business case for partnership

Despite your best intentions, sometimes you must write your Business Case for partnership quickly. Maybe, as has happened for some of our clients, your partnership sprung the need for a Business Case on you. Our Big 4, as well as law firm clients, have experienced this. Or maybe you’ve never had the headspace or time to write your Business Case down on paper. Life happens like that sometimes. In this article, I share tips on writing your Business Case in double quick time. 

Business Case for partnership: Is it possible to write it over a weekend?

Ideally, you would not write your Business Case for partnership on a weekend. However, sometimes it doesn’t quite work out that way. It is possible to write a credible partnership BusinessCase that quickly if you stay focused and avoid the temptation to brain dump a stream of conscious rambling onto paper.

Good is good enough

Your Business Case for partnership is one of the most important documents you will write in your career. As a result, it is only natural to want it perfect. Since you are under immense pressure to write your Business Case, don’t strive for perfection. You don’t have time for this. Good is good enough. If it helps, your partners don’t have time to read a ‘War and Peace’ type of Business Case for partnership.

Get the numbers you need before you leave the office

There will be key numbers that you will need before you start writing your Business Case. If you can’t access your firm’s systems remotely, you must ensure you have these key figures before you start writing. These are likely to be:

  • utilisation for the last 3 years,
  • new business you have won by year for the last three years. This may be split into work from existing clients, work from new clients, work your team has serviced, work you have brought in for other parts of the firm to service, plus
  • any other metrics your firm cares about, e.g. recovery, WIP, billing.

If you need help to create, put together or pitch your Business Case for Partnership then download our FREE guide, How to create a cast-iron Business Case for partnership.

Write the executive summary first

It can be very tempting to include everything that strengthens your case to make partner. I’ve read some Business Cases which seem more like a stream of conscious thought than a clearly articulated and laid out persuasive case for admittance to the partnership. Therefore, avoid doing the brain dump on what could go into your Business Case. Start by writing a 3-4 paragraph executive summary of the top 3 reasons why your partners should admit you to the partnership. These three reasons can then be expanded into your full business case.

To help you identify what is needed in your Business Case submission download our FREE sample Business Case template. 

Get rid of the jargon

I remember reading one Business Case for partnership with 2 different names for the same service and 2 different acronyms for the service stream. Confusing!  Particularly if you are in a big firm, don’t assume that partners from other parts of the firm will recognise the jargon that your department uses on a daily basis. The simpler the Business Case is to read, the greater impact your words will make.

It is very common for global firms, particularly the law firms, to have partners from all over the world scrutinise the Business Case submissions. The people reading your Business Case may have english as their 2nd or 3rd language and may not understand the business culture in your part of the world. This is why it is SO important to keep the language simple and easy to understand.

Make each word fight to be included

The most common problem I see with Business Cases is waffle. Either flowery marketing speak, which has no place in a Business Case, or extra detail detracts from the Business Case’s core themes. Most Business Cases that I have read could have a third to a half deleted and, in the process, increase the impact multiple times over.

Verify and quantify

Anyone can say “I’m great” in a Business Case. In fact, many Business Cases are a 5000-word essay which can be boiled down to “I’m great”. Your partners already know that you are great, otherwise you wouldn’t be up for partner. They will also read many other Business Cases of highly talented professionals all vying for a partnership position.

You need to remove the hyperbole and replace it with facts, credibility statements, and credibility stories. These need to verify and quantify exactly how good you are, and how the promise of your Business Case translates into a great investment for the partners.

If you are reading this and feeling despondent. Don’t worry, most lawyers, accountants and consultants like you are taught to be great technicians; not great at business planning and putting together commercial and persuasive documents. After all, your Business Case for partnership needs to feel very commercially sound AND persuasive. To help you do this, we put together our course “How to Build a Cast-Iron Business Case for Partner”.  It’s included within our subscriber-only site Progress to Partner. This course is among the most downloaded of any of the 150+ resources within Progress to Partner. 

Use bullet points and then expand

To help cut down the time you are writing your Business Case write it in headlines with supporting bullet points. Keep each set of bullet points down to less than 5. Then expand the bullet points into sentences or a paragraph. Using this technique helps cut out the waffle but also helps you avoid writer’s block.

To help you identify what is needed in your Business Case submission download our FREE sample Business Case template. 

What’s in Progress To Partner which will help you with your final step up to partner?

Progress to Partner is our membership site that will give your the knowledge AND confidence to fly through this final step up to partner.

It’s like a Netflix for your career in the professions. Find what you need to watch or read at the time you need it. Within the site, you’ll find over 150+ courses, videos, checklists, templates and plans to help you progress your career to partner. Amongst the many curated resources (no more unnecessary scrolling or searching), you’ll find:

  1. On-demand courses on how to create and articulate your business case, including our most downloaded course “How to Build a Cast-Iron Business Case for Partner”
  2. A section on the Partnership Admissions process with guides and recordings to help you find your way through the process with your sanity intact.
  3. Recordings and checklists on how to ace your partner panel interview
  4. On-demand courses on how to win the right sort of clients
  5. Proven advice on how to still do the day job and find the time to get through the Partner Track process

Check it out!

Related Post

  • 5 ways growing your online presence NOW can help you sign up the right clients later

    5 ways growing your online presence NOW can help you sign up the right clients later

    With so many people working remotely right now, there has never been a more important time to have an online presence. Think about it, everyone is at home and searching online, so if you don’t have a presence, how will your prospects find you? We have always stressed how vitally important your online footprint is…


  • How to deal with a tough work colleague

    How to deal with a tough work colleague

    Read this article for over 6 tips to successfully deal with tough colleagues.