Business development is the strategic approach that you need to take that sets out a plan on how to grow your business. The strategy involved with business development requires focused attention that looks to dig deep into the community, examining opportunities that need your firm’s services.
Let’s take a brief look at each of the components of business development. A few have been combined due to the more common understanding of the items and the brevity needed in this article. For more information on any of the items please contact me.
Marketing, sales, advertising
Should your business have a marketing strategy? Yes! Should you look for ways to enhance your sales? Yes! Should you spend money on advertising? After a review of where to spend your money … YES!
However, each of the three items is better leveraged after some of the other components are in place and providing better information and insights into your market opportunities.
Spending time and money on research is perhaps the best investment you can make. Research is also not as expensive as you might think. First of all, there is ample information available on the Internet. Several companies provide reams of information at a cost that is often more than justified by winning just one or two additional jobs a year.
Also, most colleges and universities are full of students that are available to do research for you due to class projects. Even if you have to pay a student to research, the cost is often little more than minimum wage.
You need to track your sales efforts. This can include tracking how many bids you complete, how many you win and the dollar value of each. You might also track how long such sales cycles are to determine the amount of time that is involved. You should track all of this by geographical areas, industry types and by range of dollar amount.
The benchmarking allows you to compare your current numbers with past numbers. This can begin to point you into decisions based on your company’s successes and failures and point to where you need to focus your firm’s sales, marketing and advertising dollars.
Business development also considers where in the community the organization should be more active. Business development is really about opening up the right doors and establishing the relationships that can benefit the company.
Public relations focuses on how to make your company more visible. The effort might be as simple as placing an announcement in your local newspaper about the newly hired chief financial officer for your company or as complex as paying for a radio advertisement about your newest office grand opening. Public relations examines all the means to getting the word out to the public or your potential client base about your company.
Internal resource alignment
Business development should regularly consider who is on staff, what the strengths are of the company, and then look for means to leverage those resources to help grow the business.
I have regularly worked with contractors who proved without a doubt that their field leaders, whether superintendents, supervisors or foremen were terrific with clients.
Customers would take the time to write notes of appreciation about the professionalism experienced with the leader and their crew. Yet the contractor did little with such feedback, sometimes not even letting their employees know.
If you have terrific field leaders, utilize them in your business development. Build them into your sales efforts. Leverage such strengths in your overall plan to grow the business. New prospects will appreciate knowing about the people who will be performing their work.
Business development done right is important. It is an entire discipline that when exercised appropriately can open the door to greater business opportunities than any contractor can imagine.