One of the most common mistakes first-time entrepreneurs make is the assumption that subject-matter expertise is all you need to build a successful business. Yet, technical knowledge and business sense are two different skill sets. You can be a great lawyer but terrible at actually running a law practice.
That being said, you don’t have to be an Ivy League MBA to run a successful law practice.(Check this site:https://battafulkerson.com/practice-areas/car-accident-lawyer/). It’s all about mastering the basics of business management. There’s no better way to do that than developing and adhering to a well-thought-out business plan. The following are some of the key elements to think about when writing a personal injury law practice business plan.
1. Outline the Problem, Opportunities and Your Abilities
If your goal is to set up a law practice, it may seem pretty obvious what problem your business seeks to solve. Nevertheless, write it down including the gaps in the market. Define the geographical area you intend to do business in, the typical profile of your client, and what skills you have to offer.
All these are the very foundation of your business. Essentially, this outline should be similar to what you would tell a friend over a casual conversation over dinner.
2. Analyze the Target Market
It’s one thing to identify your target market but it’s entirely another to assess it in detail to determine the exact opportunities you can take advantage of. Gather as much data and statistics as is available. As a personal injury lawyer, you’ll certain be keen on the number of road and workplace accidents that take place in the area each year.
Find out what is the median income, average education level, the most common occupations, and the proportion of blue collar workers. Pay attention to the competition as well. How many personal injury law practices are there and who is the market leader?
3. Outline Your Marketing Strategy
Your marketing strategy should start by engaging people in your social circle. That includes family, friends, neighbors and former work colleagues. This is important for two reasons. First, it requires little to no expenditure. Second, these are people who already know you and can therefore vouch for your credibility to third parties.
It’s best to reach out to your social circle via a phone call or physical meeting so you can explain your plans in detail. Social media and email should be a last resort since they are more harried and impersonal.
Once your social circle is out of the way in terms of marketing, map out your wider target audience and explore marketing techniques that will work best for that audience. That includes both offline and online marketing methods.
4. Develop a Financial Plan
You have to spend money to make money. There are costs that come with setting up and running any kind of business. A personal injury practice isn’t an exception. The financial plan can determine whether you should go into business or would be better off working for someone else.
Start by documenting your personal expenses. At a minimum, the practice should cover your living costs. To avoid missing anything, develop a detailed inventory of your daily, weekly and monthly personal expenditure including leisure, emergency and mortgage costs. Use this to calculate the minimum profit the practice needs to make.
Next, examine your business expenses. These will largely be the costs of setting up and operating the office and will typically comprise furniture, equipment, systems, rent, salaries and utilities. Just like your personal expenses, calculate how many personal injury cases you’d need to handle per year to cover these costs.
A good business plan will lay the groundwork needed to build a thriving personal injury practice. As long as you carefully think through and execute on the above four elements of a good plan, you’ll be well on your way there. That being said, a business plan shouldn’t be cast in stone. As your knowledge grows and as the market itself evolves, your plans should be flexible enough to evolve too.