Free Practice Help

Need help with your law practice but can't afford to hire a team of business experts? There are a number of free sources, some from the most surprising places. Here's one.

The Leading Edge is the name of an international professional association of independently owned accounting and consulting firms. It's also the name of their thin but highly informative (and free) quarterly magazine. Each issue has at least one very good article on a timely topic that even a lawyer can find extraordinarily useful. Take the Fall 2008 issue.

There is a terrific article on surviving an economic downturn titled "Sculpt your business to survive and thrive." It discusses both what to do and, more importantly, what not to do when the economy goes sour.

The author, Editor Ann Gynn, points out that all too often companies begin setting up lines of credit when they find they need more money. Bad timing. Granted you may not have much choice, but you really need to be planning for the future and not just reacting to the present crisis. Gynn makes a numer of other great points in her article and she's worth checking out because she's written a number of other business articles that are equally good, but let's get back to that line of credit info and you'll see why timing matters.

It's easier to get a line of credit when the economy is going good and you don't really need the money. Might not make sense, but it's true. Then, when things get tight, your credit line is already set up and you can access it immediately instead of having to wait days or weeks or longer for approval, allthewhile being kept in suspense on whether or not it'll be approved and how much the credit line will be for too. It's often also easier to get an unsecured credit line set up when things are going good and your needs are minimal.

But wait, don't just set it up and ignore it. Use it.

The best way to increase your credit line is to use it. But the key is to pay it back timely too. On time and on term. That way you begin to build up a track record of creditworthiness that is obvious and helpful for future needs.

Check with your accountant and see if they are part of the the Leading Edge Alliance and get on the subscription list. You can also email them direct by clicking here. You can also email for a free subscription.

The last quarter's issue is available online by clicking here. It's got a good article on negotiating too.