As the owner of Pineapple Consulting Firm, Jack Tompkins helps leaders to analyze and visualize their financial and marketing data and interactive charts, graphs and dashboards. They don’t have to deal with the annoying data gathering and manipulation of it all and can quickly see the full picture.
Jack and I explored several topics during our conversation, including some of the nuts and bolts, basic starter places that you can go as a solo law firm owner to understand financial data at a higher level. Before you assemble that full financial team, you need to know your numbers first. Just by easy, simple data understanding of Excel, you can really start to make progress in understanding your numbers and making better financial decisions in business. Tune in and learn more!
In this episode we discuss:
- Using accounting software to keep track of everything.
- The importance of learning to use data collected as a guide in decision making.
- Tracking revenue sources to help identify the most successful profit generators.
- Using a Statement of Cash Flows to assist in budgeting upcoming expenses.
- Automating but at the same time staying involved in the process.
- Growing your top line revenues versus growing your bottom-line profits.
Allison Williams: [00:00:11] Hi everybody, it’s Allison Williams here, your Law Firm Mentor. Law Firm Mentor is a business coaching service for solo and small law firm attorneys. We help you grow your revenues, crush chaos in business and make more money.
Allison Williams: [00:00:25] Jack Tompkins is the owner of Pineapple Consulting Firm based out of Charlotte, North Carolina. He helps leaders to analyze and visualize their financial and marketing data and interactive charts, graphs and dashboards, so you don’t have to deal with the annoying data gathering and manipulation of it all. His goal is to actually help you to grow profitably and efficiently by helping to not just know your numbers through and through, but also to visualize them to quickly get the full picture. I was very pleased to have the occasion to meet Jack, because as a business analyst, I think his role is often misunderstood, especially by lawyers who may have a desire at some point in their future to sell their firms and what they should be doing now to get it the most profitable that it can be, so that they ultimately can get the greatest return on their investment. So Jack and I explored several topics during our conversation, including some of the nuts and bolts, basic starter places that you can go as a solo law firm owner to not just understand financial data at a higher level, but to also start to organize things so that before you assemble that full financial team, before you have that bookkeeper, that accountant and that CFO, that you actually start to do some things yourself. Just by easy, simple data understanding of Excel, you can really start to make progress in understanding your numbers and making better financial decisions in business. So without further ado, Jack Tompkins.
Allison Williams: [00:01:58] Jack Tompkins, welcome to The Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast,
Jack Tompkins: [00:02:02] Thank you so much for having me Allison. Really looking forward to this.
Allison Williams: [00:02:05] Yeah, so I’m happy that we’re having you on. You are a business analyst and you talk about one of those sexy things that are sexy to people like you, but not so sexy to people like me and people that we serve, which are your numbers. So we’re going to do a little, I won’t call it a deep dive. I don’t want to scare people off. We’re going to, we’re going to talk a little bit about the importance of numbers in a business. So first, what would you say is the true power of actually seeing your numbers as a business owner?
Jack Tompkins: [00:02:33] For starters, I’m glad you called numbers sexy, even if it’s just me. I’m glad you acknowledge it, because like you said, most people are not in the same boat as me. But it’s true. I absolutely love them. The true power of seeing your numbers, I mean, they kind of, they kind of acts, kind of guides your business, so you can kind of see where you’ve been and it gives you some insight into where you’re going and more importantly, what’s working, what’s not working. So keep an eye on your financials. I mean, you hear it on Shark Tank, even too. You got to know your numbers and I know you know that Allison. Umm. So I think it’s a really nice guide. And you’re working like a business or working with somebody like a business coach. It’s a really good conversation starter because you can point to things. Say look, here’s how we’re doing. This worked really well. Let’s keep doing it. This didn’t pan out the way we expected. Let’s either change it or even stop doing it in entirety.
Allison Williams: [00:03:26] Yeah. So when you’re looking at, we do know, of course, the importance of numbers. And a lot of, a lot of our clients, a lot of solo and small law firm attorneys are starting to get familiar with certain financial reports. Right. So, where would you say would be the place that you would tell a business owner or a small business owner who may not be as sophisticated in financial analysis… Where should they look to get the most meaty information that they absolutely have to have at their disposal when it’s time to make financial decisions in their business?
Jack Tompkins: [00:03:55] I’d say whatever accounting software you’re using, it’s nine times out of ten, it’s probably Quickbooks, so we just use that as an example. Quickbooks is going to have everything in there. It could be a bit tough to find. But your top and bottom line, your revenue and your profit, that’s probably going to be number one. And number two, I probably put profit first, honestly. And then the other thing I’d tie into, actually is with with lawyers and service based businesses in general, really, where is your time being spent? Because if your hourly rate is not where it should be, which is pretty normal for most people’s first few years on the job, that’s another good thing to tie in. And having the revenue or the profit lens to look at that with is is a really nice guy.
Allison Williams: [00:04:44] Yeah, so interestingly enough, it’s it’s interesting that you say that Quickbooks is not necessarily that that, you know, the numbers aren’t necessarily right there in front of you, because one of the things that my accountant did when when I started my law firm was to set me up on Quickbooks. And the first thing he showed me how to do was to run a profit and loss statement. And I actually think it’s rather easy, just like a couple of clicks where you can actually run that report and start seeing trends, if nothing else, over where your numbers went over, over the recent time period. But of course, we know a lot of people don’t start off with an accountant. They don’t start off with a bookkeeper. What would you recommend to somebody who has gotten financial numbers into Quickbooks, but it’s a it’s a retrospective rather than a prospective. How do they make sense of what’s in front of them in terms of the information that’s coming from those numbers?
Jack Tompkins: [00:05:33] Yeah, it’s a good question. Doing the doing the historical view or the retrospective view is a great place to start. And if you’ve got your numbers in Quickbooks or something like that, that’s a phenomenal start and you’re on the right track for sure. So when you’re looking through that, you want to pay attention to things like where where your revenue is coming from and in the law firm or an office, it might be what kinds of cases you’re taking or something along those lines. So that’s definitely something I would pay attention to. And you can see that over time, too, if if you’re I don’t know, litigation may well use that as an example. If that is one source of revenue for you and it’s kind of slowly rising for you, that’s fantastic. Maybe you want to put more into it. Maybe you want to market that service more. If you hate litigation, but it’s slowly rising, then maybe you, that kind of points in the direction of, all right, maybe I got to change my messaging or or change another piece of my business so I get to the things that I like. So paying attention to your revenue sources and how they change over time I think is a really good place to start.
Allison Williams: [00:06:43] Yeah. So talking about revenue source is one of the things that we work with our clients on here at Law Firm Mentor is actually altering their chart of accounts to reflect all of the different case types so that you see, you know, your top line income that’s at the very top where that’s where that’s actually coming from. But but let’s say we have a less sophisticated business owner that maybe says, I know I need to be looking at my numbers. Right. Do I need to be looking at a balance sheet? Do I need to be looking at a cash flow projection like so where would you where would you advise someone start when they want to really get a handle on what is the value of their business and how they can start to optimize the most important area, which is the profit?
Jack Tompkins: [00:07:23] You know, I would say the profit and loss statement is good. Statement of cash flows, which is one of those sort of default reports on Quickbooks is another really good place to start, because at the end of the day, cash is still going to be king. So I think knowing where your dollars are going and where they’re coming from is definitely something to keep on top of. I think this could be maybe a general statement, but with a lot of lawyers that I’ve worked with and talked to, they have kind of longer term clients. So it’s not really a one and done. I know there are plenty of those out there, plenty of those kinds of cases. But with that, it’s you can kind of start building out when you look at a cash flow statement, you can say, OK, client A, you know, I’m getting whatever the number is, five hundred dollars a month from them. And so I can kind of predict that going forward. And if I do that two or three times, then I’m getting a thousand or fifteen hundred dollars coming in. I can plan for an expense based off of that, looking at the statement of cash flows. So I think I think that’s a good way to use the statement of cash flows. And then once you look at that and say, OK, I can have an expense and, you know, change up my website or whatever it is in a few months because all this is going to be coming in, then you can prepare for that to be reflected on the profit of the profit & loss statement.
Allison Williams: [00:08:49] Yeah. So a lot of that, I think is probably sounding a little bit like German to our… And I say that, I say that with all due respect, whenever I talk to financial people, they have such an ease with the language of numbers. And so many of us lawyers are like, well, I’m a lawyer because I don’t do math. Okay?
Allison Williams: [00:09:09] They obviously would need to and would benefit from working with someone like you to actually help them understand that. But one of the things I know comes up a lot with particularly smaller law firms is this idea of business intelligence. And when they are familiar with anything, Excel kind of becomes the the master default where we can put some information, and at least get the ability to have some things tabulated for us. How do you how do you suggest that lawyers can use Excel as a part of getting more of an understanding of the members in their business?
Jack Tompkins: [00:09:40] So glad you brought it up. And you’re absolutely right. I definitely have just oh, this is finance and it’s normal. I do fully realize it’s not normal. And that’s why one of the things that I really like to do is what I call visualizing your numbers. And so in Excel, that looks like instead of looking at the black and white income statement in Quickbooks, you can then put it into charts and graphs and move or do it with your brand colors. You can make indicators and stuff like that to show that you’re up or down and do some comparisons. So there’s definitely a level of sophistication that comes with being able to make those reports in Excel. But I would say start with a process. So if that is going, if that is just manually entering numbers into Excel. Revenue is this. Expenses total to this and profit was this. Nothing crazy. Just chart those over time and you could then create a bar graph and you could see, OK, this is how things are trending. And that visualization of your data and of your numbers, I think makes a huge difference, especially for the folks that don’t like math, aren’t financially savvy, just starting a business and don’t have time to worry about all the ins and outs too. So I would say if you’re going to get into an Excel, I think that’s a fantastic start. Visualize your numbers in some way and it’ll actually it’ll keep you engaged with your numbers too.
Allison Williams: [00:11:08] Ok, so are there other tools, other tech technology, software tools that you might recommend for someone who wants to get a better, firmer understanding of their numbers, but may be a little wary about where to start and a little overwhelmed by all the all the options that are on the market?
Jack Tompkins: [00:11:25] There are a lot of options, that’s for sure, especially if we keep using Quickbooks as the example. There’s a lot of automation out there around Quickbooks. And you can, there’s a whole lot of free trials, too, which is fantastic. And they can go in, grab all your data, put it into some sort of format for you. One of the tools that is a bit more sophisticated is called Google Data Studio, and that is truly just complete automation. It comes into the your dashboard is generally what it’s called. Your numbers are there. You can visualize them. It takes a bit of work to set up, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run. Other things on the scale of Excel and just kind of for that. Sort of basic, let’s just get something on paper, something like Google Sheets is obviously Google’s version of Excel, that’s perfectly fine. Good for sharing to you can just kind of send a link to your coworkers or business partner or something like that. That’s a really good resource to and in a situation like this, you’re not even using or you don’t have to use the full extent of Excel. So Google Sheets is going to be more than enough. So I would say anything like that. There’s a few, there’s plenty of different automations out there. One of them that I like to use in Google Sheets, it’s called coupler, like COUPLER and that automatically brings things into Google Sheets for you. So you don’t have to look for it in Quickbooks or anything like that.
Allison Williams: [00:12:59] Yeah, so you spelled it out. And I was like, that sounds like coupe. So again, you know, finance not my not my baby. But but in all seriousness though, one of the things that you mentioned earlier is the integrations that can happen with Quickbooks. And I know a lot of people will do things like connect their credit cards or connect their bank statements so that quick books has the information and then it just has to be categorized. Is that something that you would recommend for a newer or smaller business, or do you think that they need to, like, start from scratch entering the data manually so that they have an understanding of it before it’s even cataloged in their in their software?
Jack Tompkins: [00:13:39] I think the best way would probably be option one there, get it all linked up to Quickbooks. And though they do a pretty decent job of guiding me through how to do that within Quickbooks once it’s in there, I think that’s fantastic. From there, as long as you’re… To your point, Allison, I guess maybe I’ll backtrack a little bit. It’s great to connect it. It’s not counterproductive, but could be a bit challenging if it’s just in there and you don’t even think about it. And now I spent three grand this week and whatever. The automation is fantastic, but keeping an eye on it is definitely part two if you have that automated connection. So I would definitely recommend the automation because it does save you some more time. You just got to spend the five minutes kind of checking over things. Maybe it’s just monthly or something like that, though.
Allison Williams: [00:14:32] Yeah. So what would you say to someone? We’re going to we’re going to shift gears a little bit now and talk about budgets. OK, so when you have all of this data, especially with Quickbooks, you have your profit and loss statement that will show you income and expenses all in one place. There are a lot of people that have an almost like when I have a lot of money, I spend a lot of money. (Right.) I have a little bit of money. I bite my teeth and and hold my breath and pray for the best and wait for the next client.
Allison Williams: [00:15:00] And I and I and I pull back. But we know that there are tools that are out there that are really user friendly to help people with things like budgeting. And one of the recent tools I came across called Y-NAB. You Need A Budget. And so that’s that’s actually what it stands for. So but I know, of course, that is more of a personal finance tool than a business finance tool. So when when you’re working with a client and they identify, you know, I don’t know what I should be spending on this category of expenses. I don’t know how I should be looking at this particular area of spending. I really just make decisions to, you know, to spend based on what I have available. So if I see that on average I’m bringing in twenty thousand dollars a month, then I know I have, you know, ten to fifteen thousand dollars a month to spend. And then I’ve got taxes and then I’m pretty much wiped out. But how do you help business owners to decide what is an appropriate budget for their size and their and their stage of business growth?
Jack Tompkins: [00:16:00] It’s a really good question because there are so many factors that go into it. And to your point, there’s a lot of folks who are just aren’t making 20 grand a month. And I will have money in the bank account if I only spend 15, I think from that, which is not a bad place to start from there. If you say, all right, I got to spend 15 grand, then it becomes a question of prioritization. So if you are, for example, if you’re working on growing your business, which a lot of obviously most businesses are in some fashion, maybe that means you need more people in the door. And so then it leads to, OK, more people in the door means let’s get some marketing efforts out there and then you can go out into the different channels of marketing and things like CEO and ads and and all that other good stuff. If you’re focused on becoming profitable because maybe leads are not your issue, you get referrals like crazy. You just want to be spending your time in the right areas. Technology could be a good investment there, and that’s what we were talking about, about some of the automation’s through Quickbooks and stuff, that’s nine times out of ten that’s going to be free. But there are additional ways you can try and automate your business with things like I’ll go back to using a marketing example, like a customer relationship management CRM tool. That’s a that’s a good thing to invest in because it can, again, kind of keep you on track and it’ll it’ll help you spend your time in the right way and help you automate the things that are kind of just headachy and boring and are not what you got into business to do. So that’s just an example of if you want to grow top line, if you want to grow revenue, sorry, maybe marketing is the leading contender of where you want to spend. And if you want to grow your bottom line or profit, technology is is often a good way to go.
Allison Williams: [00:17:55] Yeah, well, I’m glad that you mentioned the bottom line because I think far too many, far too many consultants, coaches, advisers focus on that big. We need to grow a billion dollar business or a million dollar business because they’re focused on the top line. And then when you look at what’s left over, it’s like, OK, great, you’ve got a million dollar business. And you took fifty thousand dollars last year. (Right.) Opposed to the five hundred thousand dollar business that maybe took home two hundred of that. So how do you help business owners shift from I want to grow, grow, grow, thinking about top line to really getting into the bottom line profitability metrics that so often gets neglected?
Jack Tompkins: [00:18:36] I think it really comes down to setting up some processes. And so what do you mean by that is on the marketing front, making sure that you have some, like regular reach out with your clients or your leads and things like that. And if you have that process documented, good to go. Even automated in some cases, then the majority of your time is spent doing what I like to call the high impact works. That’s actually whatever whatever field that you practice in doing that, not the administrative type work. Other things to focus on profit, other ways to make sure you’re doing that high impact work. Maybe I should say, go back to the financial conversation. I think visualizing your financials is a huge, huge way that will really benefit you, because if you’re spending honestly, if you’re spending more than 10 minutes trying to find some reports or figure out what your numbers were last month, it can be done quicker and faster. That’s another efficiency gain. And I would say things like that will really help get that profit focus kind of top of mind. So. Again, whatever it is between marketing or financials or or things like that, having some sort of process is going to allow you to spend the time that you want to be spending as billable throughout the week. You’re actually doing that billable hours or that billable work instead of the admin kind of annoying copying and pasting stuff.
Allison Williams: [00:20:10] Yeah, you know, I was I was actually stunned when I recently heard a stat that, it comes out of the Clio Trends report, so take that for what it’s worth for everyone, because we know that Clio compiles data of of its clients through the practice management software that it provides to us. But the stat was that only 30 percent of the time that a small business owner, in particular, a small law firm owner is in the office, is actually captured as billable time. So not knowing, I mean, my mind was just blown. I was like, oh, my God. So you mean like for every thousand dollars worth of billing, we’re only getting three hundred of it. That becomes very jarring when you start thinking about how much time we’re actually spending as law firm owners. So profit is definitely something we got to we got to focus our attention on. (Absolutely.)
Allison Williams: [00:20:59] So, Jack, I want you to share with everyone. You know, I, I have the power of looking at your your beautiful speaker one sheet here. So I know a little bit about you in particular, but I’d like you to share with our audience your journey from moving from being your own corporate analyst, working in a company to to now having your own firm where you actually help people with the same types of activity.
Jack Tompkins: [00:21:22] Yeah, it’s it’s a fun story and I think it’s not super uncommon. So for anybody listening, that is part of that. I don’t know if it’s part of a bigger firm or a corporate role still within the legal profession. They might kind of jive with you. So I grew up actually in the insurance industry, grew up meaning professionally, I grew up in the insurance industry. And to your point, Allison, I was an analyst in a few different capacities, and I really liked digging into the numbers. And I’ll keep harping on it a bit, visualizing numbers so I could present to my boss’s boss’s boss, like, hey, here’s the story. Here’s it is. And boom, we’re done. So I don’t waste anybody’s time. I really enjoyed that stuff. And so I’ve always had this entrepreneurial bug and I figured, what can I do? So I decided to just kind of marry the two up and said, all right, I want to do something on my own. And I’ve known I’m at least half decent at this analytic stuff. So why not put some feelers out there? And I did that and it got some pretty good reception in the market. And from there it’s been it’s been a whole lot of fun. And Pineapple Consulting was born. Officially, I went full time in its early twenty twenty. So most of my time, if not all of my time, has actually been during a pandemic. But it’s been an absolute blast. And anybody who’s thinking about it, I encourage you to at least seriously consider it.
Allison Williams: [00:22:47] Highly recommended it, huh?
Jack Tompkins: [00:22:48] Mm hmm.
Allison Williams: [00:22:49] All right. Well, we know a lot of people either changed careers or or pursued their goal of being an entrepreneur during the pandemic. So it did facilitate a lot of business iterations for for a lot of professionals. (Yeah.) So talk to me about what a business analyst does. If someone if someone said, you know, I need to understand my business, I need to work with my business, I want to grow my business, would you be the person that they speak to? And if so, how would you help them?
Jack Tompkins: [00:23:16] Yeah, I think that’s that’s right up my alley. And a lot of those conversations go kind of kind of like the following. It’s, hey, I you know, I want to grow my business, but I’m swamped with actually making the money and doing the work, which obviously is a great scenario to be in. But to strategically grow your business, grow your profit, make sure you can take home what you want to take home. I think being a bit data driven, not fully data driven, but being a bit data driven is going to really, really help you. So the conversation goes like, let’s dive into the financials. That’s pretty much always where I start. And we can kind of dive into the numbers a little bit. They’ll be a conversation of, hey, like, what have you been doing, what you like doing, what do you not like doing? And then somebody like me would go in and actually dive really deep into the numbers and do all the do all the crazy math stuff that lawyers typically don’t want to get too deep into. I love doing that stuff. So I’ll go in there and put together typically what I call a dashboard. Will pick out some key performance indicators that could be things like revenue, profit, could be an hourly rate, anything like that. And we’ll start to monitor that. And we can we can throw some ideas out there and see what currently is working, maybe a new idea, what does work and what doesn’t work. And we’ll kind of just move forward and analyze the numbers. I’ll do the analysis. The business owner or the lawyer gets to look at the final numbers and make the decisions. So we’ll keep ittering about what works, what works really well and what doesn’t work so great. And in the end, it normally turns into some at least efficiency gains, typically some good revenue growth as well.
Allison Williams: [00:25:09] Yeah. So we know that a lot of times a lot of people don’t like to look at their numbers. So having someone by their side over their shoulder who’s guiding them through a process of actually looking at numbers can be a very empowering activity. But what is the what what would you say are are some of the things that you encounter the most when when you either get resistance from someone to actually looking at numbers or when they they’re willing to look at it, but they kind of get their caught in the headlights freeze moment when they see that they’re not either making as much as they thought they were or when they’re not as profitable as they’d like to be.
Jack Tompkins: [00:25:43] It’s it’s a good question. I will occasionally get the answer of, oh, there’s more to it than within what’s on the profit and loss statement.
Allison Williams: [00:25:51] And there isn’t. Yeah, numbers are what the numbers are. We can’t hide from them. We can’t write new ones because we don’t like it.
Jack Tompkins: [00:25:59] Exactly. And, you know, the numbers are what the numbers are. I think that’s well said. It’s I come in as kind of the the neutral third party of here are the facts. Here’s what I see. When they when there’s still resistance of. All right. The you know, these are what they are. They’re, you know, kind of sarcastically playing along. There’s always a conversation of, OK, regardless of what they are. Where do you want to be? And if it’s the the business owner who, you know, checks their bank account balance at the end of the month, that’s great. I probably made money this month. Then we could have the conversation of do you want to make double that next month? And the path towards that is keeping an eye on the on the financials, acknowledging that they do exist, are important, et cetera, and making some plans based off of them too. So again, being a little bit data driven, not ignoring the gut instinct by any means, but adding a bit of data driven-ness to the company.
Allison Williams: [00:26:59] There you go. All right. So, Jack, what do you have going on with your business right now that you could share with our audience?
Jack Tompkins: [00:27:06] We’ve always got something going on, Allison. Lately it has been I’m unveiling a product suite. So as we were talking earlier, visualizing financials and things like that, specifically with Quickbooks Online. On my website, we’re going to have a suite of products to choose from. And that’s kind of just it ranges from kind of the basic version, which is, hey, let’s just let’s just make it easy to look at the numbers. So that involves a little bit of menu work, but puts your revenue and profit and things like that into nice trend graphs for you. Gets those key performance indicators working for you. And then it kind of goes up from there. Level two whatever we’re going to call it, advanced. That’s fully automated and it’s web based. And then there’s a custom version which is. All right, let’s get deep into your numbers and see specifically what do you want to look at, what’s important to you. And let’s have that conversation build a completely custom with custom views and all the bells and whistles. (All right.) That is coming soon.
Allison Williams: [00:28:09] Yeah, coming soon. So, well, we know that they can’t get it right now because it is in process. But assuming by the time we air this episode, it probably is going to be live, where would someone go to learn about the product suite and or learn about you and how you can help them in their business?
Jack Tompkins: [00:28:26] I’d say the best place to go, just head to my website, which is pineapple c f dot com, meaning pineapple consulting firm dotcom. From there, the homepage, it’s got a picture of a pineapple on a beach, which is always a nice image to wake up to. And there’ll be links to the product suite from there. And there’s an about section where you can learn all about me. And I know that we’re doing this audio only so you can actually see what I look like from there, too. And yeah, I think that’s that’s probably the best spot. Pineapple C F dotcom.
Allison Williams: [00:28:56] All right, you guys heard it first here. Pineapple CF dot com and Jack Tompkins. I want to thank you so much for being a guest on the Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast. You’ve been a great resource for our audience. So for those of you that are considering growing your law firms, of course, Law Firm Mentor has a specific kind of assistance that we offer to people.
Allison Williams: [00:29:16] But one of the things that I’m always committed to is bringing you resources, people who have different but very supportive, similar type businesses where they can help you with a particular area. And we know that finance is one of those areas that if you don’t have your your firm grasp on your numbers, you’re missing out, you’re missing out on opportunities for growth and you could be ultimately running your business in the wrong direction. So with that, Jack, thank you so much for being here. And everyone, I am Allison Williams, your Law Firm Mentor. Have a wonderful afternoon.
Allison Williams: [00:30:08] Thank you for tuning in to the Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast. To learn more about today’s guests and take advantage of the resources mentioned, check out our show notes. And if you own a solo or small law firm and are looking for guidance, advice or simply support on your journey to create a law firm that runs without you, join us in the Law Firm Mentor Movement free Facebook group. There, you can access our free trainings on improving collections in law firms, meeting billable hours, and join the movement of thousands of law firm owners across the country who want to crush chaos in their law firm and make more money. I’m Allison Williams, your Law Firm Mentor. Have a great day.
Jack Tompkins is a partner and founder of Pineapple Consulting Firm, a company that turns data into visualizations, allowing their clients to make more informed strategic choices. Jack has lived in Charlotte since early 2019 (moving away from Connecticut winters) and spent the majority of his professional career in the insurance world. His roles ranged from analyst to product manager, and strategic partnership owner to team manager, all of which helped craft his ability to form Pineapple Consulting Firm. Jack has now taken those analytical, financial, and partnership skills and offers them to small and medium-sized businesses that know how powerful data can be, but don’t have the internal resources to turn their data into a powerful business asset. With a strong drive to work with people (not just numbers!), Jack aims to have some fun working with clients while analyzing and visualizing their data through Excel and Tableau dashboards so clients’ past performance can inform their future strategy.
Phone number: 19804775078
Allison C. Williams, Esq., is Founder and Owner of the Williams Law Group, LLC, with offices in Short Hills and Freehold, New Jersey. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney and is the first attorney in New Jersey to become Board-Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in the field of Family Law.
Ms. Williams is an accomplished businesswoman. In 2017, the Williams Law Group won the LawFirm500 award, ranking 14th of the fastest growing law firms in the nation, as Ms. Williams grew the firm 581% in three years. Ms. Williams won the Silver Stevie Award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017. In 2018, Ms. Williams was voted as NJBIZ’s Top 50 Women in Business and was designated one of the Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners. In 2019, Ms. Williams won the Seminole 100 Award for founding one of the fastest growing companies among graduates of Florida State University.
In 2018, Ms. Williams created Law Firm Mentor, a business coaching service for lawyers. She helps solo and small law firm attorneys grow their business revenues, crush chaos in business and make more money. Through multi-day intensive business retreats, group and one-to-one coaching, and strategic planning sessions, Ms. Williams advises lawyers on all aspects of creating, sustaining and scaling a law firm business – and specifically, she teaches them the core foundational principles of marketing, sales, personnel management, communications and money management in law firms.
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00:06:43 Allison Williams (1 Minute)
Yeah. So talking about revenue source is one of the things that we work with our clients on here at Law Firm Mentor is actually altering their chart of accounts to reflect all of the different case types so that you see, you know, your top line income that’s at the very top where that’s where that’s actually coming from. But but let’s say we have a less sophisticated business owner that maybe says, I know I need to be looking at my numbers. Right. Do I need to be looking at a balance sheet? Do I need to be looking at a cash flow projection like so where would you where would you advise someone start when they want to really get a handle on what is the value of their business and how they can start to optimize the most important area, which is the profit?
You know, I would say the profit and loss statement is good. Statement of cash flows, which is one of those sort of default reports on Quickbooks is another really good place to start, because at the end of the day, cash is still going to be king. So I think knowing where your dollars are going and where they’re coming from is definitely something to keep on top of.
00:18:24 Allison (47 Seconds)
So how do you help business owners shift from I want to grow, grow, grow, thinking about top line to really getting into the bottom line profitability metrics that so often gets neglected?
I think it really comes down to setting up some processes. And so what do you mean by that is on the marketing front, making sure that you have some, like regular reach out with your clients or your leads and things like that. And if you have that process documented, good to go, even automated in some cases, then the majority of your time is spent doing what I like to call the high impact works. That’s actually whatever whatever field that you practice in doing that, not the administrative type work.