With a New Year bearing down upon us, there’s no time like the present for attorneys and law firms to get to work on creating annual business development plans and/or their marketing plans. Some firms have both a business development and a marketing plan, and other firms have neither; however, having a written plan rather than just an idea or a discussion of what you hope to accomplish as an attorney or a law firm will allow you to gauge your progress, as the year marches on.
Benefits of Having Plans in Writing
Too many law firms and attorneys try to fill slower times with a slew of marketing and business development activities. However, these kinds of things should not be done on the fly. In doing so, you run the risk of making investments that won’t provide an ROI and you will almost certainly end up being inconsistent or overlooking important opportunities.
There are only so many hours in the day, week and year. A well-crafted plan can get you to focus on the items that are the best use of your time, as opposed to those that are less useful. For example, if you commit to attending 5 networking events each year, you can identify those that are “can’t miss” events ahead of time, so that you’re not feeling pressured, or pressed for time to attend every event you’re invited to.
When your plan is spelled out in black and white, it will provide an objective look at how well you’re accomplishing what you set out to accomplish. It also allows you to measure your efforts as you move through the year, essentially showing you any areas where you’re particularly successful, or those where you’re falling short of what you set out to accomplish.
Formulating and writing out your business development and marketing plans are important for every attorney and law firm. However, the plan is only worthwhile if you refer to it regularly. Keep it accessible and review your progress as time passes. Abide by your own deadlines, and keep accountable to what you have promised yourself you will do to grow your practice. After all, the best plans in the world will be rendered useless if you don’t regularly refer to it, and confirm you’re on track.