Ditch the Annual Plan and Think Small

This is the time of year when lots of attorneys are excitedly starting on their new annual plan. They've got a plan for improving their people, their technology, and their marketing. The plan comes along with time lines and key economic indicators of their progress. They're jazzed to make some progress and have lots and lots of energy for hitting 2012 hard.

What about you?

Do you have a plan, and are you already working on it?

I'm listening now, and the silence is deafening.

No plan, you say? You're too busy. You're overwhelmed with the influx of new clients and calls from old clients.

I understand.

That's a pretty typical response. It's okay.

So how about we do something else instead of an annual plan?

How about, instead of a fancy one-year plan, you pick something you'd like to see improved in your practice? How about, instead of the plan lasting a year, we shorten it to 90 days? Let's set one small goal.

What if, for instance, we agreed that you'll add a Facebook page for your firm in the next 90 days? Could you make that happen? Maybe, instead of Facebook, it's a plan to write down the systems used at the front desk (like accepting payments, greeting clients, etc.).

Would a 90-day plan be something you can wrap your brain around?

If so, it's time to get moving. Screw the annual plan. Stop worrying about the big goals. Set something small and manageable, and just do it. Get something done.

A successful practice is far more likely to come from a series of successful 90-day plans than it is from the big, fancy annual plan that you abandon over the course of the year.

Set an objective and make a plan, and 90 days from now you'll have scored a victory. What's your goal?

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