No business has ever had prolonged success without stepping up its business development efforts. Launching a company and running operations for the sake of maintaining your current status and place in the market isn’t enough. As an entrepreneur or business leader, you need to be more ambitious!
You'll hear people throw around "biz dev" or "BD" when referring to business development. In the buzzword-centric business world, it's easy to let these terms fly by you without fully wrapping your head around what it entails.
The term business development is notoriously ambiguous and varies from business to business. To fully grasp the ambiguity of the phrase, you can check out this article titled "101 definitions of business development". Despite its ambiguity, it's something that entrepreneurs and sales/marketing leaders need to be familiar with.
Business development boils down to positioning your business for long-term success with a strategic plan that aligns your organization under a common goal and allows for the exploration of new growth opportunities.
There is no single blueprint for business growth and no guarantee that your business will last forever. Blockbuster and Kodak were great companies that failed at business development. The lesson to take from these businesses' failure to survive is that if you fail to develop your business, you'll go out of business. Markets, customer needs, and technology change.
A successful business development strategy:
Business development is essential. Tactics and action plans developed during the strategic planning process can help your business identify product/business weaknesses, market trends, and competitors that might affect your business. From relationship-building to brand awareness, business development campaigns help position your company for long-term growth and survival. Business development ties everything together and acts as an instrumental factor in helping a business expand and improve.
Here are 3 reasons why you must invest in business development:
Building relationships is crucial to the success and growth of a business. Leading businesses have strong relationships with government officials, strategic partners, media, and customers. Connecting with members of your network and working to build your business's network can help identify new opportunities, leading to the discovery of new leads and promising talents for your company.
You will also want to work to build and strengthen your relationships with current customers. These efforts will improve customer retention and allow your organization to ask loyal customers for "favors". These favors include customer reviews, interviews, and testimonials that you can leverage in marketing materials.
Never underestimate the power of awareness and branding! The public’s perception is crucial to your organization’s success, which is why you must constantly work to inject your business into the conversation in a positive light.
Business development does that by putting suits on the ground and/or messages in inboxes. Establishing a constant flow of thoughtful and personalized outreach is at the heart of business development.
By uniting marketing and business development efforts, your business will be able to develop comprehensive campaigns that help your company reach new customers and markets to fill your sales pipeline.
To foster the growth of your business, it’s vital to look outside the box! What works now is not going to work forever. If you want to maintain or gain a competitive advantage in your space, you must make adaptation and process improvement part of your culture.
Strategic planning and business development will be at the center of building a culture that looks for new business opportunities and strives to improve current processes. We suggest including collecting customer feedback and employee suggestions into your business development plan.
Don't be content with the current state of your business. Focus on making incremental improvements to your business. If you dream of becoming a leader in your industry and turning your business into an unshakeable presence, you must invest in continuous growth. “Good enough” isn’t good enough—you need to figure out how to be bigger and better than how things are now to thrive for the following years ahead!
Business development can help you improve operations, enhance customer service, boost employee morale, identify new sales opportunities, enter a new market, and develop/expand products and services.
Having an "Always Be Improving" mindset is an essential part of business development. No business has become number one by remaining stagnant—you need a hunger for constant improvement to reach potential customers, convert leads to sales, and retain your current customers. With the right business development strategies, you can do all three and it will lead to business success for years, and even decades, to come!
Do you want to position your business for current and future success? Then, let our team help you! We can help you create a business development plan that aligns your organization and positions you to be a business that stands the test of time!