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Want to Build a Successful Law Practice? Develop a Quarterly Plan

I know what you’re saying to yourself before you even get two sentences deep into this post.

Crap, I never got around to making a plan for 2016.

When I talk about a quarterly plan, I’m not talking about New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions don’t have deadlines.

And let’s face it. You had a New Year's resolution. And you’re still eating cake.

The key to moving your practice forward – and not eating cake – is to have a plan that gets things done.

Most lawyers just have dreams and ideas. Some may actually have a plan as well.

But if you don’t focus on the implementation of the plan, it’s nothing more than a sheet of paper.

Whether you started the year with a plan or not, you can make the second quarter successful.

We offer more in-depth information and specific planning tools to our members, but here’s a high-level overview of what you need to do.

1. Know what you need to accomplish.

If your ideas for this quarter aren’t taking you closer to your goals for this year and your long-term vision, you don’t have a plan. Or it’s not a good one.

This happens more than you think.

For example, some people might set a goal to do a certain number of speaking engagements.

One problem. Speaking engagements usually won't lead to the number of client relationships needed to grow your practice. It's high-effort, low yield. An occasional hit, but the "Return on Time Invested" is usually pretty low.

Related: How to Get Back on Track and Achieve Your Goals

This strategy might work in some industries, but usually not for lawyers.

There’s a big difference between a strategic plan designed to land clients and a vanity plan designed to stroke your own ego.

2. Create a framework.

Allocate the time you need to achieve your goals. Break down what you want to accomplish into bite-sized pieces. And schedule them.

Don't think of each goal as a big, monolithic thing. Eat the elephant one bite at a time. But first, cut it into the bite-size pieces so it's easier.

Then schedule time to pick up the next piece, and get it done. Yum, elephant.

3. Be accountable.

Our members use our programs for accountability. If you’re not a member (why aren’t you?!), someone needs to be constantly needling you to get stuff done.

If you haven’t gotten things done up until now, what makes you think anything will change without help?

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

You don’t hire a trainer because you don’t know how to lift a weight. You hire one because, if someone is waiting for you at the gym, you’ll show up.

That’s accountability. Someone who knows what you’re trying to accomplish works with you and holds you to your plan.

Who's your accountability partner? If it's not us, find one.

4. Stock your tool shed.

Everyone gets stuck. When an obstacle presents itself, you’re not sure how to overcome it. This is true of any business owner.

It happens. You don’t know everything. But you still have to find a way to push forward. Either by working hard (the old brute force way) or by working smart by leveraging the experience of others.

Related: Smart Business Development Strategies for Lawyers

If you don’t have the resources you need, find a way to get them. Rely on the expertise of people who have been where you want to go.

Want to get to the finish line?

Imagine what it would be like to wake up at the end of this year, knowing you accomplished everything you set out to do.

You had the goals, the framework, the accountability and the tools, and you got it done.

If you don’t have the resources, figure out how to get them. Because if you don’t have a quarterly plan that checks all four boxes, you’ll be right back here again next year, rereading this article and starting from scratch.

Raj Jha