Growing a law firm from the ground up is unlike running any other type of business. Even though your years of law school might have made you sharp in the courtroom and boardroom, there’s very little that can prepare you for managing your own legal practice except actually doing it. No matter how many years of experience you have as an attorney, you’re going to have to level up if you want to grow a flourishing law office.
A common trait that most successful entrepreneurs share is that they’re goal-oriented people. Having ambitious goals is integral to creating growth and getting your team members on board with company objectives. Your priorities have to extend beyond winning lawsuits if you want to gain a competitive edge over your rivals and build a flourishing practice. Setting effective goals isn’t as easy as it sounds, but there are some methods you can apply that will help you to set goals that have an immediate and positive impact on your brand. Continue reading to get some goal-setting tips that will help you to grow your law firm into the powerhouse you’ve always envisioned.
1. Use the SMART Goals model for goal setting.
What do you think of when you hear the term SMART Goals? When you hear it said aloud, it probably sounds like a commonsense mentality for setting goals to which all people should aspire. However, there’s a good reason that it’s written in capital letters the way it is, and that’s because SMART Goals is an actual methodology that plenty of companies have used to make better decisions about company goals. SMART is also an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-sensitive.
Being specific about your goals gives you the best chance of actually achieving your goals. Employee engagement is crucial to company achievement, and it’s hard to get your team members to buy your new objectives if they’re unclear about your expectations.
Your goals should also be measurable. That means you need to have metrics to determine employee and company progress toward the objectives. Using OKR tracking software, you can get employee and company data from multiple sources and use it to track progress and productivity. Setting measurable goals allows you to use technology to create a culture of accountability and adjust your approach for maximum efficacy.
If nothing else, your goals need to be attainable. For instance, an accident lawyer in Denver gets their clients from auto accidents. While they may need to expand their client base, they can’t set a goal for more car accidents. Not only would such a goal be sadistic, but it’s also unattainable. However, they can adjust their marketing approach to attract accident victims from other cities in the Denver area or start offering legal services for personal injury cases from on-the-job accidents. Whatever your goal is, it must be attainable.
It’s also important for your goals to be relevant to company growth. Using OKRs, you can get insights into what objectives could facilitate company growth and fix your goals to those best practices. The key to employee engagement and alignment with company objectives is making your goals relevant to company and revenue growth.
Finally, your goals must be time-sensitive for them to be effective. Achieving lofty goals requires a certain mindset, and it’s hard to develop that mindset when you have forever to achieve your goals. Using OKRs to track how long it’s taking to reach objectives compared to how long it should take to reach them allows you to create a results-based approach to goal setting.
2. Your goals should directly impact clients or grow your client base.
Whether you’re an accident attorney or practice labour law, clients are the lifeblood of your practice. That’s why any goal you set should have an immediate impact on your clients or facilitate expanding your client base.
When Malliha Wilson launched her law firm, Nava Wilson LLP, she already had a great reputation from her days as the Assistant Deputy Attorney General of the Ontario Government and as a human rights lawyer. She even served as senior counsel at the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario. Nava Wilson LLP has grown a lot throughout its early years because Malliha Wilson makes her employees the focus of all her objectives.
Even if you can’t afford to start placing television ads, you can still use branding to increase your brand awareness. By putting your company’s name or logo on your presentation folders, pens, portfolios, and packages and passing them out to potential clients, you can familiarize the people in your area with your legal practice.
It’s also a good idea to use social media to launch a digital marketing campaign. Workboard’s OKR program allows for integrations with different social media platforms and even virtual workspaces like Slack and Weekdone. Using social media alongside OKRs software and best practices, you can create a targeted digital marketing campaign that effectively reaches your target audience.
3. Encourage input from your partners and associates.
Business owners tend to grow their business as a top-down project, but true progress takes alignment of your entire organization toward a common objective. The best way to make sure everyone who works at your law firm is on a similar wavelength is to incorporate them into the goal-setting process.
Upon founding Nava Wilson LLP, Malliha learned quickly that she needed the complete cooperation of all her team members to grow her practice into what it is today. By getting input from your team members, you empower them to play an active role in the company’s direction, making them feel more invested in your law firm’s success.
One of the key features of most thriving companies is a workplace culture where everyone feels valued for what they bring to the table. Furthermore, they feel the freedom to be great even if it comes with the occasional mistake. The key is to get everyone in alignment and striving toward a common goal.
As you can see, there’s a lot more to goal-setting than merely envisioning some lofty things you would like to do relatively soon. Effective goals are SMART, directly impact your clients, and incorporate your entire team.
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