Business Development Requires a Multitude of Skills

Business development is one of the functions that every company, from inception to exit, performs at one time or another. It’s also one of the most “unbounded” roles within a company. For some companies, business development means acquiring new customers. Others, it means raising capital. And, for yet another set of people, it means to build alliances and partnerships.

Whatever the term ultimately means to anyone, it is a function that clearly requires a multitude of skills. Let’s take for example, raising money. A business development person in a small startup company would be responsible for building relationships to raise venture capital and/or general financing for startup operations. Oftentimes, the reason this function falls under business development is because the business developer is building strategic partner relationships. Some of these strategic partners deem the relationship critical to grow new business opportunities. In that respect, the strategic partner will then invest money in return for an equity stake in the startup company.

In the case of building and managing partnerships, the business development team is often called Alliances. In this example, business development or Alliance is responsible for recruiting, managing, and supporting partner companies. In addition to this, the Alliances organization would also have a responsibility for driving a certain amount of revenue through the partners, as well. This alliance function essentially builds a core ecosystem around the host company. The ecosystem effectively allows the host company to be in more markets, capture certain geographic territories, or even drive more revenue than it could on its own.

Building joint ventures is also a form of business development activity. There are times when a company needs to work together on a specific business opportunity. The opportunity could be related to driving new business in a specific country or perhaps in a particular industry. The two companies would develop an operating agreement under which they will work together. Shared revenue and expenses, team alignment and sales targets are examples of agreements created as part of this joint venture relationship.

Driving sales is another function where business development is often categorized. This is especially true when a company is first starting off in business. Many small companies categorize their sales efforts as business development rather than sales. One of the reasons for this is because the territory is new or perhaps the product line is untested with customers. The business development group is responsible then for selling new business in an uncharted environment.

Corporate development is another function often interrelated with business development. In general, though, a corporate development function handles aspects of mergers and acquisitions for a company. Their role is to identify companies that have synergistic business models and would complement the host company. In many aspects, a corporate development officer for a company has similar skill sets and experience as all of the above organizational roles.

As one can ascertain, business development is a “catch-all” term that can encompass many different roles within an organization. That said, the skill set and experience for a business development executive is fairly broad. He/she must be versed in areas, such as building partnerships, strategy, technology, geographic markets, sales, and, of course, finance. In addition, understanding the specific industry in which the company operates is icing on the proverbial cake.

The business development executive is a key contributor to the success of a company. This individual, if used properly, can help create the very foundation on which a company operates.

What Does A Business Development Consulting Firm Do?

A business development consulting firm helps new business owners create a business and a business identity before it goes public. In addition to creating the brand and the business plan, these firms may also help the business with day-to-day operations when the company is young and in the process of expansion. Business development consultants are experienced in a wide range of different core areas of business. They are experts in marketing strategy development, brand development, brand marketing, writing marketing messages, editing press releases, and creating and managing start-up budgets. Here are just some of the many activities a consulting firm can help a start-up business with:

Logo Design and Logo Development

A logo is a symbol with a combination of words that is used to portray a company. While some business owners take time early on in the development process to design their own logos, these logos may be very similar to others in the industry. One of the keys to designing an effective logo in any industry is making it unique. Business owners who are having trouble with their logo designs can work with business development consultants to further develop their designs and make the necessary changes. In some cases, changing the design of the logo is an effective way to create a business identity that people can identify and will remember.

Developing Content of All Types for All Platforms

Content is very important for start-ups and veterans in the industry. Today, prospective customers want to do business with a company that has values and values them. The only way to communicate value is to have detailed content that people want to read. A business development consulting firm has a team full of marketers and professional writers who can write anything from website content, to content for printed marketing materials. The benefits of allowing a firm to write and edit copy is that everything will be written in the same voice. The writers will focus on unique topics but make sure all of the content blends together in a cohesive way. All of the copy written will be in an appropriate tone based on the demographic of the reader and the niche that the company is trying to target.

Generating Leads to Grow the Business

Business development consultants also help develop your book-of-business. Once you have a brand strategy and a marketing strategy in place, you need to find clients if you want to be profitable in the future. It is difficult to launch a marketing campaign when companies do not have an audience to market to. Consultants will help businesses generate leads and will also teach the company the fundamentals in lead generation for the future. By learning how to target markets, reach these markets, and gather contact information, business owners can expand their reach and grow their businesses.

Entrepreneurs do not have to have a college degree in business management. They do, however, need to be goal-oriented, professional, hardworking, and resourceful. One of the most effective ways to be resourceful is to use experts in business development to your advantage. By hiring the right consultant firm, new business owners can learn the ropes, develop an identity, and grow their book-of-business in the process. For some, the difference between failure and success weighs heavily on the consultants the company chooses.

Business Development!

Let’s imagine that you have already created your business and now your main aim is to develop and broaden it. Business development as well as development of any other process in the universe can have two directions: progress or regress. I believe that any smart businessman wants his business to develop in the way of progress, i.e. to have it broadened, consolidated and bringing more and more income. Well, business development in such direction is the task as difficult as its creation. However, if you believe in yourself and follow definite principles you can achieve the fact that your business will be developing in the way of progress.

First of all, you have to remember that business is a kind of marathon. If you want your business to develop quickly and effectively, you have to be ready to take the lead over competitors who have the same business sphere. Here, I’d like you to pay attention to the fact that business can’t be stable (i.e. it can’t stand still). It can either develop or die. If your business’s stopped, the competitors will outstrip you immediately. That’s why, developing your business you have to strive for the fact that your product is better, your goods or service are unique to some extend and the prices are affordable for your potential customers. As different changes in the market happen quite often, developing your business you need to be informed about all those processes and react as quickly as possible. In this case your business development can turn out to be successful and in short terms can bring you financial well-being

So, business development consists of two main components: 1. Goods and services production and 2. Their realization. Developing your business, you need to think of the “harmony” between these two components. One of the mistakes the beginners make is that they pay a lot of attention to product production and dismiss its realization. Such actions can lead you to the failure!

Furthermore, developing your business, you have to focus not only on your own skills and preferences but on the needs of your clients. It is also fair in case their needs go beyond earlier intended goods and services. To have your business developed in the most effective way, you should be ready to change it in such way that it could correspond to current requirements of your customers. There is no doubt it will lead to additional costs; however, as a result, such approach will turn out to be much more effective than trying to sell your customers a pup.

Next well-known mistake is that very often beginners tend to fulfill all the works themselves. On the first stage of business development it might be reasonable, but when your business has got some definite outlines, you as the owner of the business shouldn’t be busy with the routine. Your task is to distinguish that part of the process which supposes actions according to the pattern, which includes unimaginative work and employ somebody to complete this part.