Team Building For Business Development

To remain competitive and secure in the new economy, it is imperative that companies communicate to their employees the critical importance of proactive branding, marketing and business development. It is essential that Managements outline corporate sales objectives and needs thus creating an innovative business development atmosphere amongst all team members. The new corporate culture builds the team for “exciting-times ahead” by communicating the key strengths, opportunities and competitive advantages of their company by first ensuring that all stakeholders are “on-message”.

An astute business leader will subsequently promote branding, marketing and business development activities as factors vital to establishing the “next growth level” of the company. A well-defined brand experience, the creation of a strategic plan, addressing areas of improvement, identifying competition, and segmenting internal and external target audiences are critical components for continued success. Ultimately, all team members are to externally “transfer this knowledge” to clients, suppliers, prospective customers, community, and, of course, to their families. The number of sales people working on business development must directly reflect the number of employees in the firm, e.g., a 100-person firm has 100 business development people. In the new economy, the act of “team selling” is no longer a “luxury” for a select few but a critical “necessity” for all.

Five Key Steps to Creating the Brand Strategy, Building the Team Spirit
and Launching the Brand Experience:

Strategic Research and Planning

o Mission Statement Development
o Vision Statement Development
o Business Planning
o S.W.O.T. Assessment
o Competition Analysis Assembly
o Risk Assessment Review

Sourcing Your Competitive Advantages

o Unique Selling Proposition Construction
o Brand Experience Program Creation
o Sales and Marketing Planning
o Product and Service Lifecycle Investigation
o Sales Team Building
o Corporate Sales Scripting

Building Blocks of Business Development

Everyone has dreamt of becoming his/ her own boss. And the way to do this is by putting up a business. However, only a few people have realized their plans and much fewer succeed at it. People say that businessmen, aside from having the money to start their own business, have a certain skill which few people are blessed with. They are risk-takers. Business development in some way is like gambling. An entrepreneur invests money, time and effort into a venture that has a fifty-fifty success to failure ratio. This is the very reason why a lot of dreamers do not pursue their business ambitions. Successful businessmen have mastered and formulated their own recipe for success but it all boils down to careful planning. Because they may be risk-takers but they are also careful planners.

There is no definite formula in business development. There are different strategies that can be formulated depending on the nature and size of the business itself. But there are factors that should not be left out and it applies to all.

  1. Recognize the opportunity. Assess the market. Identify what is out there and what is not offered yet. In determining the business venture to tap into, the status and the demand of the market need to be considered and its potential evaluated. A reason for putting up a business is not only because there is something to offer but there should also be a market to offer it to.
  2. Customers come first. The business should revolve around the customer. After all, they are the ones who will keep the business alive. It is important to get to know the target market, to identify not only their needs and wants but what they potentially need or want which they do not know yet. But the population is enormous so it is also necessary to identify the most profitable customers. Hence, the primary target has to be separated from the secondary market. However, demographics should not be the only focus. There should also be a behavioural and lifestyle analysis of the customers.
  3. How to reach them. By knowing the customer, target points will then be determined. Where are these customers likely to be found or how to get to them? This involves the different media that the target utilizes in a day-to-day basis such as TV, Radio, Print, billboard, point of sale, Internet, etc.
  4. How to sell. Once the target’s whereabouts is identified, the next step is to use sweet spots to get them to buy. What can attract their attention and what can convince them. Do they respond to sales promotion or do they rely on word of mouth, etc.
  5. Generate repeat business. Satisfy the customers and exceed their expectations not only to keep them under the radar but also to generate good publicity.

Nothing is a hundred percent sure but business development should also not be a hit and miss. It’s risky but careful planning and perseverance will increase the likeliness to succeed.

Business Development For Small Enterprises

With anything that you do, it’s important to establish a clear plan of action in order to assure a higher probability of success. The same rule applies to small businesses. Many enterprises have folded in less than five years because they did not start with a clear-cut plan that defines what they want to achieve. Operations suffered because the whole organization was not well-informed on what it is exactly they should be doing.” Without a proper business development plan, you might as well be running your business blindly, which could be fatal to your investment.

The winning edge

During the conception of the type of business that you wish to open, you will want to start with a clear definition of what it is exactly that you intend to offer your potential customers. For instance, if you want to open a bookshop, it’s not enough that you have a basic overview of your operations – i.e. that you sell books and other similar supplies. You will need to provide a more specific definition of your business, identify your winning edge. What will set your small business apart from all other similar shops in the area? Surely, there are a number of bookstores in your locality so you will want to provide your potential consumers something new, something that hasn’t been offered yet. Your business development strategy should be able to identify all that.

Research

The role of research as a stable base for business development plans for small businesses. Even small businesses should be run with proper information regarding the type of niche market they intend to tap into. Before you decide to offer certain services, you will want to learn more about the market that you will be working with. You need to know more about their different quirks, what they look for in certain products and services and how they react to new ideas.Contrary to popular belief, the benefits of business development are not only limited to large-scale corporations. Even SMEs (small-medium enterprises) can stand to achieve more if they have a clear-cut plan to back them up. Companies such as International Business Development offer specialized services that are geared towards helping startup enterprises device a plan that will catapult their businesses to success.

Contingency plans

A business development plan not only specifies the goals and objectives of a company. Tthis plan can also serve to provide specific contingency measures. Everyone knows how the market can be unstable. Several different changes can happen and these conditions can either hinder your company’s growth or enhance it. The idea is to have a specific strategy on hand that is capable of foreseeing certain possibilities and providing an action plan that will address these potential road blocks or opportunities, as the case applies.

Finally, the importance of staying as faithful to your business development plan as possible. Throughout the life of your business, there will be instances when you may have to deviate from the strategy you have established. The most important part that you need to keep in mind is that you need to still keep yourself informed of what your goals are.

Allocating Time for New Business Development: Just One of The Challenges Facing Busy Entrepreneurs

How do you allocate time for new business development? It’s the bane of many entrepreneurs and small business people. “I am so busy with my current projects that I don’t have time to drum up new business.” I know exactly what they’re talking about. I remember a period where I had so many writing projects on the go that I did no marketing. I just waited for the business to come in. The problem is that unless you market yourself, the business can slow to a trickle, regardless of the previous complaints that you have:

  • Too much work already
  • Not enough time to do anything else
  • Not enough money to spend on proposals that may not pay off

I completely understand. Understanding, however, doesn’t get you anywhere, so let me make some suggestions to keep the business coming.

The first suggestion is that you dedicate some time to new business every day. It need only be half an hour, but whatever time segment you decide on, lock it in. Just put everything aside, hold your phone calls, shut down the cell and leave your e-mail alone. Next, do the following. Get yourself one of those small digital timers, punch in the time segment you’ve chosen, then, turn the timer away from you so you can’t see it. Now, focus on the work at hand.

During this time segment consider what new business you want to get into, or actually work on a new business proposal. What you might also do, and this will impact your own staff, is get the staff to join you in your sessions; and plan a session at least once a week, and brainstorm new ideas. Who better than your own staff to carry out this activity in search of new business? And encourage them to look for business opportunities that you may be unaware of through networking, or contacts they have with friends and associates. Even submit a speculative or unsolicited proposal to a client.

Here’s an idea I really like. It comes from Verne Harnish, CEO of Gazelles Inc, an executive education firm. Verne suggests that you should stop eating alone. Verne’s experience is that in one year, living in Barcelona, he built deeper business, social, and political connections than in ten years living and working in Washington DC. What could you do if you were to meet someone different even a couple of days a week? You might not generate new business immediately, but the payoff down the line could be substantial.

I understand that cash flow can get in the way of such activities. I appreciate that the current projects you’re working on have stringent timelines. In fact you’re probably working a 60-hour week. But don’t let that get in the way of allocating time for new business by pursuing practical ways to make it happen, even on your busy schedule.

Abstract: Busy people often get too busy and fail to continue marketing themselves. Small businesses, like consultants and training companies, often find themselves in this situation. This article looks at the issue and suggests some practical solutions. It’s up to you to follow up on them.