Business development needs to be a fundamental aspect of any commercial organisation’s operations if it is to grow. Although it can feel like an overwhelming task, if your company is to expand, it is vital that you have a clear strategy in place to create new revenue. Not only that, but you need to tie this strategy to the calendar, as companies have specific times of the year when they receive their marketing budgets, with their planning and execution of activities being carried out accordingly.
There are numerous reasons why companies don’t pursue growth opportunities, with the typical excuses from managers and others with business development responsibilities including…
“…But I’m doing great with my existing clients”
“…It’s all very well, but I haven’t really got the time”
“…It’s on my mind… I’ll get to it eventually”
These excuses will stifle the growth of an organisation and confirm an attitude that may even affect relationships with existing clients. This is because companies who actively engage in business development tend to be more dynamic, have a more positive outlook and offer a better quality of service all round.
Here are ten key points that can help you drive your all-important business development strategy:
1. Know where you currently stand and where you want to get to. Be realistic, but also be ambitious.
2. Remember that there are clients out there who need your expertise. You should be confident with your pitch because you are offering a great service.
3. If you have a current business development strategy, plot the growth of your company over the years. Let the findings motivate you to hone your strategy and achieve even greater heights.
4. Study the market and establish the areas where most of your revenue is generated. Use this to look for similar opportunities and target new business.
5. Know your strengths. Use your credentials to distinguish yourself from the competition. Focus on the practices and services that you are most qualified for and experienced at delivering…
6. …but also be prepared to venture out of your comfort zone and tap into other opportunities. These can give you valuable experience in a new discipline, providing you with a lucrative new direction when your performance within it takes off.
7. Seek positioning and investment. Identify industries and potential clients where you can leverage your expertise and be perceived as a leader in your field.
8. Decide on what role you want your new clients to satisfy. Create a long-term vision for those who will be able to maximise your income, seek mutual growth and expansion, and can offer substantial remuneration.
9. Be on the look-out for new networking opportunities and carry this mindset with you at all times. Business development should never be a 9-5 proposition, but one that is 24/7.
10. Positive contacts and cross-references are key. These endorsers are already familiar with your background and can be supporters and influencers on your road to successful business development.
Good luck with growing your business!