5 Business Development Don’ts

5 Business Development Don’ts

In my over 25 years experience in business development for Financial institutions, IT enterprises, Law Firms and Medical Practices there is an unfortunate, common repetitive pattern/tendency that costs unnecessary money and reduces efficiencies considerably.

This tendency can simply be defined as “unproductive” business development practices. While it can be stated simply it is NOT a straightforward problem in the least. Not appropriately, consistently and diligently creating and implementing a business development plan can and does cause significant financial and productive leakages to a business entity. For a small or growing company, business or practice, such a business development oversight can and often is very detrimental in many ways.

I have identified 5 of the most common unproductive business development practices. I hope that, if you can identify any or all of these within your business entity, you recognize the red flag and take heed.

The 5 Major Business Development Don’ts are the Following:

1) Don’t Randomly Advertise. Sounds weird, but it is NOT. One of the most common mistakes and seemingly harmless ones is to advertise a company, product or service without a clear target.

Unless you are a large entity, advertising expenditures should be seriously confined for specific targeted campaigns. Brand recognition advertising for smaller and or new practices is NOT an optimum use of resources.

2) Don’t Just “Get” Business- Instead Get the Right Business.

A common mistake in small to medium size companies is to “accept” any client even if the fit is not perfect, i.e. a client project that is not cost effective or a “difficult problematic client” or a client whose request is out of the range of expertise.

This can be a seemingly difficult situation, especially, if there are cash flow issues within a company. However, ultimately, saying no to these clients is the most cost effective solution.

3) Don’t Leave Your Business Growth to “Chance”

Many small businesses and medical practices get “caught up” in servicing clients when ample clientele is at hand, thus, ignoring future business needs. For small to medium size businesses this is one of the major causes of cash- flow problems. There should always be a consistent everyday effort to bring in new clients. This ensures a constant source of new clients as they progress through the customer life cycle.

4) Don’t Ignore Your Previous Clients

One of the biggest sources of potential revenue for any business, medical practice or law firm is satisfied past clients. There are three ways that these clients can generate new revenue for a business: firstly, by cross-selling other products or services that are complementary to what they bought last time; secondly, by up-selling services or products that enhance their growth or customer satisfaction; thirdly, referrals. Satisfied customers are one of the greatest sources of new business. However, in order for this to be successful you must cultivate a “relationship” with your clients via warm calling, holiday cards, emails, gift certificates etc and you must ASK! Previous Clients are the quickest most effective way to gain new clients… do not ignore this financial resource at your fingertip!

5) Don’t Confuse Business Development/Sales/Marketing

Sales and Marketing are quite distinct from Business Development. Simply put Sales represents the completion of a client prospecting stage, Marketing is the means to communicate value and awareness of a product or service, while Business Development represents the holistic/big picture for business growth. More specifically, business development concerns the tasks, processes and preparation for business/opportunity growth. Business Development is in essence the means to obtain the plan and targeting for growth. Having this plan/bigger picture helps to refine the client/service/product penetration and thus expedites and streamlines the sales and marketing efforts.

Ironically, most sophisticated and large companies have well funded business development departments, however, it is the start-ups, small and medium size enterprises that actually need a business development team or process the most.

It is my sincere expectation and desire that should you identify any of these “red flags” in your business it will start a thinking process and adjustment of your entity’s activities and strategies.

Defining the Role of a Business Development Manager!

Business development managers play a critical role in expansion and growth of organizations and hence there is a high demand for experienced and skilled professionals who can help the businesses in achieving greater heights.

The Growing Demand

In the present economic scenario, almost all major brands are scanning strategic locations with respect to their major expansion plans. It is indeed an action oriented role, for eager beavers who have the ability to track business leads, comprehend the products and services and develop an efficient process for ramping up the sales.

Business development skills have been a prominent requirement in job advertisements across several occupations. The typical industries where business development managers find work are insurance agencies and brokerages, commercial banking, accounting firms and many more.

The Job Functions of a Business Development Manager

Out of the array of job responsibilities, their primary job duty is to generate and follow up business leads, bring in more clients and other business proposals.

Besides, business development manager, is required to build partnerships and business relationships with other companies, vendors, and so on to add weight to the products and services. Another important duty of business development managers is to seek out new clients and keep tabs on the existing clients and their requirements.

They also work in collaboration with the product managers and marketing team in the development and implementation of the strategies, plans and business models. The job roles of these professionals may vary from company to company. Like for example, they may be required to formulate financial predictions for expansion and growth of the company.

What Do Employers Seek In Job Applicants?

Like any other job profiles, this profile too needs an array of skills-set and some specific personality traits to land in a job. In-depth industry knowledge, networking skills, marketing, sales, enthusiasm, ability to achieve sales targets, communication and presentation skills, researching and prospecting abilities, decent understanding of business models, customer orientation and multitasking skills.

Benefits and Bonuses

The complete package of benefits, generally provided in this position are listed below, take a look-

· Paid sick leave

· Relocation reimbursements

· Life insurance

· Paid vacation

· Private medical insurance

A Well Paying Job!

The salary depends on the factors like industry, company size, location, years of experience and academic credentials. As per the payscale site, the average salary package of business development manager is Rs. 5,82,211 per year. The top skills associated with such jobs are account management, sales, negotiation and business strategy.

The Worth of Business Development Service For Professional Firms

Business development service is always used in a broader sense & enables the professional firms to strengthen ties with their existing customers as well as attracting new customers in other areas of the business market. In order to achieve this objective, the business development service providers go beyond the traditional means of marketing, sales, operations, customer care & business management to help their clients promote the business expansion at multiple levels. It needs the business development strategy maker to have certain level of expertise in different areas of business so that he could easily recognize & utilize the opportunities for business growth.

One of the basic requirements for business development is to evaluate the current business value as it is more related to the growth & maintenance of the business. For this, the development service providers appoint business development specialist who will work along with marketing & sales professionals to develop an effective strategy. This business strategy is based on the degree of popularity that the business is already enjoying in other areas of the customer base.

The business organizing specialist will sought for customer feedback from the customer care executives. These executives will help the strategy maker to gather data from the existing customers on their view about the company & its services. Such type of action often helps the development specialist to find out more effective ways of business promotion that can replace the current marketing strategy & target more number of customers in the market sector where the business is already present. Moreover, the acquisition of client testimonials through the channel of customer care executives will assist the business organizing specialist to identify the areas for the new range of products & develop a suitable marketing strategy for them. This strategy will lead to the quick promotion of new products & services later.

The role of business development service provider is not limited to an increased sales or customer satisfaction. While these things come naturally with the development service, the development strategy maker will have to ensure the best utilization of company fund, refine the operation of management & different departments and address any legal issue that may arise as the business continues to grow. Many professional firms give the business development strategy maker the right to collect business related information from any level of business structure & utilize it to induce more business.

Every small to large scale business organization can opt for development in business service. It brings guaranteed success for every kind of corporate condition. Many small time companies have tried it out & achieved a firm footage in their own sector. In most of the cases, businesses have been able to capture the targeted sector & achieve growth due to the efforts of business development specialist. So, companies need to concentrate more on their development & hire for development professionals if it seems impossible for them.

Corporate maintains their own wing for business growth & development that will deal with all development related activities. But small businesses can’t afford to do that. So, they may ask a development consultant to work for them. The consultant will help them assess the present situations & develop strategies for bringing more business growth in future.