When I wrote my last article, it talked about law firm development and was designed to be an introduction to taking the long hard look at yourself and your firm. I was asking you to open your eyes and open your mind to the prospect that you might need to have some “fierce conversations” with yourself about you and your firm, reality vs. perception and then begin to work on changing the things that didn’t match-up. This article is about how to take that long look in the mirror and make the most of it.
The key to really getting what you want from your self-reflection is to start by having someone else help you look. Often you are too close, you are too busy working in your practice to work on it and you can’t see the forest for the trees. Having an objective third-party help you can be the difference between success and failure. In the process, you need to analyze your strengths and your weaknesses, determine what your culture is (your firm does have a culture, though it may not be one you determined or encouraged), look at your branding message and how integrated your marketing is and, lastly, see if you are meeting your own expectations regarding budget and goals.
Next, you and your team need to formulate a strategy or plan. You need to fine-tune your client intake processes. You will begin to establish internal strategic planning and team development. You can then set your brand management strategy, which will in turn help to maximize your marketing tools. And, lastly, you will start to bring your budget in line with your defined expectations.
Implementing these strategies is the easy part if you have the right team assembled. With the team in place you can then begin to refine the client intake process and hone your staff’s skills and talents. Communicating your brand management strategy to the team is a big part of this. Everyone on the team represents the firm, so it’s important they all understand the brand—what the firm “stands for.” You may need to go through workshops and business development training that will allow you to build a better client experience and culture. With training and development, your team can be an integral part of implementing your overall strategy, coordinating branding efforts and the seamless execution of your marketing strategy, and keeping your resources allocated appropriately and projects delivered on time.
The final step in making your “self-analysis” count is in measuring the results; you won’t know if it worked if you don’t measure the results! So, now you and your team must look together at monthly reports and keep an eye on the holes and successes, do regular internal and external check-ups to make sure all of your hard work is in-line with the culture you have defined, and tweak what doesn’t work. You will always need to review your brand and keep it “managed” so that it is consistent and synergized throughout your marketing. And, of course, there is always the ROI and budget review. If you aren’t staying within budget and/or your dollars aren’t producing the cases based upon expenditure, then an adjustment is in order as long as you’ve given things enough time to take root! In the end, it is important to take the long hard look. Keep an open mind and be willing to take suggestions and guidance from your team. You will grow and prosper if you do!
The best in everything you do!