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The Outcome-Driven Law Firm: What Do You Want From Your Practice?

Have you ever honestly asked yourself this question?

One of the first questions we ask attorneys when they join our Practice Growth program is a very simple - but important - one: What are you looking for?

Before contacting us, most lawyers use marketing tactics that sound like good ideas. Or they just show up and hope that today will somehow be different.

Very few attorneys are truly outcome-driven.

If you’re outcome-driven, you have a clear vision of where you want to go. Every decision you make, and every tactic you use, will get you closer to that goal.

It sounds somewhat simplistic, but I’d be willing to bet that you haven’t made every decision in your law practice with a specific outcome in mind.

Look at it this way. If you’re not outcome-driven about, for example, getting from your home to the office, you’ll never get there.

The same principle applies when you’re building a business. If you’re not outcome-driven, you have no way of knowing if you’re getting closer to your goal or further from it.

There are three must-have characteristics of an outcome-driven law firm.

Must-Have Characteristic 1: Being Specific

You have to get beyond the vague notion of simply wanting to do better than you are today. You can’t look at another firm and say, “I want to be like them.”

You have to paint a clear picture of how your ideal practice functions on a day-to-day basis, and how it fits into your life outside of the office.

Related: 3 Myths Attorneys Should Ignore When Starting Their Own Firm

Until you can understand and visualize the mechanics of your ideal practice, you won’t know what you need to do to achieve it.

Suppose you want a multi-million dollar firm in which other people do most of the work. Every time you choose to handle a low-value task, such as taking mail to the post office, you’re not being outcome-driven.

As the CEO, you should not be doing low-value tasks.

Must-Have Characteristic 2: Being Measurable

You have to know whether or not you’re making progress towards your goals. What’s the next step? Is it measurable?

Keep in mind that being outcome-driven has very little to do with your performance as an attorney. You obviously want to deliver positive results for your clients, but we’re talking about the business side of your practice.

How many leads do you need to produce in order to take the next step towards your goal?

How many new people have you met who are ideal clients? How many are ideal referral partners? Are you qualifying your prospects before you spend time taking them out to lunch? Are you being proactive or reactive?

If each step you take is measurable, you’ll know if you’ve achieved a specific milestone on the way to your goal.

Click here to get access to my free Law Practice Growth Guidethat shows you how to grow your law firm predictably and create freedom for yourself.

Must-Have Characteristic 3: Being Actionable

What is the next step? What is the deadline for completing that step?

It’s pointless to have an outcome that’s specific and measurable, and then do nothing about it. If you’re truly outcome-driven, you know what specific action you need to take and by when.

Related: The One Thing Every Successful Attorney Makes Time For

The frameworks in our programs are designed to help our members develop these characteristics. We show them how to think through where they want to go specifically, how to measure their success, and how to create actionable steps that can be broken down into small enough pieces so things actually get done.

If all you’re doing is reaching for some pie-in-the-sky dream of what you hope your practice might be, your firm is not outcome-driven.

You have to make it real. You have to take action.

Back to the Original Question

What do you want from your law firm?

To answer this question and, more importantly, achieve your goals, you have to ask yourself three key questions:

  1. Are you being specific enough about where you want to take your business as a vehicle for everything you want to accomplish – professionally and personally?
  2. Have you determined how to objectively measure success at each step along your journey?
  3. Do you know what action you’ll need to take next and by when, so you’ll know you’re making progress?

If you can’t answer “yes” to all three questions, don’t worry. It’s never too late.

Once you start down this path, you’ll see that your desired future of your firm will actually become a reality. And you’ll have an outcome-driven law firm.

If you’d like some help getting in the outcome-driven mindset, download our free Law Practice Growth Guide.

Raj Jha