Business Planning Square 1: Mission Statement
So you want to start a small business — in my case, a law firm. Virtually all experts recommend drafting a business plan, which is what I have started with step 1: the mission statement. After all, the first thing you need to step into the self-starter world is a reason to exist.
Of course, being a lawyer, the first thing I did is look for reference material online. There are many resources floating around the Internet to assist in creating a business plan. Perhaps the most referred link is the Small Business Administration’s “How to Write a Business Plan” page, which has comprehensive and user-friendly guides for the budding entrepreneur. I also found CMS Law Firm’s blog Starting a Law Firm helpful (they recently created a new site here). Finally, here’s a link to the American Bar Association’s solo practice resource page.
Taking all of this advice, plus that of my loving fiancee, I set to work on coming up with a mission statement. I thought about how I want to make my embryonic practice stand out in a sea of solo and small firms in the Metro DC area. I wrote down a few bullet points describing what I envision my firm will be in the near and not-so-distant future. Since a mission statement should only contain a few sentences, I condensed the points into a short paragraph, which is now on my firm website and Facebook page.
“It is our mission to provide quality legal representation with the highest level of integrity. We will strive to provide services based on value to the client, helping the growing segment of the population that cannot afford legal representation under a traditional billable hour system. Through these principles, our goal is to become a leading family law practice in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia.”
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