One swift way to ensure your firm fails is to not implement a strong business plan. Ensure your business plan incorporates all thirteen of the components below:
Firm Philosophy: encompassing what your firm is all about and what your firm values into one philosophy statement is necessary. Your philosophy should not just be a statement on your website though, it should be ingrained in all staff and should influence the attitudes of those working for you.
Background: this involves a brief (or detailed) narrative of when and why the firm was started, and by who. Clients can relate to your firm more if they have a sense of who you are and why you are in the industry.
Current structure and responsibilities: the structure of the firm should be clearly defined; the people who hold executive positions should be identified, and a description of the job role should be detailed.
Strengths and weaknesses: relating to internal aspects of the firm, such as having a well-known firm with a good name or some poor quality employees.
Opportunities and threats: relating to external aspects of the firm, such as new technology services or losing a major client.
Plan for growth: without a sound plan for handling growth, the firm can seriously suffer. Planning for growth includes affording a larger office or second office, training new employees, serve larger clients or more clients, maintaining high quality and standards.
Firm objectives: detail what the firm does and what services it provides. You should make sure you have a stand out factor, something that sets you apart from your competition.
Future organisation and management: aspects such as a commitment to a formal decision-making process, monthly partner meetings, the delegation of tasks, maintenance of progress systems etc.
Firm’s image: how the firm is perceived impacts success. When developing your firm’s image, consider internal and external premises, souvenirs, ambassadors, telephone, personnel and social media presence.
Fees, profitability and financial control: consider all expenses in running the firm to properly manage finances. Some expenses include service and profitability, quoting first-year cost and fixed fees, employee wages, rent and bills.
Staff development organisation and control: your staff are your front line; they are the people clients will work with. Making sure they are delivering services to a professional and personable standard is necessary and developing a process to ensure this happens is also necessary.
Practice development plan: knowing your firm’s growth goals and developing a plan to reach these goals. You need to track the process of your growth goals and be accountable for making it happen.
Direct mail campaign: careful attention needs to be given to your firm’s direct mail campaign because so often they are done poorly. Consider routine mail that will be sent out and the structure of this mail. If you are sending your clients specific content that they have signed up for or paid for, make sure it is on time.