A law practice in 2020 needs strategy and momentum to move to the next level

Where will you take your law practice in 2020? If you’re ready to grow your business and move to the next level, start planning and streamlining now.

Regardless of your stage of business, from launch to seasoned, you can take steps to help it grow in the new year and new decade. We recommend starting with the following:

Goals

January is the month for goal-setting. In business, forget the resolutions. Instead, focus on clearly defined goals that you can track and measure throughout the year.

The best business goals follow the S.M.A.R.T. outline:

  • Specific. Avoid generalities. Write separate and specific goals for each area of your business.
  • Measurable. Avoid using phrases like “add clients.” How many? Which type of clients? Use a number that you can track and measure.
  • Attainable. Be realistic. If you don’t have the capacity to grow your business by 50 percent, set smaller and more achievable steps.
  • Relevant. If you don’t have a vision and mission that drives your business, create them. Then set goals that align with them.
  • Timely. An open-ended timeline allows you to push goals to the back-burner. Set a deadline and milestones that will help you meet it.

In practice, that would look something like this:

“By Q2 of 2020, I will add three additional estate planning clients to my roster to continue building that niche area of my practice.” 

That goal includes a clear timeline, a specific and measurable result and it ties into an overall vision of growing a specific practice area. It also features an attainable number.

If you haven’t set goals for the year, take time to do it sooner than later. Studies show that people who develop written goals achieve them 33 percent more often than people who never write goals.

Importantly, the people who achieve those goals work in a level of accountability. If you work alone, seek out the support of a mentor or peer with whom you can share status updates and your progress.

Business Development

Do you know which marketing tactics have resulted in the most leads? Better yet, which ones have turned into paying clients? If not, dive into the data. If you would like to grow your law practice in 2020, get serious about your strategy.

Many lawyers approach business development and marketing with a haphazard, hope-for-the best approach. However, each speaking engagement, conference, networking event, social media post, newsletter and guest article takes valuable time. Even if you have outsourced some of these functions (and you should outsource some or hire staff to help you), you need to know that the return on investment makes them worthwhile.

Law Journal Newsletters reports that:

“The fact is, almost all new legal work is awarded either during or shortly after a private, one-on-one or small group meeting or conversation, yet most lawyers don’t have the time, inclination or skill to plan, conduct and follow up on qualified leads.”

Knowing where to invest your time and effort will pay off in terms of more leads and shorter closing times with each prospect. We will dive into this topic in more detail in our January 22 blog.

Maximizing Time and Space

How your office functions can directly impact your focus, efficiency and results. While you know that at a gut level, if you’re still brushing off a corner of the dining room table to work, you might feel too overwhelmed to address it.

For entrepreneurial lawyers, a shared office setting can help solve the problem. Moving to a dedicated workspace, separate from your personal life, helps you focus and maximize your time while at work.

Even large law firms can feel the effects of mismanaged space. One research firm found a reduction in productivity when firms attempted to cut costs by opting for less square footage.

Its research:

“…showed that over-densification of office space can lead to a negative impact on productivity that is not recouped by cost savings from the reduction in square footage occupied.” 

One alternative to downsizing could be to sublease portions of the larger space to independent practitioners. That allows a large firm to retain the efficient and functional design of a larger space while recouping some overhead costs for real estate.

Stay tuned to future blogs for more ideas on how to level up your law practice.

If you need help with law office real estate solutions, contact us. For small law firms, we offer three shared office locations in Denver. For large law firms, we deliver real estate expertise that can help you maximize your real estate costs.