Monday, November 20, 2017
Why Service of Process May Slow During Winter
The end of the year is almost always busy and along with it comes increased stress. Even though the justice and court system seems to only be growing and cases piling up, process servers may experience some slower months during the holiday season. Here are some tips to help you get through the holiday slump.
Why the Legal Industry Slows Down During the Holidays
Increased Stress and Added Expenses for Clients
Increased stress may cause private individuals to file less over the holidays and wait for the new year. Trying to fit a legal case between holidays and travel can be nearly impossible. Additionally, the cost of the holidays can cause some delay in hiring a lawyer or making a claim for fear of the added expense. Vacations and gifts can be costly, and the addition of legal fees may be too much for this time of the year. Instead, people spread out the cost and delay their court cases until they have the time and resources to dedicate.
Timing of a Lawsuit
Lawyers themselves are disinclined to file lawsuits during the holidays as trial dates are typically set a year from when the claim was initially filed. Meaning that the lawyer’s caseload will increase during the holiday season which is not ideal since they most likely have vacations, travel, and holidays planned as well.
Protecting the Client’s Reputation
For the benefit of the case itself, lawyers are wary to file lawsuits during the holiday season for fear that it will make their clients look bad and garner ill will from judges, jurors, etc. Due to the increased stress and events surrounding the holidays, filing a lawsuit towards the end of the year may cause some unconscious bias against their client. If a jury has to work during this time of year, they may be more bitter than usual since they are away from family and friends during an important season.
For similar reasons, there are fewer eviction notices and collections around the holidays because lawyers want to ensure that their clients are seen favorably to help their case. Evicting people during the holidays could create a negative opinion.
Every small detail matters in court cases and lawyers strive to provide the best outcome for their client. Something like this may seem inconsequential, but in reality, can change the case drastically.
How to Manage During Slow Business Months
Don’t assume you are doing anything wrong, just because your business has reduced. Making major changes to your management process or marketing campaigns can negatively affect you when business increases in the upcoming months.
Instead, take this time to catch up on many of the tasks you have been putting off in previous months, due to being busy. Catch up on paperwork and filing, learn more about your business management software, start that social media profile you’ve been thinking of, or even clean your office. Every business owner has a list of tasks to be done when they have more time, so use this extra time you have.
Just because November and December are slow, doesn’t mean there is no business. Put more time and effort into your marketing in these months and see the long-term benefits in January, February, and through the rest of the year. Add content or services to your ServeNow listing, expand the PI business you’ve been doing on the side, or even write a blog post. More marketing can only help these slow times.
Offer Additional Services
Since serving legal documents can slow during November and December, it can be worthwhile to diversify your services and provide more than just service of process. Investigations, mobile notary, court research, and courier service are just some examples of how you can still have a steady stream of work. You might want to plan ahead since these services can require training, research, and a license before they can be fully implemented into your regular workflow.
Plan Ahead Financially for Slow Months
One of the most important factors of a successful business is planning for a dip in revenue. It is rare at best for companies to continuously grow forever, so make sure you financially plan for the entire year, personally and for your business. Allow your company enough resources and budget to make it through a slow holiday season. By doing this, you will be prepared with the resources you need for the increase in business in the new year!
A decrease in business around the holidays is more than likely to result in a large increase after the holidays are done. Cases need to be filed at some point, and January may prove to be a busy month for your business. Have you experienced slower months? Tell us in the comments what you’ve done to mitigate this temporary reduction in business.