Posted by Robert Half on 04 February 2014
“Business development” is a buzzword that is relentlessly overused by business books and well-meaning CEOs. Unfortunately, the ability to define and execute an effective strategy can determine whether your company contracts or grows.
A business development strategy can double as a roadmap for your business and offer powerful indicators when you veer off track, so here are five tips for creating a successful one.
Take a narrative approach
To weave a successful business development strategy, you need to start at your endpoint first. This means visualising professional and financial objectives for your business and plotting out actions that will pave the way towards your dreams. Try envisioning your business strategy as a story with a beginning, middle and climax. Applying a narrative to your company’s trajectory can help you craft a business strategy that works.
Don’t confuse strategy with tactics
It’s important to separate your business development from the steps you’ll need to take to accomplish your goals. Whether you want to double your employee base or venture into a new market, your tactics should reflect your strategy precisely and take your business where you want it to go. Before making a professional move, think about whether it reflects your strategy or appears out of left field. Your strategy should underpin your business decisions, rather than the other way around.
Tailor your strategy to your business development
It’s critical that your big-picture strategy is heavily reflected in your business development. Your plan should serve as an accurate professional compass and help you close the gap between your aspirations and where you are now. It’s equally important to allocate a timeline to your planning and adjust your strategy in line with the steps you’ll need to take next. If you add specific deadlines to your objectives, you’re more likely to kick professional goals.
Measure your progress
Business development is pointless if you can’t measure outcomes or establish clear KPIs. This is why it’s worth compiling a list of success indicators for every aspect of your business and ensuring you’re achieving these along the way. It’s also vital to assign separate markers to business elements such as customer satisfaction, employee retention and financial growth. If you assess the specific requirements of each area, you’ll have a better chance of helping your company soar.
Make room for evolution
The best strategies are those that make room for transformation, evolution and growth. Revisit your strategy yearly and ensure it incorporates new directions as well as business ebbs and flows. Your strategy should be a living, breathing reflection of your business – don’t be afraid to make adjustments along the way. The most successful strategies are those that are always focused on progress and make the most of the opportunities that you may not have anticipated.
What steps do you take to tailor an effective business development strategy?