I get it. I really do. They involve work and you’re busy. And if you’re not trying to sell someone on why they should give you money to start or grow your law practice, why would you bother?
Because, my friends, every once in a while you should be selfish and do something for yourself.
Six Good Reasons Why Every Lawyer Can Benefit from a Business Plan
Everyone can benefit from the business planning process, especially startups. But existing businesses need a vision too. Creating a business plan will give you:
- Clarity about what you want to do
- Control over your own fate
- A strategy for staying organized and on track
- A way to measure and monitor your progress
- A path to help you move forward
For associates in law firms, creating an annual business plan is the only way to build a successful strategy for bringing in business – something all associates are expected to do sooner or later.
For partners, annual business planning is likely to be more about reflection: now that I’m an experienced lawyer with a book of business at XYZ Law Firm what do I want to do? If the answer is: make a lateral move, creating a business plan will likely be required. If the answer is: something else entirely, then time spent reflecting and planning will help you ferret that out.
Why Lawyers Don’t Write Business Plans
Aside from the obvious excuse that creating a business plan is time consuming, you may also perceive it as too difficult.
But there is an even better reason not to write a business plan. If you don’t put specific goals and objectives on paper you can’t fail.
Here’s What You’re Really Missing Out On
The problem with avoiding failure is that you also set yourself up not to succeed. And you miss out on the other benefits that go along with creating a business plan.
Create a Direction and Lower Your Stress
When you know what you want to do, where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there (the specific objectives included in your plan), it lowers your stress level. There is no more floundering or misdirection. Having a plan means you’re back in control.
Doing What You Want to Do For People You Want to Work For Means Reduced Exposure to Liability and Ethics Complaints
There’s a huge difference between practicing door law because you’ve always done it versus purposefully choosing a niche.
The door law route exposes you to greater risk of malpractice claims and ethics complaints. Keeping up with a few areas of law is hard enough. Trying to keep up with five or ten is bordering on ridiculous.
Imagine instead that you are working in one area, or a handful of areas, that you know well or can master. With a focus, you can target clients deliberately and work for a client base that you truly want to represent.
You’ll Also See Gains in Efficiency, Money, and Resources
You are a resource. Your staff is a resource. Spend your resources on meaningful, designed goals. This is what creates efficiency. And with efficiency you can’t help but save money. Or at a minimum, experience a better return on your investment. You know it, you can see it, you can measure it.
Business Plan Checklist and Resources
If I’ve convinced you, contact me. I’m happy to send along my business plan checklist and a list of resources for creating a plan. Do what you want to do. I am.
All Rights Reserved Beverly Michaelis 2017