Business Development Strategies That Work

As a manager, one of the foremost concerns to an organization is developing and exploiting business opportunities that are presented to you and your company. In order to grow, you need good knowledge and best management practices and strategies. It comes to down to whether as a business development manager, you are revolutionary or evolutionary. Any strategy that you undertake, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem will revolutionize your company or will evolve it.

Successful business development takes a multi-disciplinary approach in that it involves financial, advertising and legal skills. It is not enough to reduce activities to a simple template that can be applied to all situations faced by real-world enterprises. Being creative in this regard goes a long way in ensuring that any new and unforeseen challenges contribute to sustainable growth of a company rather than its demise.

There are several areas where business development strategies can help your organization to grow and succeed. Development strategies based on a strategic marketing plan for example will address a changing customer base and market dynamics, help one to understand horizontal and vertical target market opportunities and how to develop the right products, services and solutions to meet the target market needs. This plan should not just be an accident. Most successful business owners will tell you that a carefully planned business strategy was involved. A plan can take either a ‘bottom up’ approach or a ‘top down’ approach. A bottom up approach is where the employees make suggestions and the best are passed up the management while the top down approach is where top managers create the business development strategies and implement them down the chain of command. Another approach is the use of collaborative process where managers and employees work together.

In order for a business development strategy to work, you will need to evaluate its weaknesses, strengths, risks and growth potential. If possible, a strategy consultant may be included. Several factors will need to be taken into consideration, depending on the complexities that come with implementation. These include assigning responsibilities, sufficient resources and establishing a chain of command. A timeline will also need to be developed to evaluate if the desired goals are being achieved. Obviously, no one type of business development strategy is going to work for every business. Find out what works for you and your organization and the benefits of sticking to it.

Business Development Strategies That Work

In the almost 30 years that I’ve worked as a CPA, I’ve had the opportunity to see businesses go on to achieve amazing results in the marketplace and for their community and for the owners. And I’ve seen many more businesses founder and fail.

One of the biggest challenges for small business is figuring out how to grow your business, especially in the beginning. The problem is that the desire to grow your business can turn into “grow at any cost” and that’s a dangerous position. Growth can be deadly to your business if you don’t first weigh the cost of that growth.

That cost can come in two forms:

  1. The expense of the development strategy itself, and
  2. The cost of ramping up your business with inventory and/or personnel to meet the demands of increased business.

In this article, we’re going to look at the expense of the development strategy itself. It really is the second thing you should consider, though. Fast growth can cripple a small business if there isn’t enough cash flow to fulfill on the sales. First determine how much growth your business really can stand.

Assuming that your business is able to handle new clients and/or sales, now let’s take a look at the business development strategy itself. A good rule of thumb is that you should expect to receive 5 times gross income (in other words, sales) for the amount you spend for promotion, marketing and advertising. In other words, if you spend $10,000 in total to put a new business development strategy in place, you should expect to receive $50,000 in new sales.

If you’re the typical small business starting, growing or even just surviving in a tough economic market with little or no credit, you also need business development strategies that don’t eat up your cash flow. There are plenty of people happy to sell you tens of thousands of advertising space, but can your business afford that? And what if the campaign doesn’t work? You’ve just used up some hard-won cash from your small business.

The best business development strategies are ones that take little or no cash flow.

Here are nine high impact, low-costs for your business:

  1. Get noticed. Small business often start with an entrepreneurial urge to do something better than anyone else has done it before. That’s working in the business. And to a certain extent, you need that. But, in today’s world, it’s highly unlikely that the world will beat a pathway to your door based on something great you’ve done that no one else knows about. Some ideas to get you started: Write articles, post a blog, build a social media platform or press releases. It’s possible to get noticed in today’s world for little money. The trick is to stand out above all the other noise. The best way to do that is to provide solid content. Each product and product line must stand on its own merit. There is no room for dogs in a bootstrapping company. Unless, of course, you have a pet grooming business.
  2. Have a good accounting system in place so you can quickly make business management decisions. If something is working, then put more money into promoting that item. If something isn’t, cut it quick.
  3. Create a sales funnel. The sales process resembles a funnel. At the top end, the widest part, are the people who are just finding you, checking out their options, considering using your services or buying your product. If you can adapt your product or service to match the funnel, you can often pick up sales. For example, at the top, where the funnel is widest, you may want to offer an entry-level product or a special report at a reduced price. This may help you to capture some of those people who otherwise may not have gone past the looking point.
  4. Can you create some kind of recurring business model, where you receive automatic monthly payments? This is a great way to generate steady cash for your business and is often easier to sell then one big product. For example, our tax firm has a monthly billing service. Clients get unlimited consulting during the year and the cost covers the preparation of their business and personal returns. The benefit to them is that they have a budget and know exactly what it’s going to cost. The benefit for our firm is that we have steady cash flow. One of our clients sells equipment. They offer a monthly fee to provide ongoing maintenance. The benefit to the customer is that they have someone checking on the equipment. All costs of repair are covered as part of the ongoing monthly fee. So there are no big cost surprises down the road. Our client picked up extra revenue, a steady stream of cash flow and a happy client. Is there a way to create something like that for your business?
  5. Create different service levels. Not all clients want the same thing. Can you create a premium service level that allows you to charge a higher rate for some of your current clients? What are the things that would make your service more valuable? Increased access to you personally? Front of the line option? Our firm has 3 levels of service available. Ironically, it’s the most expensive option, with ‘front of the line’ service and unlimited consulting with partners in the firm that sells the most. Because of the nature, though, it’s limited and so there is a waiting list. That helps sell the other levels of service.
  6. As you create a product or a service, think about what other products or services could be offered to complement and augment it. What else do your clients or customers need? What other services can you give them to create additional streams of income for your business? For example, a chiropractic office may offer therapeutic massages, yoga classes or nutritional supplements. These services and products aren’t chiropractic services but they are related to health and something that chiropractic patients might be interested in.
  7. Form strategic relationships. When you focus on a niche, you often find that there are things you can’t do, but are things that augment your service perfectly. By affiliating with other service providers, you can create a bigger, higher-value product that benefits everyone. A website designer/programmer builds websites for business owners. He finds that his clients also often need quality writers. If he refers services, he may make a referral fee. To be honest and ethical, that relationship and possible payment should be disclosed to the client as well.
  8. Create a high-end and low-end solution. One of our new passions is talking about the bi-modal graph. Imagine a two-hump camel. One hump represents the people who want hands-on, concierge service. The other hump represents people who want the lowest-cost solution. The depression in the middle is what used to be our target market: people who wanted a little of both. Today, that market is largely gone.
  9. Bill and collect in advance. It’s much easier to collect money up front then it is afterwards. It might be a little harder with the first sale, because your customer doesn’t have any experience with you, but after that, you’ve actually got to question why they don’t pay you in advance. If you are willing to extend credit, make sure you bill at a premium. There is a cost to carrying debt, especially in a tight credit market like now.

Business development strategies that double as cash flow development strategies are vital for every business, but especially if you’re going through your own business recession.

Grants for Business Development Start

Understanding the need for grants for business development:

The need for capital is something that every entrepreneur faces at one time or another. Governments around the world have realized the importance of subsidies for industrialization and now in business development are available in all countries. The volume and scope of assistance offered can vary and is generally observed that if the federal government does not include direct subsidies to small companies, many state development agencies do.

The different types of financial aid are designed to help entrepreneurs start or expand a business and to encourage them with egg. There are a number of special resources that provide comprehensive assistance to identify and select the appropriate agency for economic development, online and offline.

The application procedure:

Resources to ensure that the contractor is able to access the funds requested in the best financial resources. Grants for business development is available as a fine array of very attractive loans to start or expand a business. Resources, the resources to take care of the growth of the company access to more capital for the proper functioning of existing machines and get ready to meet the objectives in the long and short term. There are individual grants also available. Grants for business development through a formal application and awarded on an ongoing basis. When the businessman is, he is advised of the receipt of all required documents and the decision is usually made within 30 days.

Grant evaluation:

Grants for business development, assessed on the basis of some predefined criteria. The applications are scanned business financing in depth is required to address the needs and support the use of the number of opportunities for the effective exercise of the Company the amount awarded and the award actually meet the business needs identified. Assessment of business development grants also includes a careful examination of the potential effects of the general fund business growth, especially if it is mentioned in another state or country economic booster.

How are grants for business development sourced?

Grants for business development are primarily federal and state grants broadened as the title suggests, the development of enterprises. Funds may be used by the contractor for any business. Government grants are funded by taxes and subsidies extended through various government programs and agencies. The money available to the government for redistribution through subsidies to companies is enough to cover all business and pursued expansion costs Freshers many in various industries. There are also a variety of federal grants and foundation grants for business development in affluent societies.

Business grants – government gifts to entrepreneurs:

Government business grants for business development to give farmers access to seed and viable way to finance growth, which will become an important requirement to increase the demand for the product or service. The money for scholarships for business development enables business growth, to thrive and flourish. Awarded to, machinery and equipment, restructuring, additional working capital, a large recruitment and training of high level and inventory. Who can? Well, someone already has, or wants to start a legitimate business venture operating grant! The government has offered money to entrepreneurs, regardless of the company. This eliminates the need to tap banks and other lenders.

Recipients of the grants for business development:

Millions of subsidies for business development is extended to women, people with low income and minority entrepreneurs. Funds are also available as a start-up grants to businesses or existing businesses to grow, to ensure the continued success of risk. There are also companies that have prospered by giving subsidies to companies investing in real estate. Grant applications are available from federal, state, local governments and territories and advice.

Business Development or Sales?

I have been working with a number of companies recently who have been having issues with the performance of their business development team – intentionally I did not call them their sales teams because therein lies the fundamental issue. Everyone is in sales to a greater or lesser extent, in the main most people don’t believe that and shy away as much as possible from anything vaguely sales related.

Specifically anyone that communicates with anyone else with the intention of influencing the other to do something for them is in sales.

A child that wants an ice cream, a Nintendo or simply to stay up late is in sales. A wife that wants to go out with the girls and needs to get either the husband to sit for the kids or employ a babysitter is in sales. A member of the IT department that needs access to all pc’s in your department while you are all at work to do an upgrade is in sales. Any politician is in sales (whether you like it or not).

So if sales is simply the art of influencing another person to do your bidding why then are we so petrified of it, why is it such a swear word? Simply because we are all afraid of rejection to the point that putting ourselves in a situation where rejection may occur makes us avoid it as much as possible. A classic example is telesales which has such a brutal reputation; this is only because you have to deal with 45 rejections before you get an opportunity, maybe more.

How much did it hurt as a child when you are told no to doing something – just a little – however the histrionics that happen far outweigh the severity of the situation. Wouldn’t it be great to have a ‘Hissy Fit’ every time someone declined an offer you made -(some of us do inside our heads), it might shorten your career in that role if you did.

Sales also has that obvious association with dodgy – the wide eyed used car salesman, the timeshare rep or the double glazing salesman. I remember when my late mother-in-law told a friend of ours when she started dating a salesman ‘you can never trust a salesman, it will never last’ – she said. I’m happy to report they got married fifteen years ago and are still getting along just fine.

There are those who are naturally more capable of taking knock backs than others, those with ‘thick skin’ they don’t appear to take it personally when someone turns them down. The message to you is simple – sales is the art of communication, without communication everything grinds to a halt – be that sharing knowledge or information or simply asking for a date to go to the cinema, wherever there is an alternative solution to the one you suggested you have to convince the other in some way – that is sales. Sales is all about asking, if you never ask you will never get an answer!

Going back to the questions raised with these companies I have been working with all responsibility for business development was abdicated and passed onto the sales team to succeed or fail on their own. The other departments did not share the business development needs of the business and this was where the issue lay. What might you say is the solution here – a change in culture is necessary to one where everyone works together at business development, helping and supporting each other.

Some of you might call that Utopia or even unachievable – I disagree the best companies large or small do this day in and day out without even thinking about it – so can you.