Keep a business development notebook. Track your non-billable time.

How do you keep track of your ongoing cases?  Word processing documents, spreadsheets, sticky notes, legal pads, invoices, or perhaps all of the above?  Further, how do you tally time billed to clients per case?  You track it.  So why not do the same with your business development “cases”?  While each individual’s system may look different, we strongly suggest you maintain a file that contains notes on business development activity, including ideas, new contact names and time and effort spent on each relationship.  Consider it your business development diary, and write down everything!

This may seem like an obvious tip, particularly given your occupation, however you would be surprised how many do not systematically track their efforts.  You may think your memory is sharp… until a case traps you for one month straight, and when you turn your attention back to business development, you can’t recall who said what and when and where.  Lack of organization can cost you valuable time and the ability to recall important details.  Methodical and diligent note-taking will keep you on track by helping you to prioritize. Further, it allows you to look back on how and when specific relationships have progressed.

Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson is founder and principal of Law Practice Consultants, LLC of Newton, MA. Law Practice Consultants offers consulting, coaching and training services that help law firms respond to the challenges of today’s highly competitive legal marketplace. For more information visit
Peter Johnson

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