Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Start Your Business New Year Off Right!

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin

In that regard lets take some time to examine the year ahead and how best to position yourself and your firm for your particular goals in three steps.

Step one: make a goal

Write down where you want to be this time next year. Take a lot of time with this. Really think it through. Do you want to work less but maintain your current revenue stream? Do you want more billable hours? Do you want more of the kind of client you most enjoy working with? Whatever it is take the time to complete this step.

Step two: make a plan

If your goals include targeting particular clients and getting more business from them (as most goals usually do) understand that the most effective and immediate way to get new business is to get more business from the clients you already have or had. The best way to do that is to connect with that client, either in person by paying them a visit at their office or by taking them out to lunch. Your purpose is twofold; one, see if they have a need to expand your services and two, ask for referrals. These referrals can also include offers to speak at professional organizations your clients belong to. Consider your client base and write down the names of those clients you can call. Try and arrange one of these meetings a month. Everyone has time for that.

Step three: evaluate your success

Analyze your current marketing strategies. To do that, make a list of five things you currently do to market yourself, your practice group or your law firm. Rank them in the order of what works best. To help you determine what works best, consider the activities that bring in the most profitable new clients, develop most referral sources or generate the most inquiries. And set quarterly goals for yourself in 2011 to determine if your efforts are paying off. There is no use investing time and energy in something that’s not helping you achieve your goal, at the same time, be realistic about the timeframe required to help you achieve your particular goals.

Go forth and good luck!

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