Happy New Year! Today marks the start of the Lunar New Year of the Chinese calendar – the Year of the Sheep. Festivities are celebrated around the globe, in both personal and professional manners. A new year signifies a fresh start; for those already behind with their new year’s resolution – try celebrating the Chinese New Year and begin again.
Here are my Top 5 Law Firm Business Development resolutions to carry you through 2015:
1. Write a Law Firm Business Development Plan for 2015.
Be sure to include: your target market, your strategy, and don’t forget about the budget or timeline involved. A law firm business development plan doesn’t need to complicated or long, rather it should give you some context and parameters within which to work. Investing some time upfront to do so, will save you money and frustration down the road. You will constantly be moving in one direction that makes sense to you.
2. Set Attainable Goals
Are your goals realistic for your law firm? Set yourself up for success. Any good business plan is fluid and adjusts throughout the year. Be realistic about the number of goals you are setting for 2015. Perhaps only set three or four goals, with a mix of short term and long term ones and once you cross one off the list as achieved, set a new one or perhaps expand and dig deeper in the same direction. Keep what is working for you and improve further and let go of what is not. Don’t focus on the negative and unattainable goals. When you find your groove – keep growing!
3. Review. Review. Review.
Spend some time upfront looking back over 2014, even 2013 and 2012 if necessary, to understand your strengths and any changes in your business. Then once you start looking forward, set time along the way to review your business. Pick different things to review each month. One month focus on goals, another on changes to industry structures that effect your business, and another month perhaps consider reviewing your clients and contacts and evaluating those relationships. Maybe it’s time to pick up the phone and reach out to someone and reconnect. Remember new business is given to those individuals who are top of mind, get back in the forefront of the decision makers seeking advice. Don’t forget a stronger mid-year review of your plan – If you need a kickstart then take a look at our 5 point plan for a mid-year law firm business plan checkup.
4. Have Fun Along The Way.
Learn something new in 2015. Find a colleague, a friend, even a client to join you on this new path. While bonding over drinks in a new business networking group or struggling to articulate yourself in front of a room of strangers at a new speaking group can be challenging…better yet it is the easiest form of business development with no sales pressure and dare I say FUN. Showing humility makes you that much more approachable and you get something out of it also. Don’t forget to think about Charitable Groups and giving back to your community.
5. Be Kind to Yourself.
Allow yourself to make mistakes and carve out some time in your calendar, whether daily or weekly, for Just YOU – away from the office and away from family. And schedule the time into your calendar. It’s okay to put yourself first, even if for only a short while. Take some time to reflect on what is going on around you and how those external pressures influence you and your decisions. Take a moment to learn something about yourself, to understand the changes going on within and accept those changes, embrace them if you can – Be Kind to Yourself.
If, like many others out there, you have enjoyed the beginning of 2015 and feel somewhat organized but want a more thorough step-by-step approach to budgeting your plan right, spend a moment reading through Lynn Foley’s Seven Step To Getting Your Marketing Budget Right.
Do you have a favorite resolution to kick-start your business development in 2015? Please share in the comments below. Lessons of both success and failure from others is extremely helpful to everyone. And remember what didn’t work for you, might be the perfect solution to another individual with their own unique goals.
Photo by AKARAKINGDOMS.