Now’s the time to map out the big picture for your law firm marketing plan, law firm budget, and law firm business plan for the next 12-18 months. Every law firm needs one of each. Why? Because they act as maps, so you know what to do when and can see problems coming in time to do something about them.
Law Firm Marketing Plan
Your law firm marketing plan is a map of how you’ll share your service message with the world over the next 12 to 18 months. Jot down your legal marketing messages as well as how you’ll build better attorney/client relationships, increase client acquisition and retention, and improve visibility in the community.
- Map out meet and greets, smile and dials, webinars, workshops, speaking gigs, media outreach, newsletters, social media posts and interaction time, videos, FB live, Periscope broadcasts, articles, your book, holiday gifts, birthday cards, etc.
- For example, take a blank calendar and show when you’ll do 6 presentations, 12 newsletters, 700 Twitter posts (with time for interaction), 24 meet and greets, 4 webinars, birthday cards to all clients and referral sources over the next 12 months.
- Map it out as specifically as you can at this time.
It’s normal for your marketing plan to change here and there and for there to be some unknowns; don’t let that stop you now. Even if it’s rough, it’s better than flying by the seat of your footy pajamas.
Law Firm Budget
Your law firm budget maps out how much you expect to bring in and how much you spend each month/quarter/year. No telling me you have no idea – after all, you’re running a business. Look to the past and keep track of your numbers so you can figure this all out. It’s okay if it’s not exact and it’s normal for your budget to change.
- List all of your firm expenses such as rent, insurances, taxes, team members’ salaries, your salary, utilities, CLE, equipment rental, cleaning team, office supplies, licenses, memberships, coaching, phones, etc. Then, list what you expect to bring in monthly based on past results and your marketing plan.
- For example, you think you’ll bring in 3 uncontested divorce cases with an average case value of $7,500, 2 custody cases with an average case value of $8,000, and 2 contested divorces with an average case value of $20,500.
- This means you anticipate bringing in $79,500 each month.*
- Over time, your budget will become more and more precise – and it’s okay if it’s off, so long as you understand why it’s off.
*No “But, Wendy” emails. I do realize you may not bill an entire case in one month, but if you bring in these cases (on average) each month, then the numbers work. In any case, your law firm budget doesn’t have to be precise to help you make good decisions.
Law Firm Business Plan
Your law firm business plan maps out what will happen in regard to your role and personal development and your law firm’s services, office space, team, marketing plan, sales plan, and tools such as software and equipment over the 12 to 18 months.
- Don’t get all freaked out here – the term “business plan” tends to bring out hives and paralysis. This isn’t a business plan you’re presenting to the bank or venture capitalists – it’s the plan for your business in plain English.
- What are your goals? How many hours will you practice? How many hours will you work ON the business? Who and when will you hire? How many team meetings will you have? How many coaching sessions with each team members? Will you expand or contract your office space?
- How will you attract the right clients at the right time (marketing plan)? How will you close clients? How will you keep clients? How will you increase referrals? How much money will you make (budget)?
- What software will in you invest in and when? What mentoring and coaching will you receive?
Over time your business plan will become more clear. For now, get down and dirty and just get something in writing.
I’ll Have the Law Firm Combo, Please
The three maps combined: law firm marketing plan, law firm budget, and the law firm business plan show you when to push marketing campaigns, hire billable team members, hire administrative team members, let people go, make myriad adjustments, and take money out of the firm. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what to do when? You can.
You got this!!
P.S. If you’re nodding yes, if you’re ready to protect more people, if you have the vision of building a million-dollar+ law firm but don’t know how to get there, let’s chat about where you are and where you want to go. Set up your Breakthrough Strategy Session here.