Posted by Jay Kamlet on Jan 15, 2014
Start off the year right with some new year’s business resolutions for your solo practice or small firm.
Welcome to the new year! It’s hard to believe that we’re a couple weeks into 2014 already. Maybe you took some well-deserved time off during the holidays, or maybe you were as busy as ever. In either case, good for you. But, now that we’re well into 2014, it’s a good time to revisit – and perhaps dust off – your business goals.
We have compiled a short list of New Year’s business resolutions for solo lawyers and small firms to get you started:
Celebrate your wins to date. Before you sit down to plan the new year, reflect for a moment on the old one. Ask yourself: What moments stand out? What were my wins, both small and large? What have I learned as a business owner in the past year?
Read, and update, your business plan. When was the last time you read your business plan? Make time this month to review it. Have you reached the goals you outlined in that plan? If not, brainstorm some ideas to help you reach those goals in 2014, and write specific tactics that will help you get there. Also, toss out anything that no longer makes sense for your business today. A business plan should be a living document that grows and changes as your business does.
Develop strong partnerships. Even if you work as a solo practitioner, one key to business growth is other people. Identify two or three current contacts who have been strong partners in helping to grow your business, and find ways to connect more deeply with those partners. In addition, identify one or two potential new partners, and begin the conversations that could lead to new, productive business relationships. LawBank offers many built-in networking opportunities to help you build these partnerships. In fact, LawBank members, have you connected with your fellow members lately? Start here.
Distill your goals into single-word statements. As recommended by Chris Brogan and described in this Forbes article, “Think of three words that sum up what you want to change or work toward in the coming year.” Those words become touchstones to remind you where your focus should lie in the months ahead.
Review your marketing. You can make simple changes, such as adding a photo to your LinkedIn and professional association profiles. The more places you can establish a professional presence, the better, so take advantage of opportunities with social media, online listings and professional sites. (LawBank members: Do you have a profile on our website?) You can also think big and revamp your whole website or launch a social media marketing campaign. Assess ways to improve your marketing efforts, and hone in on the ideas that make sense for your business this year.
We’d love to hear some of your business resolutions for this year. Share them here.