What does business development really mean

We often talk about the need to 'do' business development, but rarely about what that actually means.

For me, in order to develop my business, I seek to focus on one of two areas, or both. Those areas are firstly, the value that we add to our customers and how we communicate and deliver that value, and secondly how we are doing that, through the activities we undertake and the resources we use to do that. The former is about making our products and services effective for those who consume them, and the latter is all about being efficient.

Business development areas


When we seek to be more effective, we develop the value side of our business. We change the way that our products and services deliver value to our key customers and other prospects in the segments, niche's and markets in which we operate. To do that we need to understand the way in which what we do can help those we do it for and a key constraint for business development is really understanding the people for whom what we do really adds value. How can you find that out?

When we look at the channel approach we are taking, be that direct mail, referral, social media and so on, we need to understand how to leverage those channels to best advantage. IF we can improve we will get business growth, but how do you find out about areas in which you have little or no experience?

Effectiveness is great for customers and suppliers, but what about our own business. If it's not efficient we aren't maximising our own profits and so Business Development must also drive to deliver change in this area too. We need to be reviewing the activities we undertake, and the resources that we need to undertake that activity and then driving change to improve the efficiency of those activities, and to optimise the use and consumption of resources as we undertake them. These aren't trivial challenges.

Efficient Effective organisations (EEO's)


Most EEO's have strong boards who oversee both areas of this. Directors take responsibility for ensuring effectiveness in their areas of expertise and bring their skills and experience to bear on making their businesses efficient. Smaller businesses don't have the boardroom experience nor the skills and experience in the business to do this and time and again we see businesses struggle to develop and grow.

I'm lucky. I have Ecademy Boardrooms (@EcademyBR) to help me and in the last year or so they've helped me to understand and then define and add tangible new value to our markets as well as driving me to make efficiency changes in the business.
Ecademy Boardrooms are changing business for small and entrepreneurial businesses with access to the skills that previously only big corporates could afford. Have you been to one yet?

That's business development at it's finest.


Digital Business Britain ManifestoWilliam Buist
Ecademy,

Albert Wright

albertwright-77660

What does business development really mean

Albert Wright Business Questioner and Profit Improver. I am more than comfortable with the idea that business development is about profit improvement from activities we love that are congruent with our values but every activity needs a process and part of the process is evaluation and accountability. Peer Groups and ecademy boardrooms can definitely be part of this process for many business owners.

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Chris White

chriswhite9-602738

What does business development really mean

Hi Norman, Well said. This is an interesting insight into how to really succeed in business. Although I have read that you should follow your passion when starting a new business, I had not previously applied this thought to business expansion. Upon reflection, it obviously applies equally to business expansion into new areas; We have to be sure that what we are getting into is really inspires us and is not just a way of increasing the bottom line.

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Norman Dragt

normandragt-468922

What does business development really mean

In the end business development only means two things: Making enough money with what you like to do, so you can keep doing what you like. And therein lies the danger of business development. The moment you start to do things you do not like, to develop your business, you are going to lose the battle, even if you try to be more effective in creating value for your customer and efficient in creating value for your business. Your customer will experience the value you create for him as worthless, because it is without passion. You wil experience the efficiency you created as stifling and killing your passion. So as important as it is to develop your business it is more important to understand wether that is what you want.

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Nichepro Technologies

nikil123nikki-667062

What does business development really mean

Hi... I am just adding some valuable points to Business Development. The ratio of 2/4/8/ Strategy well suits for Business Development. It explains like this: "Every Director in the firm is required to be working on "2" assignments, be in the process of proposing for "4" more, and in communication with "8" more prospective clients." Source : Mc Kinsey's & company From Ramesh Godabole www.nichesuite.com

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Alan Bowman

alanbowman-330504

What does business development really mean

Hi Steve Could not agree more that the message must be given consistently to everyone to make sure the business is focussed and all feel ownership. Cheers Alan

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Steve Waters

stevewaters-619905

What does business development really mean

I love the words that Alan uses to describe the 'Sauce of Success'. However, the experience I have of both being part of change initiated by others and initiating change myself is that it is important, if not essential, that as many members of the organisation help to construct the change, contribute to how it should be strategically delivered and are committed to its intended outcome. As I see it, the danger with 'top down' strategic development in the long-term is that the employees implementing it become disconnected from the process and their delivery of the end product can lack commitment. Social Media has led businesses to the view that collaborative ways of communicating and working in the workplace must replicate the way that we are interacting in real life - and Ecademy is an example of promoting this business model. Steve Waters

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Alan Bowman

alanbowman-330504

What does business development really mean

Hi William Business Development is straightforward once ego is removed. Directors direct and have a vision for the business that needs to be imparted to all members of staff. The Managers manage that vision and put it into practise having made sure the staff know all that is expected of them. The staff do the work having been given the information and tools to do the work. Inspiration, Application, Constancy, Consistency, Perseverance and Perspiration are the Secret Sauce of Success to developing a business and the above works.

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Kees Ampt

keesampt1-297956

What does business development really mean

What does business development really mean? My attention was drawn by the following sentences: "Effectiveness is great for customers and suppliers, but what about our own business. If it's not efficient we aren't maximising our own profits and so Business Development must also drive to deliver change in this area too." This is an interesting thought. Not only the motherhood statements about customers and suppliers but look at your own business. However, the second sentence is the curse for many companies, either large or small. I would advocate optimizing rather than maximizing our profits. The latter results too often in short term policies, trying to get nice results for stock holders. Actually nowadays that is an absolutely wrong term. People are not holding stocks but moving or shuffling stocks around for a few bucks of temporary profit. In my humble view this has been the source of the still ongoing economic crisis. With a more humane long term policy in most companies we would have had a much nicer world and no economic crisis. Too many companies were only looking at maximizing their profits, thus not investing in research & development and new technologies. Suddenly they were out of business due to new developments elsewhere. In that respect I am amazed how many companies have "put everything on the computer" but are still using traditional procedures. Quite often I see websites where I can find a form that I have to fill-in by hand, sign and forward with the ordinary snail mail. The other sides of the medal are those websites full of flash items or video's in which it takes me several minutes before I can get to any potential useful information. Once I have hit a hyperlink there is no decent way to return to the home page, while in mean time I have been moved from one site to another. Or worse, everything has just one URL but so many (hidden) frames that it will become a nightmare to retract without a complete reload and starting again from scratch. Alas, often there is no skip intro button. This is all nice for web developers but a nightmare for the users. If we believe in social media and doing business on-line, a lot should be changed in the way we build websites. This is especially true if access by different browsers or the modern pocket communication tools have to be used as well. Ecademy needs the full width of my screen. However, after the top part one third of my screen is not used anymore. Helping each other, either by boardrooms or anything else, may offer great opportunities. I sincerely hope that the focus would not be on short term profit maximization but rather long term profit optimization. [Do I have to explain what optimization could/should mean?]

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Michael Shaw

michaelshaw5-657862

What does business development really mean

always comes back to taking care of your customers and not taking them for granted

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Donna Lavin

donnalavin-435169

What does business development really mean

Who on this site can help me get my listings sold or buyers to come out? Donna Lavin, ABR, ASP,CRS, CLHS ,GR I,SRES, NAR- GREEN, e-Pro Hunter's Fairway Sotheby's International Realty 101 south Wynstone Park Dr. North Barrington, IL 60010 847-525-1788 866-416-0578 www.dlrealestate.com donnalavin@dlrealestate.com

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Simon West

simonwest

What does business development really mean

In short business development means a business that is better than it was before it was developed. How this is measured is down to the owners / Directors. In most cases this is measured in terms of increased profit. So, business development is about increasing profitability. ie: Reducing costs Increasing margins Getting more sales So, as we're all expert at finding more and more profitable business, it's simple eh :) (If you're not expert at finding more and more profitable business, maybe we need to talk...) Simon West Nett Sales LLP "Removing the pain of poor sales performance, generating new clients, retaining existing customers, relieving the stress of poor business performance." www.nett-sales.com

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Chris White

chriswhite9-602738

What does business development really mean

Hi William, Yes what you are saying makes good sense especially to the smaller enterprises. How do I get more information on Ecadamy Boardrooms? Chris White

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James Coakes

jamescoakes-61537

What does business development really mean

Business development is one of those very dangerous umbrella terms that you have to be very disciplined about using. If you go into a meeting with it on the agenda you have to commit to ending that meeting with some very specific action points:- Research new products Launch a new adwords campaign Update the database and call everyone on it The danger with business development is that, unless you decide on specific actions, you can end up having a lot of meetings and falling back on management speak. It makes people feel like managers but the business is stuck or being outpaced. Efficiency is a much used target but many people are not that efficient about approaching it. It's a bit like common sense being much less common than it should be. Questions such as; "What, specifically, does efficiency mean in this business" will help a company to get down to the actual actions and behaviours that will develop their business.

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Gordon Wheaton

gordonwheaton-294525

What does business development really mean

For me business development is about your ability to market yourself and your business. That comes nowadays from networking, of which Blackstar boardrooms play a large part and also online: social networks and of course, depending on what you want and what you have to promote, getting your story out into the media Regards Gordon

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Michel Poirier

mikepoirier-91837

What does business development really mean

I agree, personally I consider that the two elements essential to recognize whether a business project will be successful are: 1 - The potential for marketing the product or service (you must determine the value added to the customer) 2 - The expertise of the entrepreneur (we need to be sure that entrepreneur do the good actions to achive their business projects). Michel Poirier, B.Comm

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N Bhashyam

dr-nbhashyam-263898

What does business development really mean

Product/service upgradation/improvement and diversification either in product range or technology N Bhashyam

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Steve Waters

stevewaters-619905

What does business development really mean

I couldn't agree more. As someone new to the business world, I frequently read about 'developing your business' but found that most of the advice was about increasing sales or profitability or taking on more customers or hiring more staff, as if they were ends in themselves and, of themselves, would increase the value of the business. Without developing the respect, trust and social value of the business, these strategies seem to be 'old school' ways of thinking and, as my business is a start-up focusing on providing support and guidance for employees going through the process of redundancy, are largely irrelevant. My experience of being in an incubator office with young entrepreneurs and start-up businesses is that they understand the value of social media in growing their businesses and I am learning a great deal from them. Very few of them, incidentally are selling physical products - most are selling services, events or activities. I wonder if this is a reaction to the concept of what a business was in the past and to the salesman image? Steve Waters

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Vaughan Jones

vaughanjones-382995

What does business development really mean

Quite right William. Thank you for the post. I have found that everything in business should be measurable. For example, an employee's performance and value to a business can be measured on what is expected of him/her, whether he is performing to expectations, and whether he is providing any added value to the business. So too can effectiveness of products, production, processes, departments, management, resources, functions, etc. be measured; as regularly as possible. I wrote an article about running a business using a project management methodology, which defines everyone in the business's functions, related costs, expanded budgets, and more. . Here's the link: http://bit.ly/oX2wP4 Please let me know of your thoughts in this regard. Kind regards, Vaughan Jones - One for All and All for One Business Mentor 4 U Founder of : The One Life-Love-Energy Foundation Author of: One Life-Love-Energy

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nevil kapadia

nevilkapadia-96840

What does business development really mean

I would just like to add that, in the words of reknowned busines philosopher Jim Rohn, ... "Business growth seldom exceeds personal growth- work harder on yourself than you do on your business" Thought provoking? Or solid advice? Nevil Kapadia Wellness Coach Independent Herbalife Distributor Master Practitioner of NLP Would you like to sample our amazing nutrition? YES PLEASE! Who do you know who could do with some extra income working from home? YES I DO!

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Donna Lavin

donnalavin-435169

What does business development really mean

Donna Lavin, ABR, ASP,CRS, CLHS ,GR I,SRES, NAR- GREEN, e-Pro Hunter's Fairway Sotheby's International Realty 101 south Wynstone Park Dr. North Barrington, IL 60010 847-525-1788 866-416-0578 www.dlrealestate.com donnalavin@dlrealestate.com

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Donna Lavin

donnalavin-435169

What does business development really mean

You are absolutely right. My problem is staying on top of all these social sites. I need to be on the road showing properties, and marketing my listings. I feel I do not have enough time in the day. Thanks for sharing this content. Donna Lavin, ABR, ASP,CRS, CLHS ,GR I,SRES, NAR- GREEN, e-Pro Hunter's Fairway Sotheby's International Realty 101 south Wynstone Park Dr. North Barrington, IL 60010 847-525-1788 866-416-0578 www.dlrealestate.com donnalavin@dlrealestate.com

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