Before the internet came around, parents and kids used to wander the aisles of Toys R Us to find the latest and greatest toys.

But, things have changed. Recently, there have been rumors that Toys R Us will announce the end of its U.S. operations in the next few weeks.

How did this retailer go from dominating the toy industry to closing its doors? It failed to plan for the future, and it could happen to your law firm, too.

Toys R Us made the mistake of not embracing the internet. Instead of building an online store where customers could purchase all of their favorite toys, the retailer agreed to let Amazon handle its e-commerce business.

The partnership allowed Toys R Us to focus on its brick and mortar stores so Amazon could do what it did best: sell.

But unfortunately, Amazon made the decision to end the partnership in the early 2000s.

What Was Toys R Us’s Mistake?

Toys R Us was left in the unenviable position of having to learn how to do business on the internet after all of its competitors had already figured this out.

To put it simply, Toys R Us relied too heavily on one source, in this case, Amazon, to generate all of its business.

When that source fell through, the retailer lost a great deal of business. This is something that happens to law firms all the time, too.

For example, in the past, a lot of law firms generated most of their business through ads in the YellowPages. But, no one looked in the YellowPages once the internet came around.

As a result, the law firms that advertised in the YellowPages lost a lot of business and had no idea how to generate new leads.

Google, Facebook, and other digital platforms are just as unreliable and unpredictable as the YellowPages.

There’s no guarantee that these platforms will continue to be an effective way to generate leads in the future.

How Can You Avoid Being Like Toys R Us?

To prevent ending up in the same position as Toys R Us, lawyers must focus on generating leads from multiple sources.

Someone once said, “Dig your well before you’re thirsty,” which means it’s best to plan ahead, so you are prepared for the future.

Every lawyer needs to hear this lesson. If your law firm is thriving now, that’s great, but there’s no guarantee it will last.

Lawyers should always prepare for the future—even if everything is perfect in the present.