When starting a business, one of the things that you need is a feasibility study to make sure it will have a return on your investment. To succeed, you need a business development plan to guide you towards achieving your goal. It’s like a map that will lead you to your destination. If you don’t take it seriously, chances are, you’ll get lost along the way.
On the other hand, if you have a well-crafted development plan, you will have a more realistic perspective of the current status quo. You’ll also know more about your target market, along with their preferences, behavior, and taste. In addition, you can assess your strengths and weaknesses and measure them against your current threats and opportunities. Having a detailed and well-thought out business plan means you are paving your own path. Since you know your destination and you’re familiar with the way to get there, it’s less likely that you get lost or sidetracked.
But the million-dollar question here is how do you make a business development plan that will work entirely in your favor? How do you make a plan that’s feasible and will surely help the business grow? If you’re not sure how then check these tips out.
#1: Be clear where you want to be in the future
At the core of your business development plan are high-level goals you intend to achieve within the next 12 months. Ask yourself, are there any achievements that will show whether or not you have a successful year? Be bold when making a goal — make it audacious and hairy. Take note to include your revenue goals too. Say, for instance, you want to achieve a $25 million revenue after a year. This is an excellent example of a significant and audacious goal. It’s better to keep your high-level objectives between three to five goals. This is enough for you to focus on achieving.
#2: Focus on your approach
If you want to achieve your goals and make a successful business plan, you need to define your target market and their personal profiles tightly. The good thing about a focused business plan is it helps you score and qualify prospects that you need to prioritize when using your limited marketing and sales resources. You can use marketing automation software to help you score and segment your leads. This will ensure that you’re spending resources and time on the sales prospects that you will likely close.
#3: Define lead generation channels
The next thing to do is to define all the channels that will help you generate leads for every market segment. Any up-to-date and effective business development plan needs to be data-driven. Here, you need to break down your company-set high-level goals per target market and marketing channel.
The other half of the process involves the development of tactical plans for your marketing channels and target markets. So, how can you create inbound leads? How about content marketing? How frequently do you plan to publish content? How do you intend to promote your content?
You’ll need to craft a tactical plan for every channel. This will ensure that your marketplace will receive and experience a consistent approach, regardless of the CS rep or staff they’re interacting with. If you can ace this part, you can effectively promote your brand while also allowing the business to adjust seamlessly to varying circumstances.
#4: Determine your KPIs and create means to keep everyone on track
A business that’s based on a well-developed business plan is data-driven. This means your decisions and strategies are based on well-founded facts. If your business development plan is data-driven, your processes will make it easy for your managers to keep tabs on your KPIs. Through this, no one gets surprised at the end of every quarter. It also makes it easy to access timely feedback from the marketplace on matters like business plan effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery. With these, you can focus your limited resources on high-performing sales and marketing tactics.
Only choose performance metrics that matter — KPIs that will surely contribute to its effort to generate revenue. While you’re at it, think of a sales funnel for every marketing channel your business has.
#5: Make your sales process align with the needs of your customers
If you want a revenue generation process that’s scalable, you need to be consistent when applying your business’ sales approach. You have to make sure that this corresponds with the buying process of your target market. Also, make sure that no matter who is involved in the process, the same set of customized actions are employed.
For every lead source, you need to set milestones that have to be reached to advance your current sales opportunity to the won and closed stage. You can also enter these milestones into your company’s CRM system so that the person handling it can take all the appropriate actions to proceed to the next milestone. This can help the management get insight on what’s within the sales pipeline.
#6: Determine all the resources you need
Since you already know the elements to help your business grow, it’s time to determine the best and most efficient manner of executing your business plan. What are your needs when it comes to technology, resources, and people?
Here, you also need to answer the question as to whether you’re using the DIFM (do-it-for-me) or DIY (do-it-yourself) approach. Most SMB businesses lack the internal expertise to carry out and execute a high-level, sophisticated business plan. In this case, it makes more sense if they hire a consultant or agency to help them achieve the results they need without a more extended ramp-up period.
Once you’re done going through these steps, the final step would be to share your business development plan with your stakeholders. It’s important to share your vision of the business with your stakeholders to make sure that they know all the essential aspects of It.
A carefully and strategically crafted development plan will help you keep your business in check. Use these tips, and you will do wonders for your business.