What is Business Development and Why Should it Matter?

Business development seems to be one of those terms that means different things to different people, everything from sales, to marketing and hustling. There are many misunderstandings out there that I wanted to write this blog highlighting what business development actually is, and why you should be taking it seriously.

Business development is the strategic approach to business growth that creates long-term value and sustainability by looking at each of the key elements of business planning, marketing, sales, client management, strategic relationships and project management and how they come together to make your business a success.

Wow, that was a mouthful! Essentially, it’s the glue that holds everything together to form the strong foundation on which your business can grow.

There’s more to business development than sales and marketing

I’ve seen so many businesses use the title “business development manager” for their sales posts that I’m not surprised some people associate the two.

It’s true that part of business development is about looking at the role sales play within your business plan but it’s also about how the other key elements work together to maximise your efforts and ensure a strong return on your investment.

The other myth I hear about business development is that it’s just marketing. Just like with sales, marketing is an important piece of the puzzle.  In order to grow you need more customers and the best way to achieve that is through marketing.

Marketing and sales are both pieces of a much bigger picture. While marketing can attract more custom if the other key pieces aren’t working well, then the results are likely to be short term or completely ineffective. For marketing to generate new customers you need a strong sales strategy and be able to convert interest into clients.

Those clients then need to be managed well and feel looked after to stay as customers and what they receive for their money needs to be what they were expecting, otherwise they’ll quickly look elsewhere. This is where strategic partnerships with other business owners can be effective at helping you to manage your workload by exchanging tasks and using each other’s expertise for mutual benefit.

You see how everything interconnects and must work together to get results? That’s what business development is really about, ensuring each element in your business is working well to support the others.

A business development consultant won’t act as your coach or mentor

Picture of business development consultant Jade Brindley in a strategy meetingAnother common misunderstanding is that business development consultants are coaches that will help you grow and develop as a business owner.

Having a strong business development plan will help you as a business owner. Knowing that your business is working well and that you have a strategy in place to make it even better will give you the confidence necessary to develop your personal sales skills, self-esteem and be rid of that dreaded imposter syndrome.

While working with a business development consultant can help you resolve some of these issues, working directly with an experienced business coach will help you in uncovering and developing those self-development skills that’ll make your business more successful.

A business development consultant can help you by highlighting your unique selling point, guiding your sales and marketing strategy to be more personal and guiding you into delivering fantastic personalised customer experiences to retain customers while attracting more. So even if you hate the idea of sales and selling, we can find the right approach for you.

Outsourcing is important for business owners

I work with businesses and companies of all shapes and sizes, so I have the privilege of seeing what works across industries, and what doesn’t. I often come across business owners trying to use tactics they’ve seen work well for others that have failed for them, often this is because those strategies are for a different industry or business type.

It can be difficult as an in-house business development manager to see the bigger picture when the demand is for sales targets to be met. The day to day running of the business can get in the way of an accurate strategic overview, without which the business can quickly stagnate and struggle to grow, or even sustain itself.

I can come in and take that strategic viewpoint that’s difficult for you to manage when you’re in your business day after day, identifying issues and creating an effective strategy that will develop your business into the direction you want it to go in.

Does that sound good to you? If you want expert advice and guidance to grow your business into the success you know it can be, get in touch with me today for a chat over coffee and we can discuss how to make your business a success.