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Do you know the 4 things you should do before writing your Business Case? Don’t just sit down and start writing! In this post we will focus on what you need to do BEFORE you actually start writing your Business Case for partnership. Your Business Case needs to be built ideally 3 years out from when you want to make partner. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lawyer, accountant or consultant; the actual writing of your Personal and Business Case for partnership is the last part of the process. Much work must be done before you actually write your Business Case. (We have previously considered what you need to put in your Personal and Business Case for partnership, and why you should not get fixated on your technical ability in your Personal or Business Case.)

What actually is your Business Case for partnership?

Your Business Case is not a document. It’s not a pitch for partnership. It’s where you set out exactly how you plan to grow your practice to increase your firm’s profits. The writing it down part of pitching a Business Case for partnership is actually the last bit of the business case process. Your Business Case needs to be built ideally 3 years out from when you want to make partner.

Our course “How to Build a Cast-Iron Business Case for Partner” (included within Progress to Partner for premium members) will take you through step-by-step the process of building, writing and then pitching your Business Case for partnership. Check it out!

Let’s consider when you need to be thinking about your Business Case for partnership.

Ideally you want to be starting to build your Business Case at least 18-36 months before going through the partnership admissions process.

If you are reading this and thinking I want to make partner in the next 2 years, but I’ve not been working on a Business Case, you can still make up the time. You may find that you’ve inadvertently already been working on a Business Case as you go about winning your own work.

Your law, consultancy, or accountancy firm will likely have its own process for admitting partners to the partnership. Before you waste time any more time, you need to find out what that process is. Ask your HR director, HR business partner for your business unit, or partner, or even check out the firm’s intranet to learn the process.

You may be lucky and find that your partnership either has a very informal process without the need for a Business Case or a very clear process that is well-documented, with a transparent timeframe. Even if your firm does not publish or have a formal process for admission to the partnership, there will always be an informal process.

If you need help with your Business Case, download our FREE guide to creating a cast-iron Business Case for Partnership

The starting point is to understand the process and what the Business Case looks like and how the Business Case fits into the process.

Darryn Hedges, Former Global Finance Director Marks and Clerk LLP

The next stage is to take a step back and do your homework on your firm. If you were an external consultant advising your firm, what would you recommend to help them? Would you say your firm should:

  1. Strengthen the weaknesses in the partnership – be that technically, leadership, financially or commercially?
  2. Replace partners who are likely to retire in the near future?
  3. Help the partnership achieve its long-term business goals and strategic objectives?

The first few modules in our course “How to Build a Cast-Iron Business Case for Partner” (included within Progress to Partner for premium members) will guide you through what you need to think about, what questions you should ask partners and how to determine where your Business Case would get the most amount of impact. Check it out!

Speak with your partners to help you write your Personal and Business Case for partnership

To help you complete this work, take some time to speak to partners across your firm – in particular, the movers and shakers within the partnership. This actually has a three-fold benefit to you. Firstly, you get to understand from the horse’s mouth what the partnership will look for in its new partners. Secondly, you alert them to your career intentions. Finally, you can elicit their views on where you would best fit into the partnership and the skills (technical or otherwise) you will need to develop to be in with a good chance of making the step up.

Build up your referral networks

Most firms will want to see that you have strong referral networks sending you and/or your firm work. The internal firm network is normally very important to any potential partner’s Business Case.

If you don’t yet have a partner-sized client portfolio, then showing that you have these strong referral networks may be all you need to demonstrate in your Business Case for partner at your law firm, Big 4, Magic Circle, consulting firm or accounting firm. This may be the case if your type of work or specialism is such that you will only win the bigger matters or projects if you have partner on your business card.

Be heavily involved in business development

Unless you are currently in industry or in a non-fee earning role, you need to show how seriously you take business development. Therefore, take every opportunity to deepen your business development skills and win new business.

If you need help to win your own clients and work then join our Progress To Partner membership site. Within our Progress to Partner membership site we have on-demand courses on:

  • How to become the Go-To Expert
  • How to create your Business Development Plan
  • How to make time for Business Development
  • How to Choose your Niche

In summary…

You have 2 things to do before starting to write your Business Case for partnership:

  1. Find out the process that your firm uses to admit new partners to the partnership
  2. Do your homework and find out what the firm needs from its new partners

What’s in Progress To Partner Academy to help you with your Business Case for partner?

Progress to Partner Academy is full of resources, guides and recordings and 14 courses all to give you the skills and knowledge and confident to progress in your career.  It’s all tailored to people working law firms, accountancy & consultancy firms.

Find what you need to watch or read at the time you need it. Within the site you’ll find over 150 resources – 14 courses to work through, plus 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

Learn more about Progress to Partner Academy and join here


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