During my (relatively short) career I've come to believe that in business most things are about 10 times less complicated than people make them. This also goes for running the business.
Make the gap between your expenditure and your income as great as possible. People will obviously argue there's a lot more to consider, but that's about it. Do it right and you get a nice big profit in the middle. The only question is what you do to minimise your costs and maximise your revenue.
In my opinion most law firms are managed for cost. I once heard a managing partner say that's because costs are easier to control, which seems a bit too much like a lazy self-fulfilling prophecy to me.
So it's encouraging to hear that Brodies are managing the business for growth, recognising that investing in the right things can help to win work. Last year they increased their revenue and their profit, at the same time as seeing their costs go up. Crazy!
Imagine how impressed their clients must be to hear that their law firm is investing in the systems and infrastructure to help deliver a better service - it sounds a bit like the sort of thing a normal business would do...
Last year the firm’s costs increased by 8.8 per cent, from £28.4m in 2013/14 to £30.9m (27 July 2015). Whereas many other firms would look to hide this fact Brodies is proud of its increased costs as it believes that increased investment is fundamental for the firm’s growth and survival. “This isn’t something which is unique to the past financial year,” says Brodies chairman Christine O’Neill. “It’s not a new thing for us if you look back at our results over the last decade. “You invest in order to produce a return. You invest in those aspects of a business you think are important for the long term growth and health of the business and that’s what we’ve done in the past.”