The following post is by Business Development Coach Gary Mitchell
Your practice is a business, regardless of whether you are a solo practitioner or work at a large firm. That requires you to think and act as a business person. Any successful business person will tell you, start with having a thorough business plan.
If you are at a firm, think of your law practice like a franchise. You have the opportunity to leverage the value of your firm’s brand and all that comes with it: history, name recognition, reputation and market prominence. But remember, your practice is your own. So own it. The same goes for solo-practitioners, this is your business.
Your business plan will serve as your road map to success. It will help you become strategic in your efforts. It will keep you focused when demands for your time may otherwise send you in a different direction.
I have been coaching lawyers since 2005. In my first post here, I am going to share with you the template I have used to help my clients generate millions in new revenues.
Developing your business plan involves five key areas of attention:
- Purpose of your plan
- Your goals
- Measures of success
- Market size and characteristics
- Who is your target market(s)? (Choosing your focus)
- Market trends and challenges
- Market share and competition
- Your ideal clients
- Your current business development activities
- Your SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats)
- Your unique competitive advantage
- Evaluating your current external clients
- Evaluating internal clients
- Professional development
- Support required
- Creating your action plan using the S.M.A.R.T. method, (Strategic, Measurable, Attainable, and Realistic)
In the posts that follow I will go into detail for each section outlined above. If you are serious about taking your practice to the next level, you will want to read what follows.
Law Practice Business Plan Series:
Your Law Practice Business Plan: Setting Goals and Measuring Success
Your Law Practice Business Plan: Researching Your Target Market