Any organization needs a solid foundation. Your practice strategies provide the guidelines as to how you plan to run your operations and use the resources at your disposal. Remember these 10 tips when drafting a winning business plan for your firm:
1. Write the plan to address the requirements of the audience:
Identify the purpose of the plan, such as to secure funding or to express future plans. Potential investors will need clear expectations on their ROI.
2. Perform in-depth research on your market:
The plan should include reference to market size, the demand for the product or service, predicted growth path and initial steps to accessing the market.
3. Do the math:
Investors and third parties will be interested in the numbers on the document. State all costs fully and keep sales predictions realistic. Learn how to prepare a break-even and cash flow chart. The audience can then understand the number of sales required to cover costs and the initial amount of start-up financing required.
4. Clearly describe the opportunity:
If you are looking for an investment, focus on the financial benefits for the investor. Why should they give you their money rather than invest in another law firm? There should be some motivation in that return on investment. Your practice needs a clear Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Why will people want to elect you as their attorney rather than one of your competitors?
5. Demonstrate a knowledge of the competition and market need:
What is the competition like? What is their market share? Is demand growing?
6. Ensure that the plan is sufficiently detailed and competently written:
The plan is concise but informative with accurate content, supported projections and without spelling or grammatical errors.
7. Cover all of the necessary areas:
Business plans require sections on the practice, product/service, competition, market, management team, operations, marketing, and financials.
8. The Executive Summary is essential:
It summarizes the business plan at the beginning of the plan itself. It is a key qualifier and interested parties read on or stop from that point.
9. Have others review the plan:
Choose to have an objective and independent party provide constructive criticism. Then consider revising according to suggestions from your Enterprise Agency or local business link, for example.
10. Implement and adjust the plan:
It is a live document to be reviewed regularly, modified and compared to actual progress.
Your business plan for your practice motivates and assures your audience that you possess the legal acumen to succeed in the proposed venture. Take the time to get it right! Another major aspect to consider when creating your winning business plan is your social media strategy. It’s incredibly difficult for small to medium-sized law firms to succeed, or even survive, in today’s modern world without social media marketing. Be sure to check out how you can create your very own hand-held social media inbox for your practice by clicking here, and feel free to leave your comments and questions in the box below. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!