The Chicken or the Egg? When to start using ADR Notable
Are you starting a new dispute resolution practice and thinking about using ADR Notable?
If so, you may be wondering whether you should (a) first get your practice up and running and get a few clients in the door or (b) use ADR Notable right from the start.
Having seen users in both situations, I firmly believe that…
The correct answer is (b)!
First, you’ll save money. When you are starting a practice, you may have quite a list of items in which to invest. The one thing you don’t want to do is spend more than is necessary on your technology plan. ADR Notable includes scheduling, billing, client management, and more, and for all this, you will spend $26.99 a month with an annual subscription. More on other ways to save later.
Now let’s move to building a client base. A great tool to bring in new business is to have a self-booking calendar on your website. Successful mediators will often offer complimentary consultations with prospective clients. This gives them a chance to see if mediation is right for them and if your services are a good match for their needs. It’s a tried-and-true way to steward those in your client pipeline. To get all the features in ADR Notable’s scheduling solution, you would pay $16 a month for Calendly or Acuity Scheduling.
Watch this two-minute video to see how easy it is to embed a calendar on your website with ADR Notable.
But before we leave the topic of building a client base, remember that ADR Notable has built-in tools to help you with this. When you get a call or an email inquiry from a potential client, create a new case immediately in the platform. You only need to fill in three fields. Then give it the status of “Prospective” and pull up the Case Checklist. Assign yourself some follow-up tasks. Examples include, “In two days, send an email with my document “How Mediation Helps Preserve Business Relationships.” Every time you open ADR Notable, that reminder will be on your main Dashboard until you check it off.
Next, the earlier you start using ADR Notable, the easier it will be to create and maintain your Conflict of Interest database. This is not something to take lightly. Just do a Google News search on “mediation” and “conflict of interest” and you will see what we’re talking about. So the question here is, why make it harder than it has to be?
Read more about setting up a Conflict of Interest database in Getting Off the Ground: A Practical Guide to Starting a Dispute Resolution Practice.
Then there is the matter of getting paid. You’re running a business, so this is one thing you want to get right! ADR Notable’s billing module was built from the ground up expressly for dispute resolution professionals. This means that you don’t have to figure out how to contort some other tool into creating invoices with custom fee-splitting. Plus, you can set up your billing for hourly, full-day or half-day fixed rates, or case flat fees. You can have multiple hourly rates, one for your private practice and one for work you do for a community mediation center, for example. Reminders, advance fees, and customized invoices are all included.
Let’s revisit Reason #1 — how this will save you money — before we wrap this up. First, with a subscription, a mediator who charges $200 an hour will cover the cost of ADR Notable in 11 minutes of billable work each month. You will realize the full value, with all features activated, immediately.
But if you want to take smaller steps, there is another option. At the end of the two-week free trial, you can continue to access your version of ADR Notable for free. It will only require payment when you open a new case. So you can take your time setting up ADR Notable the way you want it. Upload your forms to your Library, set up and personalize your invoicing and so on. You can even continue to play around with any practice cases you set up during the two-week trial. You won’t have Scheduling, but most other features will still be functional.
When that next case comes in, you’ll be all ready to go. You can hit the ground running because you will be familiar with the software. Then, instead of subscribing on a monthly or annual basis, you can buy a license for one case at a time until your practice is up and running. To support new mediators, we have cut the per-case license fee in half, to only $10 for each case. As soon as you are bringing in more than 3 cases each month, you should switch to a monthly subscription to save even more money.
There are more ways that ADR Notable will help you, right from Day 1. Schedule a Demo with Sydney and she will show you some of the tools that will save you time, save you money, and get your new practice off to a great start!