Business development is a fundamental concept for any enterprise that has a strategic focus. To continue being in operation, a business has to know and outperform their competition by not only providing products and services of ultimate quality, but also driving in significant revenue. This requires keen assessment of new ideas in order to develop the original purpose. Business development is a broad concept that covers revenue generation, improvement of product and/or service quality and generation of new deals, alliances or relationships. It is important to think of development as strategic positioning rather than end game. In short, business development is quite evolutionary and involves constant identification of opportunities and comprehensive establishment of ways in which those opportunities can be grasped. Depending on the organization, it could be an opportunity to target new markets, promote new products, expand the business and enhance the service or product among others. Some companies often resort to hiring expert enterprise development personnel. However, clearly outlining the job description, tasks they will be performing and how to measure performance is still a daunting task for most companies. Here are 10 business development tips every business owner should know if they plan on taking up opportunities and expanding their empire.
10. Involve clients/customers
This narrows down to establishing a precise communication pathway including feedback. Positioning your business on the receiving side of information will expose you to a wealth of insights, metrics and intelligence that can be used in business development. Find out what your target market feels, thinks, expects and wants in regards to your business. Form groups to monitor changes in customer behavior and make plans in advance to provide what is needed.
9. Distinguish development and sales
One of the common hitches business owners face in their development activities is defining their sales and development prospects. It is important to recognize the difference between the two and treat them separately. Development processes are of course involved with enhancing products and creating partnerships that result in revenue generation. Sales are, however, entirely focused on revenue. Sales and development are separate departments that need clear distinction.
8. Involve some employees
It is quite unwise to embark on business development alone without involving a couple of entrusted employees. A common for business owners is to choose discretion and keep their competitive advantage expansion strategies in the company until implementation. However, business development is an area that requires a progressive approach where each input is assessed to determine its value. In development, the focus is on improving sectional and overall processes with a bottomline goal of expanding the business and generating sales. Keeping your employees in the loop facilitates this process.
7. Hire the right person
This is one of the most effective ways, although most business owners often oversight it. Identifying the credentials on which to hire a business developer is not as smooth as it is with other jobs. The personnel you entrust with your enterprise’s development should have profound knowledge, understanding and experience in the industry. Hiring business development personnel is very important, especially since other employees are busy handling their responsibilities and tasks. Having a separate entity to handle development will ensure everyone performs in their respective positions and collaborate with the developer to identify internal and external opportunities.
6. After-deal management
This is one of the most crucial parts of any business development plans. Businesses operate through finalizing deals and transaction. It is from these deals that revenue is generated. When a business manages post-deals activities, it becomes much easier to account for resource allocation, evaluate forecasts and form healthy relationships with clients. Management involves documentation of all deals including pre-deal estimates and identifying opportunities for future engagements.
5. Eliminate legal issues
Most business development deals entail legal agreements especially if the development plan involves products, services and contractual arrangements. A legal agreement will confine the business to certain boundaries that include decisions that should be taken in case of a different eventuality. It is vital that business owners and their legal counsels assess the risks and compare them against opportunities. When it is reasonable to venture into any given project, this comparison should be clear to all management staff.
4. Make deals decisively
In business development, there is a great difference between making a deal and a decisive deal (good deal). Some opportunities will present bold circumstances that are very tempting to explore. A business may be enticed to take up a project that promises the right market and revenue. Nevertheless, they may oversight the bigger opportunity masked under that deal. You can make a deal and reap substantial profits, but a decisive deal will look through the distractions that keep your business from seeing bigger opportunities.
3. Opportunity evaluation framework
It is very crucial to develop a plausible and viable framework for assessing your opportunities. This ensures you take on the best options and spend resources strategically. There should be a decisive framework to comprehensively assess viability whenever an employee or business development personnel approaches with a new idea. Everyone should understand why some deals will align to your company’s goals and others will not. Short-term and long-term implications must be fully described and analyzed.
2. Resource allocation
This is definitely one of the 10 business development tips every business owner should know. Although it sounds basic, no business will develop without proper resource allocation. Owners should expect parting with a few resources from time to time. The resource can be time, personnel, research expenses, promotion, training, events and seminar expenses among others. For a business to develop there must be sufficient resources to support ideas, research, assessment and execution.
1. Stay in business
This is a very broad perspective that involves analyzing business potential, market, threats, competition, qualitative and quantitative approaches, strategies and purpose. To develop your business, it must be in operation. Ensure the operations are yielding sufficient revenue to run things. Besides revenue, you should have a clear understanding of your brand’s position and loyalty as well as business dynamics. Employ modern technologies, use advanced systems, improve customer service experience and position yourself as the next ultimate choice within your category.
Business development is a strategy that keeps improving. It is very flexible, although the purpose should be maintained at all times. Effective business development involves constantly creating partnerships and relationships that open up platforms for driving revenue. It also entails enhancing products, services and systems to achieve efficiency.