10 Step Guide to Successful Business Development

Starting your own business is no joke and will require some considerable preparation on your part as an upcoming entrepreneur. In order to increase your chances of success in business, you will need to master powerful business development steps.

Here is the 10 step guide to a successful business development:

1. Develop personal and business objectives
Many businesses fail because the business owners do not have a sense of direction. Developing and stating your personal and business goals will serve as your roadmap and provide you with a sense of direction.

2. Identify a feasible market sector for your product(s) and or service(s)
Some people fail in business not because they do not have the finances to start-up their business but because they have a product or service that no one wants to buy. In order to reach professional development in business, you will need to listen (attentively) to the marketplace. Clearly identify an unmet need of customers prior to developing a product to satisfy their needs. Yes, you may be a smart business person, but if the market does not support you, you can say a big farewell to attaining professional development.

3. Work on your marketing plan
The main purpose of developing a marketing plan is to simply explain how you wish to create and maintain clients/customers in order to make a profit. The plan will also need to state the following:
- Your target market
- How you intend to penetrate the market
- Why your sales campaigns will be successful
- How much you will sell within the period of one year and over the next 5 years.

Your marketing plan will eventually be a pretty strong part of your professional development plan.

4. Write down a rough version of your company’s business plan
This is an outline of the path that you wish to take your business, a breakdown of your company’s strengths and weaknesses and a framework from which your official business development plan will be created.

5. Find out your monetary needs
Some companies fall flat like a pack of cards because they do not know diddly squat about the cost of keeping their company in business. As soon as you have developed your business plan, it is easier to determine your monetary requirements.

6. Put together your main teams
Before you develop your official business development plan you need to ensure that you form a good management team.

7. Conclude your financing requirements and put together an official professional development plan
Your business plan should without a doubt, show that your business can sell a sufficient amount of goods and or services to make a reasonable profit and is also good enough to attract prospective backers. Remember, this document will be used in order to secure financing to launch your business – so it has gotta be good!

8. Come up with a good marketing strategy to obtain financing
You will need to come up with a solid marketing plan to sell yourself and your business to financiers to raise money to get your business off the ground.

9. Market your business plan effectively and attract funds on your terms
Use negotiating tools which will give an edge over your competition and make it possible to attract funds on your own terms instead of just on your investor’s terms.

10. Market your goods and or service(s) and manage your business effectively in order to achieve your objectives.
As soon as your business has taken off, you will require a pretty strong management tool and marketing techniques in order to attain a successful professional development.

Christopher Fitzpatrick is an expert author for Horizon Speakers and Seminars – a leading Irish company that provides World-Class Speakers, Events & Training!

Business Development!

Let’s imagine that you have already created your business and now your main aim is to develop and broaden it. Business development as well as development of any other process in the universe can have two directions: progress or regress. I believe that any smart businessman wants his business to develop in the way of progress, i.e. to have it broadened, consolidated and bringing more and more income. Well, business development in such direction is the task as difficult as its creation. However, if you believe in yourself and follow definite principles you can achieve the fact that your business will be developing in the way of progress.

First of all, you have to remember that business is a kind of marathon. If you want your business to develop quickly and effectively, you have to be ready to take the lead over competitors who have the same business sphere. Here, I’d like you to pay attention to the fact that business can’t be stable (i.e. it can’t stand still). It can either develop or die. If your business’s stopped, the competitors will outstrip you immediately. That’s why, developing your business you have to strive for the fact that your product is better, your goods or service are unique to some extend and the prices are affordable for your potential customers. As different changes in the market happen quite often, developing your business you need to be informed about all those processes and react as quickly as possible. In this case your business development can turn out to be successful and in short terms can bring you financial well-being

So, business development consists of two main components: 1. Goods and services production and 2. Their realization. Developing your business, you need to think of the “harmony” between these two components. One of the mistakes the beginners make is that they pay a lot of attention to product production and dismiss its realization. Such actions can lead you to the failure!

Furthermore, developing your business, you have to focus not only on your own skills and preferences but on the needs of your clients. It is also fair in case their needs go beyond earlier intended goods and services. To have your business developed in the most effective way, you should be ready to change it in such way that it could correspond to current requirements of your customers. There is no doubt it will lead to additional costs; however, as a result, such approach will turn out to be much more effective than trying to sell your customers a pup.

Next well-known mistake is that very often beginners tend to fulfill all the works themselves. On the first stage of business development it might be reasonable, but when your business has got some definite outlines, you as the owner of the business shouldn’t be busy with the routine. Your task is to distinguish that part of the process which supposes actions according to the pattern, which includes unimaginative work and employ somebody to complete this part.

What Does A Business Development Consulting Firm Do?

A business development consulting firm helps new business owners create a business and a business identity before it goes public. In addition to creating the brand and the business plan, these firms may also help the business with day-to-day operations when the company is young and in the process of expansion. Business development consultants are experienced in a wide range of different core areas of business. They are experts in marketing strategy development, brand development, brand marketing, writing marketing messages, editing press releases, and creating and managing start-up budgets. Here are just some of the many activities a consulting firm can help a start-up business with:

Logo Design and Logo Development

A logo is a symbol with a combination of words that is used to portray a company. While some business owners take time early on in the development process to design their own logos, these logos may be very similar to others in the industry. One of the keys to designing an effective logo in any industry is making it unique. Business owners who are having trouble with their logo designs can work with business development consultants to further develop their designs and make the necessary changes. In some cases, changing the design of the logo is an effective way to create a business identity that people can identify and will remember.

Developing Content of All Types for All Platforms

Content is very important for start-ups and veterans in the industry. Today, prospective customers want to do business with a company that has values and values them. The only way to communicate value is to have detailed content that people want to read. A business development consulting firm has a team full of marketers and professional writers who can write anything from website content, to content for printed marketing materials. The benefits of allowing a firm to write and edit copy is that everything will be written in the same voice. The writers will focus on unique topics but make sure all of the content blends together in a cohesive way. All of the copy written will be in an appropriate tone based on the demographic of the reader and the niche that the company is trying to target.

Generating Leads to Grow the Business

Business development consultants also help develop your book-of-business. Once you have a brand strategy and a marketing strategy in place, you need to find clients if you want to be profitable in the future. It is difficult to launch a marketing campaign when companies do not have an audience to market to. Consultants will help businesses generate leads and will also teach the company the fundamentals in lead generation for the future. By learning how to target markets, reach these markets, and gather contact information, business owners can expand their reach and grow their businesses.

Entrepreneurs do not have to have a college degree in business management. They do, however, need to be goal-oriented, professional, hardworking, and resourceful. One of the most effective ways to be resourceful is to use experts in business development to your advantage. By hiring the right consultant firm, new business owners can learn the ropes, develop an identity, and grow their book-of-business in the process. For some, the difference between failure and success weighs heavily on the consultants the company chooses.

A Glimpse Over a Business Development Manager’s Job

Every businessman starts his business with an aim to grow in terms of annual sales. However, starting up a business seems easier, but making it a big one is not everyone’s cup of tea. It needs great efforts and hard work to get your business on the heights of success. According to a research, it has been observed that only one-tenth of 1 percent of companies will ever reach $250 million in annual revenue.

In order to develop a business, you need to make a growth strategy that must cover market perception, market growth, product development, alternative channels, new products, etc. Here, comes the need for a business development manager. He is the most important part of an organization, who needs to work with the marketing people, internal team and other seniors to develop the strategies for enhancing the sales opportunities, thus, increasing the profits. Let’s have a glance over the job of a business development manager:

Role of a business development manager

Well, the role of the concerned person can be categorized as follows:

• Outlook for new clients: It is perhaps the primary role of a business development manager to search for new clients. This can be done through various ways including cold calling, networking, advertising and more.

• Planning influential approaches: The next important thing is planning a proper influential approach that can encourage the prospective clients to do business with the company.

• Developing a bond: Developing a good relationship with new customers is really necessary if you want to develop your business. This can be done by setting targets and proving the required support to the customers for improving the bond.

• Grow and retain existing accounts: Developing a good relationship with new customers is not just enough. What more require is growing and maintaining the existing accounts. In order to retain the current customers the manager should be ready with new solutions and services that he/she can present to the customers as and when required.

Above are some of the primary roles of a business development manager. Apart from this, he/she is responsible for making a strategic planning for developing a new business coming in to the company. For this, the person must possess a sound knowledge of the current market condition, services that company can provide and most importantly who are the company’s rivals.

Qualifications and skills required for the business development manager

• Educational qualification: As the job of a business development manager is quite challenging, he needs to have certain skills that can assist him in facing all the hurdles. As per the reports of online job placements on Monster.com and PayScale.com, the educational qualification required for Business Development Manager Jobs is first of all a bachelor’s degree in business administration or any other related field. Having a good experience in sales or marketing will be added advantage. Though, some companies may prefer the candidates who hold a master’s degree in this field.

• Key skills: As far as skills are concerned, the person should be highly motivated, problem solver and must have prospecting skills, territory management, market knowledge, presentation skills, closing skills, professionalism, etc.

Significant result areas of business development manager

To achieve the desired results, it is very essential to be crystal clear about everything so that the concerned person will be able to focus on the results. Generally, the key result area should be:

• Clear, precise and measurable: A clear, precise and measurable key area will help in defining the exact results that have been achieved and how well they are achieved.

• Under the control of business development manager: The key result area should be under the control of the concerned person. When he/she does it in a right way, it will contribute towards a major value to a business and to the career of the responsible person.

• A vital activity of the business: A key result area is unquestionably the important output that will turn out to be an input to the next result area.

All the above information will surely help you to get an idea about the job of a business development manager.

The Taxonomy of Business Development

What is business development? This is a frequently asked question with as many answers as there are people calling themselves business development professionals. What unifies the discipline of business development is not so much the activities that comprise it, as these are immensely diverse ranging across a myriad of subfields. It is rather the goal or the objective: In one way or another, business development is about implementing business growth opportunities.

Business development involves all tasks and processes concerning both the analytical preparation, monitoring and support of growth opportunities. Of course, growth can be achieved in many ways. There are a plethora of activities, conceptualizations, methodologies, tools, frameworks, models, subfields, and buzzwords employed across industries and geographies when implementing growth opportunities for firms. Thus, it is often difficult to make out what is what with respect to business development.

This paper will discuss and distinguish key concepts of contemporary business development for a more comprehensive and translucent picture of this important yet ambiguous field. A particular interest will be taken into how business development activities differ across company sizes and growth stages, from early-stage startups to fully-grown companies, and the various institutions that can support companies on their paths to growth. Lastly, the value of business development services is discussed from the perspective of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

1. The people of business development

“I do biz dev”, you hear people say frequently. But yes, business development is indeed something that one can do, and the actors of business development are called Business Developers. Business developers can be internal employees hired to identify and expand a company´s business, and their strength lies in their deep insight into the organization they work for. On the other hand, there are external professional service providers, such as management consultants, who leverage their experience from helping other companies develop, identify, and execute growth opportunities. Whether internal or external, individuals of this professional breed are usually generalists by nature with the skills and know-how to collaborate and integrate knowledge and feedback from a company´s functional units such as sales, marketing, R&D, operations, and finance, and in turn synthetize that information into actionable roadmaps, also called business plans. The business plan can be thought of as a formal statement of a set of organizational goals, including the motivations and criteria for why they are attainable, and a plan for reaching the goals. The tools and methods utilized by business developers are countless, yet the objective remains to answer one fundamental question: “How do we make money?”

While business developers work to address how firms can sell more of their products or services and make more money both today and tomorrow, business development activities are typically skewed towards forthcoming business opportunities and strategy. Many sales representatives claim to be business development professionals, but this does not fully capture what business development is. One of the principal activities a business developer does is identify new opportunities. To do so, the business developer must have insight into a range of business related fields, and have access to key information that can allow new parallels to be drawn. First of all, he/she must hold a fundamental understanding of the company in question, stay abreast of industry trends, and monitor the competition. Secondly, but perhaps more importantly, the business developer must be able to take a holistic perspective, use his/her intuition when analyzing results, and show proof of creativity and ingenuity when synthetizing information in order to conclude which next steps the business should take.

Working in business development is an excellent way to develop skills in strategy, negotiations, and managing partner and client relationships. Moreover, the job of a business developer is highly cross functional, as it requires collaboration with various internal and partner-company teams such as sales, engineering, and marketing to ensure that a deal is consummated. Last but not least, if done well, business development can have an incredible impact on the success of a business.

2. The institutions of business development

A common problem facing many firms, regardless of where they are in the company lifecycle, is that they get stuck in the trenches of daily operations, at the cost of conducting business development activities. When strategy and competitive advantage are no longer on top of the agenda, focus is lost and to the detriment of sustainable growth. The balance between running day-to-day operations and continuously developing the business further to hone the competitive advantage a firm holds is indeed difficult to manage. For that reason, there are a multitude of professional service providers in the field of business development. From the birth of ideas to early startups, to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who seek second stage growth, and all they way to strategy implementation for corporate giants, many institutions exist to support firms in their business development efforts.

There are both niche specialists targeting specific business needs and generalists taking a 360° view of the firm and its strategy and objectives. They come in the form of governmental institutions providing funding and support to entrepreneurs, and private institutions in the form of business angels and venture capitalists, business incubators and seed accelerators, second stage business accelerators, boutique consultancy firms, and large management consulting houses. One way or another, these institutions interact with companies on their growth journey and provide all kinds of resources to support them, including funding and physical work spaces (offices), professional support, advice and mentoring, tools and frameworks, strategy development and operations efficiency, and access to important networks in the business ecosystem.

In the table below a classification of business development institutions are plotted out, based on the various stages in the company life cycle. While there of course exist much overlap between of these fields, it gives an idea of who, how, when and for whom various actors interact with firms on their path to growth.

Business Incubator

The idea of the business incubator is to provide support for the successful development of companies by means of an array of support resources and services, offering a nurturing environment where entrepreneurs can bring their ideas to life. Incubator services often include one or several of the following:

Shared office space
Marketing assistance
Accounting/financial management
Access to bank loans, loan funds and guarantee programs
Help with presentation skills
Business networks and links to strategic partners
Access to angel investors, venture capital and debt financing
Comprehensive business training programs
Advisory boards and mentors
Management team identification
Technology commercialization assistance
Help with regulatory compliance
Intellectual property management

The idea is to allow entrepreneurs and start-up teams to focus on their core value proposition and leverage key resources that a growing start-up needs. Incubators often employ a selective screening process assessing the feasibility and workability of the business plan of incubatee prospects before letting hem join the program. While many incubator programs are industry agnostic, 39% of incubators in the United States work only with the high-tech sector. A company spends varying amounts of time in an incubation program depending the type of business and the entrepreneur’s level of business expertise. For example, life science and other firms with R&D cycles require more time in an incubation program service companies. On average, incubator clients spend 33 months in a program.1 Oftentimes, graduation requirements are set by development benchmarks rather than time, such as revenues or number of employees. The successful graduation from a business incubation program typically increases the likelihood that a startup company will stay in business for the long term.

Seed Accelerators / Startup Accelerator Programs

The Seed Accelerator derives much of its characteristics from the business incubator; their services often include pre-seed investments (usually in exchange for equity) and the focus is on business model innovation. In contrast to an incubator, the seed accelerator views the startup period as short, and startups are often supported in cohort batches or ‘classes’ during a seed acceleration program. But accelerators are not considered “protected” nurturing environments, like the business incubator. They bring together entrepreneurs, mentors, and advisors and leave it to the entrepreneurs to figure out how to best take advantage of the opportunity that emerges. Being selected by a seed accelerator often brings notoriety to a firm, and it is a way to quickly create momentum in a startup, as long as the participants have the experience and drive necessary. Often, participants in seed accelerator programs are experienced startup professionals who are accustomed to the process.The assets provided by the seed accelerator come in the form of mentoring, funding and a strong network effect, but there are few or no internal resources, such as back office support functions, internal marketing or legal advisory experts or legal. It is a sink or swim environment.