Business Development: Mistakes You Need to Avoid

May 11, 2022

Effective business development is essential to having a successful legal firm. Despite what many people may say and believe, business development is not always difficult and expensive; it doesn’t have to be. The return on investment is also too good to be ignored. 

To ensure that you maximize your ROI, one of the top outsourced business development consultants in North America says you need to avoid these costly mistakes:

Mistaking Sales for Business Development

Business development indeed requires a lot of sales, but sales and business development are two different things. Likewise, it is not about bringing in big clients but building a more stable, profitable, and long-lasting legal business. The most profitable firms are those that recognize the difference.

Failing to Understand the Legal Market

You need to keep up with the legal market and the movement of your target clientele. You need to know what the current issues are and what the future trends are. You need to know the legal environment and how it can affect your law practice. The legal market is always in a state of transition, so you need to be able to adjust quickly.

Confusing Marketing for Business Development

Market your firm’s services as much as possible, but never confuse them for business development. Marketing is short-term, whereas business development is long-term. Marketing cannot be sustained, but business development can. The marketing team can only do marketing, but everyone, including the lawyers, do business development.

Overlooking the Importance of Preparation

If you want to be in a position to do business development, you must do preparatory work. You must determine your target clientele, what they need, and how you can solve their problems. You must also determine the best practices in business development and do some research on your competitors in the industry. You must also be able to measure your progress.

Failing to Understand Client Needs

You should be able to understand your target clientele in and out. This means that you need to know their problems, and you need to be able to solve them. If you don’t know what your clients want and how you can help them, there is a good chance that your business development efforts will be a waste of time and resources.

Failing to Provide Value

It is one thing to know your target clientele and provide them with the value they need. Without value, your target clientele will not only continue to deal with you, but they may also turn to others in the industry. Failing to provide value is a sure recipe for failure.

Setting Unrealistic Goals

You may need to set goals that are pretty lofty and reachable, but never make them unrealistic. When your goals are unrealistic, there is a good chance that you will never be able to reach them. If you are not careful, you may become discouraged too and even quit.


The above-mentioned mistakes are not the only mistakes that lawyers, law firms, and legal organizations make regarding business development. You need to watch out for more mistakes and look for strategies that you can use to avoid making those mistakes.

Business development is an investment that is vital to the survival and growth of your law practice. And what is the best way to avoid making costly business development mistakes? You can do it by teaming up with one of the top outsourced business development consultants in North America.

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Donna Gliha, Chief Sales Officer / President

A proud nominee of the 29th Annual  RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards

Alyssa Huizenga
Director, Business Development

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