:11:37] Victoria Collier: And I think that’s. Makes a big difference to Steve is how, you know, how do you associate with others outside of your practice? And do you just associate with lawyers or do you associate with other business owners? But I think it comes down to personality and then, you know, who you associate with. 

[00:11:54] Steve Fretzin: The other question that I have for you is, is just, you know, what’s going to make you happy?

[00:11:59] Steve Fretzin: There is a time where I had 13 employees, I had three offices, I had a couple different businesses and, you know, I was trying to, you know, wear every hat and spin every plate and all that. And I’m down and then, you know, down to, you know, one person with a virtual full time assistant and like, couldn’t be happier.

[00:12:16] Steve Fretzin: And I don’t have all the pressures that I had with all that. So I, you mentioned personality, but it’s also, I think, Knowing oneself and where, where I want to spend time and where my skills are. Like, I feel like I’m not a great manager. I’m a terrific coach. I’m not a great manager. They’re different skills.

[00:12:33] Victoria Collier: They are. They are. And, and I also think that there’s different skills between management and leadership. And I, you know, try to coach people into those who want to develop themselves into leaders. And then when we do that, we don’t need to manage because when we’re leaders, we are. Uh, developing other leaders, uh, versus managing employees.

[00:12:56] Victoria Collier: Um, and it’s a different skill set. It’s certainly a different mindset. And so that’s what I try to guide people towards is leadership. And then I, I think it, it feels like coaching, right? And that doesn’t mean you necessarily still need the three offices, but it gives you the opportunity to do so if you want.

[00:13:14] Steve Fretzin: And what are some of the, the top mistakes that lawyers make if, let’s say they do want to scale and they do want to eventually exit and sell and have something that’s a business to sell. What are the top mistakes that they make? In getting to that, to that point, 

[00:13:30] Victoria Collier: I think the thing that I see the most is when I asked the question while I’m doing a valuation to see what someone’s business is worth.

[00:13:38] Victoria Collier: There’s 1 question we ask, and that question is, do you want to in the next 12 months grow your net? Sorry. Do you would you rather grow your gross revenue? Would you rather grow your net revenue? Or would you rather become the master of your craft, you know, uh, the best lawyer in your town. And oftentimes people will say, I want to grow my gross revenue, but gross revenue is not where the value is.

[00:14:05] Victoria Collier: It’s in the net revenue. Um, and so if you’re making decisions based on, I want to grow my gross revenue, then you are making other micro decisions below that, that affect your net revenue. And often it’s not in the same, uh, direction. And so I’ll give you an example of when I had my firm, I did want to break a million dollars because who doesn’t, right?

[00:14:26] Victoria Collier: I mean, there are some people that don’t, but that’s the mark, right? I want to break a million and I made a conscious decision. We’re going to break a million. I don’t care what it takes. And I overstaffed and I hired a marketing person and, uh, we broke a million, but it also was my highest negative net year that I ever had.

[00:14:44] Steve Fretzin: And I said, you know what, I know, 

[00:14:48] Victoria Collier: right. Yeah. And so then I told my staff and I said, yay, we did it. We’re never going to do it like that again. 

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[00:14:55] Victoria Collier: then we went down below a billion the next year. And then after that, we were a million for five years, plus a million for five years in a row. And never did we ever go back to that negative net like that.

[00:15:07] Victoria Collier: So 

[00:15:08] Steve Fretzin: a lot of this 

[00:15:09] Victoria Collier: to prove to myself that we could do it. They make decisions. Right. 

[00:15:17] Steve Fretzin: And I think a lot of lawyers need to work with me, you, someone, have mentors, advisors, other lawyers, managing partners that have been there, done that, so they can avoid making mistakes that could cost them years or cost them money and years of their time.

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[00:17:29] Steve Fretzin: So then let’s talk about this. All right. Someone has a five person firm, let’s say five attorneys, a bunch of admin, they’re, they’re cranking out, you know, a couple million or whatever the number is a year.

[00:17:41] Steve Fretzin: And the lawyer has his, his or her sights set on, you know, let’s figure out a five year exit strategy. Okay. What are some of the key components of that business being ready for sale? 

[00:17:53] Victoria Collier: Right. So what buyers are buying is predictability, right? So we want to look at how can we make the different components of this business as predictable as possible.

[00:18:04] Victoria Collier: Uh, so first and foremost, that’s revenue. How can we assure someone that the revenue is going to keep on coming, even though I, the owner, am not there anymore. Yeah. So how many ways can we get money in the door? Okay, so that’s number one. Uh, number two is predictability as far as consistency of what we provide.

[00:18:24] Victoria Collier: You know, and we knock on, you know, McDonald’s and Burger King, but they’ve got their systems. Every hamburger is shitty just like the one before, right? 

[00:18:33] Steve Fretzin: Equal, equally gross, right? 

[00:18:37] Victoria Collier: That’s right. It’s a 

[00:18:39] Steve Fretzin: great, it’s a great idea that doesn’t, that doesn’t work out in the end is what that is. 

[00:18:44] Victoria Collier: Right. So we want the same for our law firms, except on the better side of service and, uh, production.

[00:18:51] Victoria Collier: And so how can we ensure that? We ensure that through having solid, uh, Policies or procedures that people actually follow and not just have because it’s a checklist item because they were told by a coach they needed to have, right? That they’re actually operating off of them and every, you can plug and play people into the systems and into the processes and the client should get the same result.

[00:19:13] Victoria Collier: So that’s number two, that’s predictability. Number three is that your team to the extent you can is going to stay Because people are buying you can’t buy people but you can buy teams And and so what kind of incentives what kind of culture do we have those kind of things that make it predictable? That the whole will stay now You know, you might lose a person or two and maybe you should but the whole stays and that’s predictable 

[00:19:39] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, those are all so critical and the one that um, You I just want to go back to is the one on consistency and.

[00:19:46] Steve Fretzin: You know, there’s a lot of law firms that have a few clients, right? And they’re relying on the two big clients that, you know, get them to the million dollars. If one of those clients goes away, right, gets bought, goes under, changes counsel, whatever, you’re cut in half and you’ve got the staff for the, for the million and not for the half.

[00:20:05] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And it 

[00:20:06] Victoria Collier: really devalues your firm when we do evaluation. 

[00:20:09] Steve Fretzin: Right. Right. So I think when you talk about consistency, what popped into my head right away is, you know, how, not diverse is your client base, but, but do you have 20, 30, 40 clients versus two? Right, 

[00:20:21] Victoria Collier: exactly. Exactly. And so anytime you’re relying on a small number, whether that’s clients, whether that’s employees, whether that’s, you know, vendors, um, it’s going to have an effect on your sale ability and certainly the value of your, 

[00:20:36] Steve Fretzin: I think there’s also a misnomer and maybe my dad had this and I know other lawyers have this that I’m the name on the business and I’m the great lawyer and no one’s going to want to work with my firm anymore, whatever, if I’m not in the picture, right.

[00:20:50] Steve Fretzin: Or if I start, you know, having other people, you know, do the work and things like that. It’s as old as, you know, old as adage, as there is. Why is that such a falsehood? 

[00:21:02] Victoria Collier: People want solutions to their problems. They just want to know that someone can. Provide that solution. And they really don’t know who they don’t really care whose name is on the door.

[00:21:16] Victoria Collier: And the reason they don’t care is because they didn’t know the name of that person on the door before someone told them the name of that person on the door. 

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[00:21:23] Victoria Collier: and so they’re actually going off someone else’s reputation, not even your reputation on the door. Right. Um, and so, so they just want to, uh, their problem solve and, you know, the, the bigger evidence as to why that’s false.

[00:21:38] Victoria Collier: As far as, you know, it has to be that person is that look at all the firms that have scaled all of those business owners started off as a one person show at some point, and yet now they’ve got lots of associates that work for them. They have paralegals that work for them, and somehow they figured it out.

[00:21:56] Victoria Collier: Um, and, and when we want to, and we, and we’re willing and able to put that ego to the side, we all can do it, because at the end of the day, the client just wants their problem solved. 

[00:22:09] Steve Fretzin: Right, and so the, the, the solo that wants to sell the business. And, and the solo has been the one that’s done the work and that, that the clients love and adore and has the relationship thinks that we can, that the business isn’t sellable because I’m the business when in reality, if they have consistency predictability, you know, they have maybe a few staff members, whatever, but if they can transition that.

[00:22:31] Steve Fretzin: Relationship or if they can transition that authority that the problems are going to get solved and here’s the best person for it And make that I think that’s where my father lost. It was he didn’t really know how to transition 

[00:22:42] Victoria Collier: well, and that you’ve just brought up the best point and that is that the transition can make or break the success of a sale And how much you as the seller And the buyer has to believe in that successful transition has a lot to do with whether or not it will be successful and not just the seller, but the buyer has to believe it, too.

[00:23:08] Victoria Collier: And, you know, there are a lot of different things, action steps, activities, uh, touch points that the buyer and seller can put together in what’s called a transition plan to make that successful so that that goodwill is transferred over. Um, Because at the end of the day, Steve, again, people don’t, people don’t like change and that includes our clients.

[00:23:34] Victoria Collier: And even though there is a change in ownership, they don’t want to go find another firm to work with. How is that any different than working with a new person that at least you trust because you brought them in, you know, at least I know that that’s still a step ahead of, of in the old days, looking at the yellow pages or now looking at Google, it’s still better than a cold.

[00:23:57] Victoria Collier: Starting over. 

[00:23:59] Steve Fretzin: Well, that, that, that the concept of, of transferal of trust, transference of trust, however we want to state it is, is, is the key. And, and if that is there, um, like I was in a bad accident in my twenties and I talked to a lawyer who was the head of the firm, never spoke to the, that attorney again.

[00:24:16] Steve Fretzin: I mean, I haven’t spoken to him ever again, and I, but I’ve worked with a couple of his, of his attorneys. And. You know, they, they did a great job and, and, you know, whatever. And I never looked back because that, that the idea that I have a team, the idea that it isn’t just me, you know, I built something, but it’s the machine that you want.

[00:24:33] Steve Fretzin: Not, not, you know, the, the inventor. 

[00:24:36] Victoria Collier: Right. I learned this lesson when I was a paralegal down in South Georgia. I did worker’s comp and it got to where, and we did defense work. So we worked with the companies. And it got to where I was doing all the communications with our clients, our company clients, and these were owners, these were CEOs of the businesses.

[00:24:54] Victoria Collier: And I felt self conscious at first because I’m not a lawyer, I’m just a paralegal. And then eventually we built great relationships. We were the ones communicating and they just wanted to know, do I have a hearing? Do I not have a hearing? Do I have to pay this employee or do I not? And so I learned that early on, which certainly helped me when I built my practice is it doesn’t have to be me.

[00:25:16] Victoria Collier: I, I built my practice on paralegal. 

[00:25:19] Steve Fretzin: And well that, and it’s a, that’s a great, you know, a great, Set up for, uh, you know, for, you know, the team that you’re selling the team and in that part of it, I want to go back to something you mentioned around predictability that we didn’t really take a deep enough dive into.

[00:25:34] Steve Fretzin: We really didn’t kind of sugarcoated it, but I want to go back and talk about technology automation. Um, when you mention about predictability and the team, you know, the, the, the, the services being provided. Predictably, right? So no surprise it. How much talk to what you what you’re seeing in technology, automation, AI, et cetera, that is making law firms worth more and work better.

[00:26:00] Victoria Collier: Sure. So one is the ability to schedule appointments without, you know, I would say without spending money on employees because to me, technology should only be supporting what we in the firm are doing so we can do better, greater, more. Sure. Then what we can do a labor wise. So I would say, you know, number one is the calendaring because you can spend so many labor hours just going back and forth with, well, I can’t do this.

[00:26:25] Victoria Collier: I can’t do that. So that’s one number two is the client portals that people can. Automatically upload their information for the lawyer. So now we’re not spending money on mail. We’re not going back and forth with emails. It’s just all uploaded. Same with client forms, as much as they can fill out that then fills out the end product, whether that be a will or a contract or a pleading, you know, all of those things help us streamline our businesses.

[00:26:54] Steve Fretzin: And what about like database management said, I think you may have alluded to that, but like having a really good system, you know, and for just as an example, I have law Maddox, who’s a wonderful sponsor and I’ve been using them for years, but it automates my contracts. It automates my marketing, my, my outbound marketing.

[00:27:10] Steve Fretzin: Like you got, we should have gotten like some reminder that said, Hey, in two hours, we’re recording this podcast or in 24 hours, we’re recording like things that just that make, make things, you know, hum without me having to be on it. 

[00:27:23] Victoria Collier: Right. So the flow, if you will, the flow through a work case or the flow through marketing, especially marketing, so you can touch somebody for a year after you’ve set it up one time, depending on the options you choose in your database.

[00:27:37] Victoria Collier: I’m a huge believer in databases. Uh, they go beyond Word and Excel so that we can use those automations. Absolutely. 

[00:27:46] Steve Fretzin: Okay. And, and just, um, I don’t know that we got into this enough, but like what, so quid pro quo, what tell everybody what, I mean, I think they got a feeling for what you do, but what are the main deliverables that you’re providing?

[00:27:56] Victoria Collier: So the primary service that we provide is that we do valuations for lockers and some people believe that that’s only when they want to sell, but actually valuations are very. Good benchmarks as to where am I so that I can build the value within my firm to get where I want to go, whether that’s to sell or not.

[00:28:17] Victoria Collier: Um, the other is so that I can bring in investors. And certainly, we do valuation so that people can sell. And to that end, I am a broker, and I do assist lawyers in positioning their firms to sell, and then we find the buyers for them. Okay. And, and sometimes if they say, I want to sell in five years from now, we can provide coaching to them specifically for the view of how do I increase the value of my firm so that I can position to sell.

[00:28:47] Victoria Collier: Uh, later. 

[00:28:49] Steve Fretzin: Very cool. Very cool. And let’s, let’s transition to, uh, your game changing book, which is one of my new favorite books and one of my, my buddies, uh, Brett Tremblay, 24 Months to Freedom. Uh, so talk to everybody about that, about that book. 

[00:29:03] Victoria Collier: So the reason I love this book so much is that it’s in a very easy way to understand.

[00:29:12] Victoria Collier: It tells you how to build the staff within your firm. Um, because oftentimes I’ll see people who like, I’m a lawyer and I’m just like, Oh my gosh, I need help. So I’m just gonna go hire another lawyer and they don’t even have a receptionist yet and they’re still doing their own bookkeeping. Yeah. Oh my God.

[00:29:29] Victoria Collier: It drives 

[00:29:30] Steve Fretzin: me nuts. It drives me crazy. Drives me crazy. Right. 

[00:29:32] Victoria Collier: I’m like, well, you know, so I think the book really outlines. Who you need when you need them and in what order you should consider hiring them and not just for law firms, but like I’m a law firm light business, right? I mean, you change the name of the titles, but essentially the same functions within the different businesses.

[00:29:51] Victoria Collier: And so I think it’s multifaceted because there’s so many lawyers that have. As they say, side projects or side gigs or whatever they’re called. Um, so I think the book, uh, extends beyond the law firm, but is most critically for law firms when you are getting started. And even when you’re in it, if you see that you have hired maybe some people in the wrong spot or the wrong order, then you can go back and fill in those gaps.

[00:30:13] Victoria Collier: So I think Brett did a tremendously good job in, uh, outlining that. 

[00:30:18] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, and the beauty of, of get staffed up for me and for the clients that I refer them to, you know, to get staffed up, you know, they’re not on your payroll, right? So you’re, you’re dealing with an organization that has these, you know, hundreds of thousands of resumes and people, you bring them in, you’re not, they’re not on your payroll.

[00:30:36] Steve Fretzin: That you’re not covering their insurance, you know, there’s no, it’s, it’s, it’s all virtual. They’re in our time zone in most cases. And, and, and if they don’t work out, they just, they have a replacement, you know? So it’s like, you know, you’re not going through the recruiting and you’re not going through the, the headaches and the rigmarole that you normally go through when you’re hiring.

[00:30:52] Steve Fretzin: So for all the stuff, the marketing, the book, you know, business, admin, some, maybe some business development, whatever it might be. Or paralegals through other organizations. I mean, that’s all it’s all gravy. 

[00:31:03] Victoria Collier: Yeah, it is and a point that you kind of touched on But that I want to nail in here is that as lawyers again, we’re not great at business often and we’re really not good at um, like the human element of managing people often and that’s because We have hearts.

[00:31:21] Victoria Collier: I mean we do despite what the jokes are out there about lawyers But you know, I can’t tell you how often that I hear people say well I just can’t get rid of her because you know, she’s been with me forever or she’s my cousin Oh, yeah, you know, whatever whatever and you know what with you know the philosophy of 24 months to freedom and using outsourcing through other agencies As you said, they’re not working out.

[00:31:43] Victoria Collier: You just replace them and you don’t have to go through that mental, Oh my gosh, I love them and I have to go see them every single day. You don’t, they’re virtual. 

[00:31:52] Steve Fretzin: And guess what? They’re like half, half or less than half of what an in person or even a US based. And again, I don’t want to take business away from the U.

[00:32:01] Steve Fretzin: S., but a lot of the jobs that are being found now at this level, you know, they’re not, people aren’t interested. It’s like, you know, McDonald’s, back to where we started, McDonald’s are working. Not everybody wants to work at McDonald’s are working. They’re not paying a lot. And it’s not jobs Americans, you know, and, and, you know, people typically want not all, you know, it’s, it’s a default job.

[00:32:20] Steve Fretzin: True. True. True. 

[00:32:21] Victoria Collier: And I will say one other thing as we’ve finished, you know, that conversation up is even though they don’t, you know, cost us as much and maybe because, and they are in other countries and maybe they are virtual and they’re not our W2 employees, I would say for a valuable business, a saleable business, you can still consider them as, you know, a team that is saleable and scalable and With all that having been said we still need to treat them as a team with you know Respect and uh the same culture we would otherwise.

[00:32:54] Steve Fretzin: Yeah Yeah Well, that’s a great a great place to finish up as we Want to thank our lovely sponsors as I mentioned of course get staffed up got some nice plugs today and uh, Uh, lawmatics got some nice plugs. You know who we didn’t plug enough was uh, green cardigan marketing my friend Ashley robinson who’s uh updated my website.

[00:33:11] Steve Fretzin: It looks phenomenal got some video on there makes it real easy to understand what Fretzin does And, um, those are just great partners to the show and Victoria, if people want to reach out to you, they want to learn more about, um, you, or they want to look to get that valuation and, uh, what are, what are the best ways for them to reach you?

[00:33:27] Victoria Collier: Yeah. So there’s three wonderful ways. Uh, one is our website, which is quid pro quo law. com. And then we also have a private Facebook group called the art of buying and selling law firms. And then we have a podcast called smart lawyers position to transition. And that’s it. 

[00:33:45] Steve Fretzin: Nice. Nice. Nice. Nice. All right.

[00:33:47] Steve Fretzin: Well, fantastic. And thanks for being on the show and sharing your wisdom. Again, this is a topic we don’t really cover that often, but I know that the lawyers that are listening will enjoy it because it’s, it’s the future. It’s where they want to go or where they want to be unless they want to stay at a law firm, you know, through their career, which is, which is a good choice as well.

[00:34:05] Steve Fretzin: Just not the entrepreneurial choice typically. So anyway, thanks so much. Appreciate it. 

[00:34:09] Victoria Collier: Thank you, Steve. 

[00:34:10] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. Thank you everybody for spending some time with Victoria and I today on the Be That Lawyer with Fretzin podcast. And again, you know, trying to help you be confident, organized and a skilled rainmaker.

[00:34:21] Steve Fretzin: Take care, everybody. Be safe. Be well. We’ll talk again real soon.

[00:34:28] Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be That Lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website, Fretzin. com for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.