I’m in Toronto today where I confess, it’s a little colder than I expected when I looked in my closet and purposely left my topcoat at home.

I’m speaking to lawyers this week on planning, a timely topic as we are reaching the end of the year.

How can a young lawyer develop an effective plan? First, keep in mind that as Dwight D. Eisenhower said after the D Day invasion:

Plans are nothing, planning is everything.

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The thought that goes into developing the plan is invaluable. In order to make the planning process valuable, you might answer questions including:

  1. What is your target market?
  2. What steps have you taken to understand your target market’s industry and business?
  3. What are the problems, opportunities, external and internal changes your target market is facing, or better yet, will likely face in 2016?
  4. What solutions can you offer?
  5. What makes you unique and able to add value to your clients better than your competitors?
  6. What do you consider to be areas where you could improve?
  7. What client development efforts have you made in 2015? Which were successful? What was the greatest return for the least investment of time?
  8. What do you perceive as obstacles to your client development success (either firm or self-imposed)?
  9. What have you done to expand relationships further with your existing clients?
  10. What is the one thing you can do that you are not doing now that would have the greatest impact on your client development efforts?

Want more thoughts on Planning? Take a look at these 2010 Blog Posts where lawyers I coached explained how they were creating their plans for the next year.