Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Create Your 2014 Business Plan in 10 Steps


planning aheadWith the final quarter of 2013 fast approaching, you probably  have your 2014 business development plan already nailed down.

Or not.

Strategic planning does not come easily for some of us.

Oh sure, we get the point of it. Those who fail to plan are planning to fail. Plans are nothing – planning is everything. Blah blah blah.

But actually sitting down and reducing our short-term and long-term objectives to specific, achievable and verifiable goals … well, that’s a different story.

Fortunately, Mike O’Horo has come along to bail us out.

“[H]aving no plan guarantees frustration, wasted time and money, and a persistently uncomfortable feeling that your marketing and sales efforts are reactive, rudderless and out of control,” O’Horo writes on a Rainmaker blog. “Forget all the elaborate, complicated planning that you may have seen or read about. A legitimate, useful plan requires only that you go through a logical exercise that engineers backward from your goal.”

And here’s what I like best about O’Horo’s planning blueprint. It fits on one page and has only 290 words.

A Better Practice in 10 EZ Steps

Each of the following 10 steps expands on the preceding one in a logical manner. (Note: O’Horo uses an equipment leasing company as an example, but the principles can be easily adapted to the law office):

1. Goal. What you’re going to accomplish, expressed in specific, measurable terms. For example: new equipment leasing business from eight clients, each with an average of $30,000 revenue.

2. Deadline. $250,000 in new business by 12/31/14.

3. Source. Where it will come from.  $250,000 in new business by 12/31/14, from construction companies.

4. Specific market segment. $250,000 in new business by 12/31/14, from construction companies with $50-$250 million annual revenue.

5. Why those companies will need to hire you. $250,000 in new business by 12/31/14, from construction companies with $50-$250 million annual revenue, whose equipment maintenance cost is greater than 15 percent of the equipment’s value.

6. Who the buyers are. $250,000 in new business by 12/31/14, from CFOs at construction companies with $50-$250 million annual revenue, whose equipment maintenance cost is greater than 15 percent of the equipment’s value.

7. Strategy. Create and sustain a communication campaign to engage construction CFOs about the problems associated with aging equipment.

8. Tactics. Targeted blog; email marketing; Facebook; LinkedIn; call current/past clients to solicit their views about the problem and earn referrals to other thought-leaders.

9. Sales activity

  • 8 clients, which requires
  • 24 legitimate sales opportunities, which requires
  • 200 relevant conversations, which requires
  • 2000 call attempts, which requires
  • 40 call attempts per week for 50 weeks, which requires
  • 5 call attempts per day

10. Budget

a) Time (12 hours per week):

  • 1 hour/day outbound phone calls during prime time
  • 3 hrs/week writing/publishing during off hours
  • 2 hrs/week maintaining marketing/sales systems, info
  • 2 hrs/week developing, polishing marketing/sales skills

b) Money:

  • Consultant support
  • Training
  • PR
  • Travel

There you go.

The only thing left is to actually get the clients, do the work and get paid for it. Piece of cake.

Jay Reeves a/k/a The Risk Man is an attorney licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina. Formerly he was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is still working on his 2013 plan. Contact jay@lawyersmutualnc.com, phone 919-619-2441.

For more information: Rainmaker VT http://www.rainmakervt.com/resultsmailvt/bid/198991/10-Steps-to-a-practical-2013-lawyer-business-development-plan?goback=%2Egde_2691620_member_265205388#%21

About the Author

Jay Reeves

jay.reeves@ymail.com | 919-619-2441

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. Over the course of his 35-year career he was a solo practitioner, corporate lawyer, legal editor, Legal Aid staff attorney and insurance risk manager. Today he helps lawyers and firms put more mojo in their practice through marketing, work-life balance and reclaiming passion for what they do. He is available for consultations, retreats and presentations.

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