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Ingredients of a Great Business Development Plan for Law Firms

By Biju 08 June 2019 Blog Image

The basic aim of a Business Development Plan is to pen down the various ways to get prospective clients to hire your law firm for performing legal services. Ideally speaking, the creation of a Business Development Plan is a reality check on the "business health" of a law firm.

Often, the difference between a successful law firm and a poorly performing law firm is the lack of a business plan. Once you develop a plan to create a consistent flow of clients, then meticulously following it will lead to success. In India, one of the reasons for the poor performance of Tier 2 and Tier 3 Law Firms is the absence of a proper Business Development Plan. Even among the Tier 1 law firms in India, the ones with a better Business Development Plan are moving up the chain.

There are many factors to be considered in creating a Business Development Plan; however, here we are discussing the 4 important components of a Business Development Plan:

Budget

What is the budget amount that can be set aside for Business Development? Primarily answering this question will help in bringing clarity to other components in a Business Development Plan. For e.g. If one wants a particular revenue in a short period of time, then more money is to be allotted for creating "visibility" for the law firm like sponsoring more Seminars & Conferences, more "Content" related activities, SEO, etc.

The allocation of budget will also be determined by the competition existing in your market. If the competition is pumping more money into various client development activities, then your budget should also be equal or very near to that. If you have a lesser budget, then the Business Development Plan should device a good strategy to get maximum return from the existing lower budget.

Target Clients

A Business Development Plan is always devised based on the clients you want to target. Many of the law firms are also like many Fortune 500 companies who don't know their "ideal client". Identification of your "target client" helps in a long way in creating a strategy for acquiring them as clients. Once you look into the legal matters that were carried out in the past year, one can observe the sector from which more clients have approached you and based on the same you can decide your target clients or looking at the talent pool that the law firm has recently acquired, one can redefine the target audience. Identifying the target client goes a long way in the success of any law firm.

Goals

Based on your Business Development Plan, what is the final result that you want to achieve? For e.g. is it addition of Rs.25 Crores of revenue or is it addition of 20 Clients or is it a sector specific target? Whatever is your goal, it should be "realistic" for your law firm and "relevant" to your market. For a 10 member law firm consisting of Associates, Senior Associates & 2 Partners, if you define your goal as Rs.200 Crores of revenue in a financial year, then that is not a realistic goal.

Defining a goal will help to identify whether you have achieved your desired results or how much you are falling short of your goal. Once you have identified your goal, then most of your client development activities will be "proactive" rather than "reactive". Even if you fall short of your goal also, the identification of a goal will help you to review your past actions to find out why you fell short of your goal and this examination can help you in ways you can't imagine to reach your goals next year.

Time

Although, in many organizations, no consideration is given to the "time" factor, it is a vital aspect in the success of a Business Development Plan. How much time are you going to spent weekly/monthly/quarterly to review the progress of your Business Development Plan helps greatly in the success of it. If you have a great plan and you are not constantly measuring its progress, then failure is sure to come. In many law firms, the Partners are not finding enough time to do a reality check on the progress on a monthly basis. As greats say - "What is not measured, is lost".

There are many other factors that go into a Business Development Plan, which is another topic of discussion. If you require help is creating a Business Development Plan, Please Let's Know.

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