6 Strategies for Planning Business Development

Every company strives for long-term success, and a business development strategy is a crucial element of accomplishing that goal. Business development involves identifying, luring and attaining new customers to increase revenue and achieve growth. However, how do you plan how your company develops? Take a look at these six strategies.

1. Know Your Audience and Competition

In order to create a business development strategy, you must understand your target audience and the problem that they want your service or product to solve. This requires analyzing your service and making sure that your business plan addresses the right consumers.

On top of that, you should research your competition. Determine their product features and prices and how their services integrate with third-party services. Having a clear picture of what your competition offers allows you to better differentiate your service to your audience.

2. Establish a Budget

Although it takes money to grow your company, you don’t want to dig a financial hole. Review your financial documents and operational costs and estimates to establish a realistic budget. Make sure that you factor in facility costs, insurance and payroll. It doesn’t hurt to check your numbers against competitors to ensure that you don’t misjudge anything.

3. Create SMART Objectives

The main goal of a business development strategy is to grow your company. However, you should have specific goals that align with your plan. A good rule of thumb is to set specific, measurable, assignable, relevant and time-based objectives.

For example, if you want to increase revenue for the year by 10%, specify how your company will accomplish that and make sure that it’s relevant to your overall business development strategy. Also, assign this specific goal to a certain group of employees or a department. They’ll need a timeline for meeting the goal and a way to measure their success as well. Assigning quarterly updates can be a great way to manage objectives and track short term outcomes.

4. Perform a SWOT Analysis

Knowing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with your company is vital for planning growth. First, you need to set a goal for this SWOT analysis, such as how to reach out to new customers. Then, you can determine each SWOT element by talking with customers, business partners and your employees.

5. Choose Relevant KPIs

With your SMART goals set and your SWOT identified, you can decide how to measure your success. Some key performance indicators that you can use are revenue growth, monthly generated leads, audience reach and client satisfaction.

Make sure that the KPIs you choose are relevant to your SMART goals. In regard to the above example of 10% revenue growth, you can measure your success by how much more revenue you’ve made during the year. If your revenue isn’t on target, you could adjust your goal to make it more realistic or change your tactics for meeting that goal.

6. Determine How to Attract New Customers

With all of the above elements in place, you can decide how to appeal to new customers. Maybe you only need to network within your industry or encourage existing customers to refer others to your service or product. Perhaps you need to develop an advertising campaign or sponsorship program. Focusing on your target customer’s needs can also help in developing  a strategy to lure more people towards your product, the method that you choose should align with your mission and service.

Using these strategies, you can develop an effective plan to grow your business. Having the plan in place will make sure that all of your employees are on the same page and working in the best interest of your company.

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