Year-End Strategic Planning for 2019 [Guest Post]
We thank the Lawyerist.com team for this guest post.
There’s no better time to reflect on what matters most through strategic planning than at the end of the year. This is the time to prepare to meet next year’s goals, refocus your team and make changes to benefit your firm. But before you grab your spreadsheets and calculator, take time to simply refocus.
Strategic Planning: More Than Day-to-Day Operations
Your strategic plan is so much more than a delineation of day-to-day operations. It is the overarching roadmap you use to make business decisions about everything related to budget, staffing, marketing, responsibilities and so on. Its foundation lies upon your mission, vision, and values, which then help you identify the specific steps you need to take and when to achieve success.
Key Assessment Needed Before Planning
Before creating your strategic plan, take time to assess these three key areas:
- Consider how you arrived here. Take time to consider what your firm did this year to get you to where you are now, including how you met specific goals and what you had to overcome in the process.
- Think about where you want to go next year. Specify the goals you have for your firm, including client acquisition and retention goals, financial goals, and firm growth.
- Define how you’ll get there. Consider what your firm will need to do to get to where you want to be. Think about the challenges that may stand in your way and how you can overcome them.
With these items defined, you’ll be able to sit down and create a strategic plan that you believe in and will
SWOT Analysis and SMART Goals
Once you have the basic building blocks in place, now is the time to take it a step further. You can begin by performing a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Then move on to selecting SMART goals for your firm—goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based. Decide what your key performance indicators (KPIs) will be so you can measure your success throughout the year.
From here, you’ll be able to start filling in the blanks of your plan, including your budget, staffing, and marketing.
Want to Start Planning for the Future?
For solo and small law firms, often the best place to start with strategic planning is to first identify where your firm is falling short. To discover where your firm could improve, take the Lawyerist Small Firm Scorecard™ assessment to find out.