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Let’s try out a thought experiment:

You’re a successful attorney. You’ve risen to the top of your specialty, established a track record of successful outcomes for your clients, and are held in high esteem by your peers. Congratulations, you’ve ascended to the top of the podium.

Are you a successful business owner, though? Is your practice running smoothly and efficiently? Do you have protocols in place to help your team members reach their full potential? Is your law firm growing in accordance with your business plan?

If you answered no to any of these questions, it’s time to step up your law firm’s business development and planning.

Now some of these operating procedures may be out of your control. You may be a partner at a law firm, or on a partner track, and not have a large enough share of the firm to optimize its performance. Fair enough. Your practice can still benefit greatly from our experienced outside help.

This is an often-overlooked area of creating or growing your practice. Not only is it absolutely necessary to have a business plan in place before starting a new law firm, but it’s also a great tool for rapid expansion and growth of an already existing firm.

You’d be surprised how many attorneys don’t pay enough attention to law firm business planning, though. Don’t make that mistake.

So, what should your business plan consist of? While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, there are some major areas you’ll want to include. These are:

  •         Your Executive Summary
  •         Your Market Analysis
  •         Your Firm Analysis
  •         Your Competitive Analysis
  •         Your Target Market Summary
  •         Your Marketing Strategy

The format of these areas is up to you. You can find many helpful templates online, or we can create a customized law firm business planning template for you.

Now, onto the fun stuff. What do these areas include? How can you create a bulletproof business plan for your law firm? We’re glad you asked.

Law Firm Business Planning

Executive Summary

The Executive Summary is where you lay out what your firm is all about. What areas of law do you specialize in? What are your goals for your practice? How do you hope to achieve these goals? Who is part of your practice? How well does your practice fit the current market?

Answering these questions will give you the basics of your Executive Summary. It’s often helpful to write this section last, after you’ve created the rest of your law firm business plan.

Now, onto the fun stuff. What do these areas include? How can you create a bulletproof business plan for your law firm? We’re glad you asked.

The Market Analysis is where you examine the current trends, potential opportunities, and potential obstacles impacted your practice. You should include a section on the legal industry in general, as well as a section on your practice specialty or specialties.

You’re also going to want to include some information on: your competition, your current relationships with others in the industry, your current relationships with clients and potential clients, your personal and professional financials, and any likely sources of technological disruption.

Market Analysis

Firm Analysis

The Firm Analysis if the portion of your law firm business plan where you take a critical look at your practice’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It’s your practice’s report card, in other words.

Examine everyone who makes up your firm, the relationships between the employees, your mission statement, your unique value proposition, your clients, and your future plans. Don’t be afraid if you find anything negative or an area that needs large improvements. That’s part and parcel of operating a law firm.

The Competitive Analysis is when you take a deep dive into any and all competitors standing between you and business success. These can include other law firms, individual lawyers, and even tech companies.

You should identify these competitors and then run small Firm Analyses on them. Learn their strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. Begin to create a plan for how your practice can turn their weaknesses into opportunities. Find their weak spots and ruthlessly exploit them.  

Competitive Analysis

Target Market Summary

The Target Market Summary is a more nuanced look – you guessed it – your target markets and demographics. There isn’t much more to say than that. Learn who your potential clients are, create detailed sketches of them (sometimes called personas), and identify ways to market to them.

The Marketing Strategy portion of your law firm business plan is where you flesh out the information you uncovered in your Target Market Summary. You’ll want to create long and

short-term goals, a marketing mix of potential communication channels, a list of potential marketing and advertising collateral, a timeline for distributing this collateral, and a set of standards to tell if your marketing efforts have been successful.

This last piece is incredibly important. You can have the best legal SEO around, but if it isn’t bringing clients in the door, then it isn’t successful.

Marketing Strategy

Law Firm Business Development

Law firm business development probably sounds a bit intimidating. After all, it’s a fancy way of saying sales, and you’re not a salesperson. You’re an attorney.

Neglecting or avoiding effective law firm business development is one of the easiest ways to sabotage the growth of your practice, though. So, what should you focus on? Well, it’s helpful to consider the following.

Business development doesn’t mean just creating relationships with other firms to send you referrals. Sure, that’s part of it and an important part at that. Let’s think bigger, though. Are there any competitors you can turn into allies? Are there any established attorneys or firms you already have relationships with? Are there any judges or politicians you can ask for advice?

Identifying these types of opportunities isn’t easy. You’ll likely need to spend time and energy to answer them. That’s normal. Contact Attorney Business Consulting today and let us do the heavy lifting. You’ll be on your way to law firm business planning and development success in no time!

Testimonials

I have spent a great deal of time with Gennadiy and can honestly say that he has profoundly impacted the course and direction of my business in a very positive way. He has provided me with an incredible amount of skills, action steps, inspiration, ideas and support, which has helped me grow my law firm tremendously. Investing in Gennadiy is investing in the quality of your business, and I highly recommend him to anyone who is eager to grow their practice.

Cristie Twain

I can't find enough words to describe Gennadiy. His style yields real results. He helped me break down my business into pieces and then provide manageable steps to re-build it like a top law firm. I was honestly overwhelmed when I hired Attorney Business Consulting and a little apprehensive whether to spend the money there or someplace else. But it has proven to be the best thing that I did since I founded my firm.

George Adams

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