If your business has been struggling to get more clients in the last few months or year then consider hiring a business development expert that can find the right joint venture marketing partners that can deliver hot leads to your sales team. While a consultants hourly rate may be higher than you’re comfortable with a deal can be put together much faster by a professional than someone trying for the first time to structure a business partnership. 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.
A successful business development process is being able to get a clear and concise evaluation of the inherent strengths and weaknesses, goals and issues that face the development of your new venture. 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.
Fast growth can cripple a small business if there isn’t enough cash flow to fulfill on the sales. Marketing involves all activities such as planning and strategy, marketing research, pricing, advertising, branding, communication, customer service and other important functions, that finally make selling possible.
During this phase cash flows stabilize and establishment of marketing networks and operational channels are completed. Hiring a consultant or consulting firm to act as a business development team for you company is a great route for many small businesses. In a new business development it is a visionary process, in which a direction for the venture can be identified and a systematic and orderly processes can be established as part of the overall business plan.
A business development plan is an essential tool for all prudent entrepreneurs if they wish to remain in business. Plan – Once new business opportunities have been identified you will need to decide how you can best reach those new customers and markets. Given the growth stage in which your company finds itself it can indeed be worthwhile considering employing business development services in one way or another.
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.
Consultants often will require an hourly rate or fixed salary as well as some kind of bonus structure for placing deals together which may be a single payout for each business deal that is signed or a revenue share that is paid out over a period of time based on the amount of business that is ultimately generated from the relationships.
The Business Development Strategy is used to underpin your main Business Plan and essentially it sets out a standard approach for developing new opportunities, either from within existing accounts or by proactively targeting brand new potential accounts and then working to close them. Many separate workgroups or business units support the BD process, from corporate management to the operations staff to production personnel and administrative staff inside the company, to third party Subject Matter Experts (SME) or professional proposal preparation personnel like those provided by third party consulting firms.
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. During this phase, the business experiences market pressures from all quarters, and are unable to handle them successfully.
Firms of all sizes will sometimes find that they lack a particular skill or area of expertise, and seek the advice of a specialist. In the table below a classification of business development institutions are plotted out, based on the various stages in the company life cycle.
Every business has its life cycle that it undergoes during the course of its entire existence. A marketing and constancy firm can demonstrate where they’re succeeding. Using the help from a second stage business accelerator can be one way to overcome these challenges; to (re)establish the entire “business machinery” required to allow growth to take place.
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.
Business Growth Strategies
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. Large management consulting firms are able to draw from massive reservoirs of overlapping knowledge and expertise in contrast to the more narrowly focused boutique consulting firms, and can offer a single client support on IT, strategy, operational, human capital, and financial issues.
While a business development expert can always play the role as sales person the opposite is not always true. Examples of niches in which boutique consulting firms operate include human resources and staffing, IT, healthcare, business process outsourcing, and accounting.
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.