So many professional service firms we meet bemoan the track record of most of their folk in developing new work and new clients in attractive niches. Another dynamic of this is that it can be difficult to admit that sometimes we need help, or it could be that upper management would take a dim view of our abilities if we asked for outside help with our internal processes. Incubators often employ a selective screening process assessing the feasibility and workability of the business plan of incubatee prospects before letting hem join the program.
We must first look at the business development process itself. During this phase of its existence, businesses experience expansion of its activities and enhancement of its customer base. Large management consulting firms offer a more diverse set of services compared to boutique consulting firms and are often international in scope.
Firms of all sizes will sometimes find that they lack a particular skill or area of expertise, and seek the advice of a specialist. In the table below a classification of business development institutions are plotted out, based on the various stages in the company life cycle.
Ironically, it’s the most expensive option, with ‘front of the line’ service and unlimited consulting with partners in the firm that sells the most. Moreover, the job of a business developer is highly cross functional, as it requires collaboration with various internal and partner-company teams such as sales, engineering, and marketing to ensure that a deal is consummated.
Business development requires a multi-disciplinary approach and there is no ‘one size fits all’ strategy. If the case exists where the top level business strategies have not been clearly defined and there are significant online marketing activities in terms of social media interaction, paid advertising and content creation and publication for search engine marketing purposes then the conclusion may be drawn that as a consequence there is no real foundation on which to base the digital marketing activities.
One important aspect of the BD process is that it is most effective as a closed-loop system, in which the Operations Phase information feeds into the Positioning Phase for an ever-changing system that quickly reacts to changing conditions in the marketplace.
An effective business development approach is to encompass several major steps in the evaluating process including: your identification of the opportunity; what are your committed resources; the actual development of your business proposal; market evaluation; competition; and your time restraints.
The Business Development Strategy is used to underpin your main Business Plan and essentially it sets out a standard approach for developing new opportunities, either from within existing accounts or by proactively targeting brand new potential accounts and then working to close them. These are but a few of that which we consider to be business fundamentals and how these key business imperatives dovetail into the core internet marketing activities are fundamentally important to the organisation’s overall marketing activities effectiveness.
Managing a business development team member is similar to a sales team member in many respects. Hiring a business development person is different than finding a sales person for your team. Overall, boutique consulting firms focus on a limited scope of industries, and resolve business issues quicker than large management consulting firms that require more time for a specific project.
Lastly, the value of business development services is discussed from the perspective of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). A company spends varying amounts of time in an incubation program depending the type of business and the entrepreneur’s level of business expertise.
What is business development? In many cases this role is a liaison between sales, marketing, procurement, and management. It might be hard to decide if and when to use various business development services. For example, life science and other firms with R&D cycles require more time in an incubation program service companies.
Many separate workgroups or business units support the BD process, from corporate management to the operations staff to production personnel and administrative staff inside the company, to third party Subject Matter Experts (SME) or professional proposal preparation personnel like those provided by third party consulting firms.
How To Create An Effective Business Development Strategy
So many professional service firms we meet bemoan the track record of most of their folk in developing new work and new clients in attractive niches. Boutique consulting firms offer organizations highly specialized advice that addresses specific problems or aspects of a business. The inevitable is cash flow drying up and losses mount up. Most businesses fold up during this phase. Failing to do this a common problem with companies and their sales teams and even more so with business development professionals as the relationships they have and bringing to the table are often held tightly and not given up easily.
One way or another, these institutions interact with companies on their growth journey and provide all kinds of resources to support them, including funding and physical work spaces (offices), professional support, advice and mentoring, tools and frameworks, strategy development and operations efficiency, and access to important networks in the business ecosystem.
Fees under management, outside personal billings, own workgroup, and practice group – that is, relationship management value contributing to the rest of firm and indicative of spread of fees and services.