business man using a telescope to look into a neighboring office building

This is the time of the year when some law firm partners start thinking in bold terms about possible strategic opportunities. One of the most frequent of these "big ideas" is the creation of a new practice group or industry sector speciality. 

Some of these ideas succeed, but most fail.

The principal reason usually is that, while they pursued what they thought might be a "game-changing" expansion of their practice, they overlooked what their competitors were already doing.

When considering a "big idea" expansion of your practice, whether into a new practice area, industry sector, or legal market, don't forget to investigate your competitors' presence in the market and how they already deliver the services that you want to offer. Can you reasonably expect to present your firm as a credible alternative to the well-established players against whom you will compete?

More importantly, can you differentiate yourselves from them in a way that will create a persuasive competitive advantage ion the minds of prospective clients?

Norman Clark