Every business has its life cycle that it undergoes during the course of its entire existence. From the birth of firms through incubators and seed accelerators, to boosting growth for small and medium firms by means of second stage business accelerators, to advising corporate giants through management consulting firms, business development constitute an important element any phase of the company life cycle.
In essence, a second stage accelerator bears a strong resemblance to traditional management consulting firms, but adjusted to fulfill the needs of SME’s. A consultant brings fresh perspective, yes, but they also bring to you a proven track record of helping businesses like yours.
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.
It’s critical to recognize that a business development team member is going to need to spend time out of the office meeting with companies, going to business events and other functions that may be fruitful in finding and meeting the right business partners, however if you are paying for someone to be at an event then make sure the business cards that are collected get scanned and retained by the company.
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. 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.
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.
In many cases this role is a liaison between sales, marketing, procurement, and management. It might be hard to decide if and when to use various business development services. For example, life science and other firms with R&D cycles require more time in an incubation program service companies.
Job titles continually evolve based on the changing needs of companies. There are resilient businesses that do survive this phase and go on to succeed on a new lease of life. The case for increased focus on the integration of digital marketing with core business development planning must be highlighted. Market research is an important part of business planning.
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.
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. 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.
Business development requires a multi-disciplinary approach and there is no ‘one size fits all’ strategy. Companies that want to execute business deals with larger fortune 500 type companies should always highly consider hiring an expert that has preexisting relationships with the company that you want to do a deal with. This is an ideal time for businesses to consider expansion or diversification.
Implement – If your business is not at the stage to appoint a full time marketing director, at least hire an experienced business development professional to work with your company for a few days a month. A person that specifically focuses on business development will understand how to communicate potential business deals to perspective businesses in the right manner.
Business Growth Strategies
Business development requires a multi-disciplinary approach and there is no ‘one size fits all’ strategy. 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.
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.
With the help of the business development plan you can monitor the progress of all the current programs and evaluate the efficacy of your future endeavors.