Wednesday, July 2, 2008

2009 Planning & Budgeting

Law firms are currently in the process of reviewing and evaluating their 2008 mar com/ bus dev budgets and preparing 2009 budgets for the approval process. Factors affecting this process include: available funds for these budgets are tight; competition for clients is at an all-time high; the U.S. recession/stagflation is looming; and overall, many clients remain less than 100% satisfied with their current firms. Given this climate, enhancing existing client relationships AND developing new work is no longer optional – it is a requirement for continued success. As a result, many firms are re-evaluating their current investments in non-contact, mar com expenditures such as advertising, branding campaigns and pr with the goal of streamlining their investments towards those that have a proven payoff or are necessary to support key clients’ causes. Additional funds are being devoted to: key client programs and efforts; helping lawyers make the most of their entertainment efforts and dollars; and institutionalized, solid business and client development training and coaching programs that are repeated quarterly or monthly. Increasingly, firms and staff are realizing that internal mar com and bus dev staff may not be able to “do it all” and are adding line items in their budgets for experienced, proven outside consultants and or other professional outside assistance to help support their strategic growth objectives.

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