Business development focuses on identifying an organisation’s growth opportunities and developing strategies to take advantage of those openings. As a concept, business development is a useful management tool whatever type or size of business one is working in. It comprises three key strategies:
- Business analysis
Business Analysis Strategy
In order to grow, a business needs to be able to identify new markets, new ways to improve market share and potential new business partnerships. This requires that the manager responsible for business analysis has a thorough knowledge of the market in which his or her company operates. In particular, he or she needs to be aware of the activities of competitors, technological change affecting one’s sector, legislative change and changes in consumer tastes and preferences.
Any analysis of the market one’s company operates within will lead one to the identification of a number of options and strategies for improving company performance. The critical skill of the business development professional is in analysing these options, costing them and assessing potential returns in order to recommend the best business strategy to pursue.
The two key elements of a successful sales strategy are the product and the customer. To provide a product for which there is a demand in the market requires sales staff and product development. They have to work closely together and for their joint strategy to be grounded within the framework of the company’s business development plan. A company’s sales strategy must also be responsive to customer need, so there is a requirement to have a mechanism in place to capture and analyse customer feedback.
The purpose of a marketing strategy is to ensure that the customer is made aware of one’s product or service. Taking a business development approach to one’s business strategy as a whole, will help to ensure that one gets the product development, the pricing and the customer support mechanism right. Successful marketing is, therefore, the means whereby one brings what one is able to offer to the attention of customers, with the aim of increasing sales with existing customers, signing up new customers and moving into new sections of the market.
Just as with sales and other strategies, the marketing efforts should be rooted in an overall business development plan.
Bringing it All Together
Business development should not be seen as a separate section or department within the business. Rather, it is a process that operates across the company as a whole, bringing together all of the company’s key strategies. More than anything else, business development is a dynamic process, that is integrally involved in growth, change and expansion. In that context, it can be regarded as crucial to the future prospects of any business, whatever its size or type.