Quick note: The RFPattorney team has been hard at work over the last few months fine tuning our site and working out the kinks. Good news… the official launch of RFPattorney.com is less than a week away. Until then…
January is upon us, and as with any new year, likely chock full of resolutions. Eat right, exercise more, the usual. For lawyers, we often add yearly business plans to the mix… a good of reason as any to delay those workouts. For many, this is the time of year we put pen to paper and craft an overview of our business development goals for the coming year (or for some associates, are instructed to do so).
Putting together a quality business plan takes time and will leave you with a sense of accomplishment when complete. Looks pretty good on paper, doesn’t it – you might as well buy that new treadmill now, with all the new clients that will be rolling in. However, as the months roll by, the work piles up, and your plan gets derailed, you may look back and wonder where you went wrong.
The problem… a business plan needs to be more than just a business plan; it needs to be an action plan. Time is your most important asset, so an action plan will help you use that non-billable time with purpose. Here are a few tips to convert your business plan to an action plan:
- Make everything measurable – make contact with ___ potential clients; secure introductions to ___ targets; increase my book of business by $___; speak at ___ events; write ___ blog posts per month. No vague and idealistic goals. A statement like “build a book” is admirable, but won’t get you anywhere.
- Don’t overreach – set realistic goals. If you set your mind on finishing a marathon, that 5K will seem like a failure. Break it down into incremental action steps.
- Focus on more than $$$ and hours – focus on getting to know your clients, and their needs. For example, you could make a list of existing clients and strive to learn the biggest concern facing one client each week. Look for ways to add increased value; the results will pay dividends.
- Break down everything into quarterly, monthly, or even weekly goals. The more often you can review yourself and right the ship, the better. Plus, it makes it all seem more manageable.
- Add good lawyering to the mix. All to often a business plan is too focused on billable hours and receivables. Being a good lawyer and providing excellent client service is your best tool. Your satisfied clients will become your best referral sources.
- Be flexible… You are a lawyer, so feel free to pull out that big red pen. Your business plan should be a working document; always changing as new opportunities emerge and efforts may yield unexpected results. If the year changes directions, a new niche presents itself, or a useful new tool emerges, embrace it. A rigid plan is not an effective plan.
Hopefully, these tips will help you put together a plan with a purpose. As for exercising more, you are on your own…
Founder of RFPattorney.com and author of the RFPattorney Blog. Over 8 years of experience practicing law, including past experience at an international law firm, a national law firm, and a small firm. Currently GC and VP Operations for large mechanical construction company. Midwesterner, home renovator, golden retriever wrangler, new dad, Wolverine, & avid hockey fan.
What is RFPattorney?RFPattorney provides cloud legal RFPs for businesses and legal departments and a cloud legal marketing platform for lawyers. Our blog provides useful and interesting posts for lawyers, in-house counsel and those in need of legal services. You will also find news, updates and tips for effective use RFPattorney.com.
About the Author
Follow usFollow @RFPattorney
- Prediction: 2013 will be the year the associate dies http://t.co/yFKOxg6c (via @InsideCounsel) 4 months ago
- Facebook search : It’s the beginning of something big http://t.co/pjWA4EXD (from @kevinokeefe) 4 months ago
- Legal Fees Jump 15 Percent over Two Years, Even as Billables Remain Flat, Study Says - News - ABA Journal http://t.co/SjLID0kg 4 months ago
- 25 to 30% of search from mobile devices by years end http://t.co/KijQaOcy (from @kevinokeefe) 4 months ago
- Apple, Microsoft, Facebook team up on app privacy initiative http://t.co/nFqiIaT0 (via @InsideCounsel) 4 months ago
Our Topics+1 API Articles Blogging Blogs Business Development Business Plan Case Studies Clients Content Marketing Events Expertise Facebook Google In-house Industry Lead Generation Leads Legal Procurement LinkedIn Mobile Networking Niche Pinterest Practice Management Professional Development Prospects Publishing Referrals Request for Proposal RFP ROI RSS Feeds SaaS Search Search Engine Optimization Search Engines Security Software Thought Leadership Twitter Value Videos Web Presence Websites