One of the keys to your law firm’s success is planning out your long-term strategy and a business plan that will help you achieve your goals. It is helpful in this process to spend time crafting a mission statement, identifying who you are as a firm, and clarifying the goals you have in the short and long term.
As you go through this process, capture your mission statement and craft your business plan so you can say “yes” to several important principles you might recognize from The Small Firm Scorecard:
- Your vision and values are clear, documented, and shared by all.
- Your long-term goals are ambitious, important, clear, and shared by all.
- Everyone at your firm is working on projects and short-term goals that are connected to your long-term goals.
The most significant elements of these three statements are having a clear vision, having shared company values, and setting meaningful goals for your firm’s future. Let’s take a closer look at each of these three and how you can approach them in your strategic planning sessions.
Strategic Roadmap: Vision
You might have a general idea about your firm’s vision, but it doesn’t do you much good if you haven’t shared your vision with the other people working for you and earned their buy-in.
Your vision is everything you want to be as a firm and the role you hope to fill in your community. Spend some time thinking about your firm’s strengths, the clients you want to serve, and your company’s values. Alone or, ideally, with your colleagues and staff, use those insights to develop a clear, documented vision statement that resonates with your colleagues and, ultimately, your clients.
Having a cause or a set of issues that you and your colleagues care about can strengthen your team, your firm, and your culture. It can also be a competitive advantage. Fortunately, finding this shared set of values is often more straightforward in a law firm than it might be in other industries. If you practice a particular type of law, there’s a good chance the people working there are passionate about values associated with that practice area.
Consider, then, those causes and values that are important to your staff, colleagues, and friends. Find ways to get involved in those causes beyond your legal work. Become a contributing member of the community and support causes that align with your values.
What do you hope to accomplish with your firm? Your vision and values will influence your goals in meaningful ways. You will have some financial goals to consider, like covering operational costs, taking on the right mix and number of cases to be profitable, and meeting target financial metrics by the end of the year.
Consider, too, any goals you have that impact your firm’s image, brand, or growth from non-monetary perspectives.
Focus on these three important areas and you’ll be well on your way to developing a strong mission statement, business plan, and strategic roadmap for your law firm.