Capitalizing on managing your company’s business development activities
Growing any business requires an effective business development strategy. Your company will leverage this strategy to meet its financial and growth goals. While it seems that businesses should grow simply by hard work, predictable and sustainable growth requires a business development strategy to reach specific strategic goals.
If you aren’t using everything in your arsenal to help your market understand why you are uniquely able to help them accomplish their goals, you haven’t done your job. Trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole will leave you questioning why you aren’t getting the business that you feel you deserve, or working harder than you need to in order to get it.
The term Business development is one of those vague business terms that seems to have a number of definitions, depending on who is discussing it. It has been described as a subset of marketing in one case, a management function in another, aligned with product development or growth of the business in others. In a former role as a Business Development manager, it essentially involved everything that it takes to get business, from customer experience to sales & marketing to brand management. Wikipedia offers that business development is
“A subset of the fields of business and commerce, business development comprises a number of tasks and processes generally aiming at developing and implementing growth opportunities”
This suggests that business development is all of the tasks directly involved in or responsible for growing a business, i.e., getting more customers, increasing revenues, which also makes sense. In other words, it could be considered the management function which makes sure that the company is doing all of the right things to get the customer.
For our purposes, we will talk about business development from the perspective of leveraging and tracking the sales, marketing – including having the right products, pricing, positioning and distribution – and brand management functions of the business. This definition allows a single person or business unit to oversee and align all aspects of stakeholder – not just the customer) engagement, including vendors, employees, investors, customers and the community, which, in turn can create greater value for the company.
When all business development activities are planned and aligned, strategically, your company will have the vantage point of the entire “playing field,” versus looking incrementally at what next step you will take. This is the “forest vs. the trees” approach. If you look from the forest level, you are better able to make decisions on how you approach navigating the trees. By aligning your various functions, your company’s stakeholders will engage faster and stay engaged longer.
If you are tracking your tools – sales, marketing, product development, ensuring that they are aligned with your business strategy, you can watch over time, how changes and adjustment in each will impact your bottom line and make the necessary adjustments. Your marketplace will not stand still. Your business won’t stand still. Needs, interests and abilities will change.
The moment that you think you have things figured out, things will change.
Your goal, as a business owner, is to create sustainable strategic advantage in the marketplace. It is more than creating unique offerings. Business development is how you are going to make sure that you are getting the right message to the right people in order to get more business and grow your company. Don’t take a scattershot approach. Don’t try to force a square peg in a round hole. Build an extraordinary company.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Atlanta, Georgia based Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We help business leaders CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses.
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