A good business development strategy can provide you with a road map for making key decisions for your business, such as product development, customer service and acquisition, quality assurance, training, etc. Your business development strategy will lead to the creation of a business plan that will help you towards achieving your professional goals.
I’ll be devoting my next few blog posts to some strategies that I believe are key to growing your business.
Establish Goals for Your Business
This might seem like something that doesn’t need to be said, but you’d be surprised. Many people start businesses with no real business development goals in mind short of providing their product or service and making as much money as possible.
Start out by setting a timeline, if only a rough one that sets realistic goals for 6 or 12 month period. This will help guide you from one step to the next as your business grows. No small business can grow into a profitable company unless clear goals are set and achieved.
Any goal listed should be focused on determining achievability. Let’s say, hypothetically, one of your goals for the upcoming year is to launch a new product. Lay out the steps it will take you to achieve that goal over the course of the next six months. Plan out what it will take you to get there covering as many of the details as you can anticipate such as: research to determine the market need, assess the competition, source materials and manufacturing processes, identify marketing requirements, etc… If you address as many issues as you can early on, you can get a better idea of how much time and money it will take and the likelihood of success before you make your full investment.
Continuing with our example of “a new product launch”, the information you put into your business development strategy should at the very least cover:
What product or service are you going to sell and to whom?
When and how you are going to sell your product or service?
How much will it cost to provide the service?
What are the marketing costs going to be?
What can you sell it for? What will the market bear?
What will be your ROI?
Be pragmatic in your approach to writing the strategy and tie it all in to your company’s existing financial budget as well as your company’s existing time budget. If you plan on a staffer concentrating 25% of his or her time to this new project, what will happen to the current workload?
Business development strategies vary enormously depending on the type, size and maturity of the business. Regardless of the state of your business, if you are in the process of writing a development strategy, create one that is a flexible and useful tool. It should be a resource for you to rely on to help guide the growth of your business.
Next up: Formatting and organizing your business development strategy so that it’s strong and concise.