If you ask 100 people what they think business development is, then you probably get 100 different idea’s or suggestions. So chances are that even your own view of business development isn’t completely aligned with others in your organization unless you’ve taken special and unusual steps to make it so.
Either you’re a business owner, involved in business development or just interested in discovering more, you probably inherited your view of business development from your business experience. Extract from different search engines like Google, Bing etc, make it by yourself or perhaps used a mixture of all.
What is Business Development?
Is it actually related to business growth or with the sales or does it have anything to do with your business strategy? Maybe.
If you’re thinking that business is a serious matter, then I am totally with you. Professional wrestling is a serious game ( and a big money business). It has a purpose ( Defeat your opponent by pin or knockout), it has rules and it’s clear what winning looks like ( & the winner gets prizes!). Think about business like that & it totally fun.
Given the different ideas, people hold about business development, having a definition is useful. Here’s mine:
Definition: Business Development is the routine or discipline required to achieve growth through the investment of profitable net new customers & expansion of existing customers.
So from the above definition, it’s clear that business development is concerned with the growth of the company & most companies achieve that growth by getting new customers.
Even if you grow by investment, you’re still, at the root of it, acquiring new customers. Never neglect the opportunity for the growth that lies within in your existing customers.
Business Development gives you a disciplined approach to creating your offer in the market, acquiring customers, developing them to enhance your success.
How is Business Development Different from Selling?
A lot of people equate business development with selling, but in fact, selling is just one of its functions, not the whole thing.
Selling is one of the parts of business development.
Sales are the art of presenting a solution to a prospective customer’s need & getting to a transaction, where the customer ‘buys’ your solution.
Business Development is the much broader term. To develop a business, you have to create solutions to the problems that are sufficiently common in the marketplace for you to build a viable business. Then you have to figure out how to take that offer to the marketplace & generate revenue from that offers.
Business Development Encircles:
- What’s your Offer: Your solution for the problem of your customers or main reason your business exists.
- Marketing: All different kinds of marketing like Digital marketing, Internet Marketing, Affiliate Marketing etc to tell the market about your offer & your business exists.
- Selling: Acquiring new customers.
- Customer Managment: Delivering your solution so that you retain in the market, then Expand your customer base.
- Partnerships: Join with other big companies or firms to expand your opportunities. For Example, if you are selling clothes or Shoe then do a partnership with Macy’s, DSW, Nordstrom Etc.
- Feedback: Take Opinions from your customers & partners to improve your offers.
Business Development is recurrent – Feedback – Improve – Enhance performance.
People always buy because they have needs or they want to buy for luxury. Like “I want to buy S-Class 550 on my birthday is a need. I need to show myself that I can buy this costly product & everyone else. I need to look good to the friends & neighbors(‘did you see that car he bought!’). Business Experience needs a problem to be solved. So the purpose of selling is nothing just solves your customer’s needs.