Lessons Learned From a Sports Apparel Company (Part A)

Earlier this year I happened to read an article in The Washington Post about Kevin Plank, the CEO of Under Armour. Not only was it a great article about an interesting entrepreneur, but it also gave me some great ideas for my lawyer marketing. If you're not familiar with Under Armour, they're an athletic apparel company that's going toe to toe with the big guys like Nike and Adidas.

What do gym shorts and spandex shirts have to do with legal marketing? Nothing at first, but if you look at the business lessons of other companies out there selling a product or service, you can learn a lot. Remember that we can learn legal marketing lessons anywhere!

Don't Be a Perfectionist in Your Legal Marketing

If every great entrepreneur waited until his business plan was perfect, his client list robust, and his inventory/service ready to roll, we wouldn't have very many businesses open right now. A lot of business lessons show that running a business is very trial and error and "go with the flow" when it comes to developing your systems.

Until you have clients, you have no idea what kind of demand you're going to have, what kind of marketing will appeal to them, etc. Those lawyers who sit and agonize over what colors to use on their logo are wasting valuable time running their business. Successful entrepreneurs know that not everything has to be perfect from day 1 and things can change over time as you learn what works and what doesn't. The same is true of legal marketing.

Kevin Plank developed these business lessons when he was selling T-shirts before he even had them all made. He was filling orders for stock he didn't have in hand, yet he knew he could get it done because he had the perseverance to do so. Did his customers know they were buying phantom merchandise at the time? Of course not - but because Kevin had the drive to get things done, they never found out, because he delivered.

The business lessons learned here are that you don't have to have all of your business procedures in a row to open your doors and that you need to allow for things to develop over time.
Especially with legal marketing, you cannot develop your strategies at once and expect them to remain the same forever.

In my 20+ years of practicing law, I'm still learning business lessons and reinventing my legal marketing methods. Why? Because things change. That's why it's not important to have your textbook-perfect business plan in order to start building your legal business.

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Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.