Steve Jobs passed away yesterday. That was the lead front page story today in USA Today. Why was it such an important story? I think it is fair to say he really changed the world. Read 10 important products Steve Jobs helped bring to the world.

But, I think law firms can learn from something more basic. Steve Jobs knew what business Apple was in and so do all the Apple employees.

Paula Black recently posted a wonderful blog titled: Legal Business Development: What Business Are You In? I urge you to read Paula’s post.

When asked lawyers in most firms would likely say:

We are in the business of providing legal services to clients.

businessman older bored.jpgWhile that answer would be accurate, as Paula points out, it likely would not generate much enthusiasm either by the firm’s clients or the firm’s lawyers and staff.

As you know, I recently read The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success by Carmine Gallo. A few weeks ago I read:

Apple is not in the business of selling computers; Apple “enriches lives.” Zappos is not in the business of selling shoes; Zappos “delivers happiness.”

Paula gives other great examples of what business well-known companies are in. What business is your law firm in?

Here is the bottom line:

Your firm will be more successful if the business you are in is about your clients and helping them achieve their goals rather than about what you do as lawyers.

Do your lawyers and staff know what business you are in?