Improving sustainable growth, independent and profitability is the goal of business development strategy. That is a long journey. It is a marathon, not a sprint running. So it is important to define actionable step by step business development program based on best practices. An internal team can create the strategy, but also they can ask the external consultant.
Business development is the creation of long-term value by identifying opportunity, threat, strength, and weakness. Then organization makes most suitable respond, so make the fit between customer segment, organization capability, and sustainability. It consists strategic planning, marketing planning, and standardization of organization.
This step by step procedure can apply to existing running business and also startup owner. It also helps what does a business development manager do.
Business development has several steps. I write steps in question style so the answer is progress and important steps to improve business development strategy. It is overview article about business development strategy, and I will break down later.
- What are your business and its vision (business vision and mission)
- Who is the customer that your business serve? (market segment)
- What are your business model and competitive strategy? (business model)
- How to Empower your team?
- The way of thinking and procedures to deliver your value to the customer? (marketing plan)
- How to make your business running without you? (systemize or business independence)
- Creating business system consist organization, tool, and knowledge that support Best Offer? (organization, tool, and knowledge)
- How to Measure daily business and adjust strategy? (Key Performance Indicator and Improvement)
First Business Development Strategy: Vision and Mission
Writing down vision, mission and goal are powerful, so it is first part of business development strategy. The writing combine imagination and reason. Dr. Gail Mattews found the amazing discovery that they who wrote their goal regularly achieved those achievements more.
So it is important to define the personal vision, mission, and goals of the business owners. The goal helps us and team to focus on the goal and eliminate distraction. It also empowers our motivation to reach our goals. Without a clear vision, mission, and goals, there is no hope.
To accomplish vision, mission, and goal, it is important to consider current financial and non-financial position of the business. It helps to find an easy way to reach goals and find which area that needs to fix and to improve. Identify position of business also important to identify strengths weaknesses opportunities and threats facing the business. It helps business to develops an action plan to make progress.
Identify Market Segment
No business without transaction between business and customer. And no transaction without offering something that fit with their need, want and expect. So it is vital for a business development strategy to prioritize and understand Customers, Products, and Markets.
Team Customer Focus
To growing business, it is important to improve the level of team customer focus and commitment. Business growth depends on customer satisfaction. So all team has to support product and service that satisfy them. Team Customer focus is level how team prioritizes customer interest. It is about understanding and commitment to the customer. So measure and fix it. Assess the current level of internal customer focus, then make an improvement.
Make sure all team member understand about need, want and expects of the customer. They learn the perspective of customer thinking about their task, problem, gain and how products solve their problem.
Also, identify which strong point of products that suit to customer expectation. Why your customer love your products? We find their answer, their perspective, not our perspective.
Business owner and team take care of the needs and wants of the customers. We learn what the customers think the business does really well. We want to know what is the important feature of our products that they like and need. What features that need to improve, according to by them. and where they would like to see improvements.
Target Market Segment
One of the business ideas to make the marketing more efficient is decide specific target market. Don’t sell to everyone, it can exhaust time and money. Choose who customer segment group that you try to attract? Choose best-fit customer segment. It means, you can give service and products, and they can buy at best price for you. Best price for you mean more expensive. It is most effective to focus on a narrow target market. Niche market. But don’t too small so you can not achieve your business goals.
Research their job, task, the problem that they want to accomplish. Find their most high-cost task, their pain, and their hope. How they solve their problem? What product and behavior that they choose. The more you understand concerning your target market, the more you can attract their attention and tell how you can support them. What is a message that triggers them to act? What is their painful problem? How they find reputable information to solve? What are several options to solve their problem?
The Business Model
A business model is a business idea for how it will produce profits. A business model explains the basic thinking of how a business organization produces, delivers, and get value, in society landscape or the environment. It defines value proposition that they offer for a specific market. It is more powerful if value proposition offers something that can compete in that market.
The value proposition is not enough. It is just promising. The business also has an idea to implement by material, procedure, supplier, and management to arrange it in term customer satisfaction and financial.
The scope of Business Model
To create a business model, it is important to understand:
- the characteristics of the environment that the business competes in;
- Important the key influences on the business;
- Set a competitive strategy; Give customer reason why they choose your offer.
- Draft the profit-loss model based on cost structure and revenue ;
- Understand the investment and working capital that business need;
- Documenting it in the business model first, and strategic business plan later.
- Update business model in the process if you find new insight and experience. Business model and plan based on the untested assumption. If you
The competitive strategy usually converts to value proposition or positioning. That is helpful to define persuasive copywriting. Value proposition define: what benefit that you offer, what makes you different? Why is that better for your target market segment to choose you? Are you the most efficient cost compare to another alternative?
The value proposition is a promise or positioning. It needs to be true, real, provable and important to the customer segment market. Create a procedure and material specification that makes it real. Write the value proposition. It is material for a marketing message. David Ogilvy said that positioning is an important factor for persuasive advertising. Advertising is not art. It is selling messages.
Empower Company Team Member
Level of team happiness and motivation is one of several key factors to business development strategy. Because team creates great products and service. The good motivation of team has a deep impact on product and service to the customer. Understand current levels & motivations of team happiness give the insight to improve business.
A good level of team happiness and motivation have
- a good commitment to customers;
- Low level of internal conflict
- Good engaging communication each other in the team member
- Create an atmosphere of a learning environment for business team
- Set Balance Scorecard, Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and team performance standards; and
- Orchestrating all business by the Great Leadership
The Strategic Marketing Plan
Dr. Philip Kotler defines marketing as “the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential.
When we identify a target market and creating products, that is marketing. Major marketing task is to create a sustainable business transaction, by communicating and adjusting the business to a target market. Marketing is action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising. It also combines hard selling and soft selling. to persuade. Copywriting template can help you to create persuasive copywriting.
The strategic marketing plan consists market analysis, SWOT analysis, market selection, product and service formulation, and marketing strategy and promotion and distribution programs. It is include rethinking product and market fit, pricing strategy or guarantee. It also has the schedule of the marketing plan.
Systematize as Business Development Strategy
The important strategy to develop business is systematize or business independent. We systematize the business to run with little or no owner involvement. How to do it? The business owner can do it by standardizing routine decision, so the team member can do it with minimum business owner involvement.
Michael Gerber said in the book E-Myth:
Work on the business, not in the business.
It means, he suggests creating a business system, not just fix the daily problem. Business owner creates and improves the business system and standard. Business system and standard include production, offices, finance, quality control. The owner delegates his / her work to the team and clarifies team member role. The system also open to adjustment to the new situation and improvement. So it also systemizes and standardizes innovation for continues improvement. If there is a bottleneck that blocks the process, the system also fixes it.
Business Independent is the vital part of business development strategy. That is vital because, if a business system can run well with minimum involvement of owner, the business can multiply in several places.
The Organization, Tool, and Innovation
Vision is mind in business development strategy. Then, the organization is the body to fulfill the soul. Business systemization involves the preparation of organizational structures and the delegation of authority. Standardize business processes in standard operating procedures. The business system also includes standard equipment utilization.
Structure of organization creates a pattern of conduct in the team member. Make sure the structure support the best service for a customer by the suitable role of team member and simplify business process.
Monitoring Continuous Improvement
Finally, business development program monitor and make continuous improvement. We decide business system and standard not for once for a lifetime. After we launch system and standard, we measure key performance indicator or the progress of every department by the balanced scorecard. If some of the tasks are not running well, we fix and improve the standard. We keep the improvement process going but also standardize tested decision.