What is Business Development Anyway?
Hint: It’s not just sales. Sales help grow your business, obviously, but sales are just a piece of the overall concept of business development.
According to Forbes, “Business development is the creation of long-term value for an organization from customers, markets, and relationships.”
Let’s break that down a bit.
Creation. This is the action of making something happen. This piece is probably your sales efforts. It is the actions you take to make the rest of the definition come together.
Long-term value. What are we creating? Value. What is value? Revenue, for sure. The income that results from what you do as a business. But the key notion here is long-term. Your business develops when you concentrate your efforts on creating opportunities. You want the value that you build to keep coming. Development in this sense is about setting your business up for future happiness.
Customers. Identifying the people and businesses that are a natural fit for the products and services you produce is key. Business development involves figuring out who those people are and how you will reach them.
Markets. Markets are a way to think about customers in groups. If you sell business signage (like us!) one of your markets is other business owners. Markets can be geographic: Lancaster; behavior-based: craft beer drinkers; or demographic: suburban homeowners. Developing your business requires understanding your markets and nurturing them.
Relationships. Tired of hearing us talk about relationships yet? This is absolutely the key to business success and will be the main focus of any meaningful business development plan. Your business has relationships with your employees, sales team, customers and community. Take the time to really understand those connections and you will be well on your way to success in business development.