If you are groaning as you read this, we already know the answer. Balancing a busy season of end-of-year deadlines with what swiftly becomes a full calendar of holiday parties, including your own (we hope) can become overwhelming for estate planning and elder law firms. It happens every single year, and even though every year you (or your office manager) swears you’ll do better the next year, somehow that doesn’t happen.
A full schedule of appointments and a steady stream of gifts from colleagues, clients and vendors that takes over the table in your break room kitchen and overflows onto someone’s desk are both indicators that you are running a good practice and are well-regarded in your community.
A few tips to help you manage during the coming holiday season:
Are your law firm’s holiday cards and gifts already ordered? If not, sit down with your office manager and get that taken care of before Thanksgiving. Yes, you still have time. If you’ve stopped sending paper cards, or are concerned that you don’t have time, maybe this is the year that you move to digital cards which are gaining in use.
Remember that how you celebrate the holidays needs to be a part of your law firm branding. If your firm has a Western theme, for instance, a holiday card with a city skyline may be confusing, unless there’s a horse and cowboy silhouette in the foreground. If the firm color scheme is navy blue, your holiday cards, digital or print, should incorporate that color.
Does your practice make end-of-year donations to local charities? Some firms incorporate the names of the not-for-profits that they support in their holiday cards, others make donations in their clients’ names.
If you give gifts to clients, referral sources and colleagues, do they reflect the look/feel of the firm? Take a really objective look at what gifts you are thinking about giving. How would you feel if you were on the receiving end? Everyone loves to get a gift, but not every gift is right for everyone.
Take an accountant’s eye view of your gift giving strategy. If you have a colleague who sends a steady stream of clients all year long, be equally generous in your gifting.
Time management becomes a point of stress during holiday season. Would getting a slightly earlier start to your day help you manage the work/party balance?
When things get a little too hectic, take a break and if you can, get outside for twenty minutes. Depending on where you are, the trees may still be wearing their glorious fall colors. Your mother was right about this: sometimes a short walk in the fresh air can help clear your head and relieve stress.