Posted by Jay Kamlet on Nov 28, 2018
New Year planning for small law firms should begin now
You’re probably still digesting your turkey dinner, and maybe you’re bracing for a busy holiday schedule. With so much going on, it’s tempting to save strategy sessions for January, but New Year planning for small law firms should start now.
December begins next week, and it’s an ideal time to begin your strategic planning for next year. The top reasons to plan for 2019 now include:
Your wins and losses from 2018 are still fresh
Strategic planning works best when you can honestly assess what worked, and what didn’t, during the past year. Take time in December to review your big wins and most painful challenges.
Write down a few takeaways from each win or loss. This written record can help you clarify what hinders your business growth and what propels it forward. As you write, consider processes, people, your physical environment, finances, technology and any other factors that either help or hurt your business.
Use this document to guide your strategic plan for 2019.
Start the new year with renewed energy and purpose
Too many business owners place business planning on the back burner. Yes, client work comes first, but you will always have fires to fight and deadlines to meet. Always. If you don’t take the time to plan, your business will run you rather than the other way around.
Most independent lawyers I know launched their practices in order to take back control of their lives. They wanted more autonomy over their work and more flexibility in their lives.
However, even the most successful independent lawyers need to revisit what drives them to do this work. The time you spend in December working on business goals will help you reconnect with both your professional and personal purpose.
Ideally, you will take a little time off before the New Year and you can return to work with a fresh perspective on where you want your firm to go in 2019.
It gives you time to make changes
If your internal audit reveals gaps in technology, processes or resources, you can begin planning for the new year with those needs in mind.
Consider the financial and human resources investments you will need to make to help your business grow and work those into your budget and strategic plan. Planning now allows you to avoid unexpected expenses throughout the year.
It will save you at tax time
The more planning you can do now, the more organized you will be when tax season rolls around in a few months.
Taxes become a big excuse for small businesses to delay strategic planning, but if you wait until after taxes, the year is already a third over. If you do the bulk of your planning now, you will feel less of a crunch in April.
To learn more about growing a successful small law firm in Denver, contact us. We offer office space for lawyers, as well as coworking space, at three locations around town.