The Basics of Business Development

Business development involves investing time and energy into a series of building blocks that add up to a visionary concern. It encompasses the goals, strategies and activities that shape business growth. Here’s a breakdown of these fundamental business components and how they impact future profits.

Sales and Marketing

For any firm to succeed, it needs a solid sales and marketing plan. Companies with high budgets can capture markets quicker and more broadly with strategies such as TV advertising, trade show presentations, distribution of free samples, cold calling and personal visits. Startups with low budgets should focus on digital marketing, print and social media.

Strategic Business Partnerships

One of the critical steps to building a market is partnering with successful companies in your region, along with other forms of networking and negotiating with local business leaders. Startups can achieve goals much faster by teaming up with more prominent players that have vast resources for building brand awareness. Another winning partnership strategy is getting assistance from legal, financial and supply chain experts.

Establishing Business Development Planning

Business development hinges on essential factors such as research, project management and product management. Planning should map out where the products will be manufactured or where the services will be based. It’s crucial to meet government compliance and industry standards across different nations and jurisdictions. Brand building requires time and careful matching of marketing channels with the target market.

The company structure needs to be well-defined and set up for cost efficiency. Conducting a cost-benefit analysis with an emphasis on cost savings yields enormous advantages. Keys to arriving at these milestones include brainstorming, SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats), as well as analysis on current industry trends and growth projections. Even more profound benefits come from customization strategies according to customer feedback, competitive analysis, and exploring market gaps.

Business Expansion

For a firm to expand physically and financially, it needs to study logistics for new facilities and outsourcing complex areas such as billing, accounting and IT services. Keys to venturing into new market disruption are conducting high-quality research of market opportunities and patents, negotiating with third-party vendors and in some cases lobbying for new laws that favor the industry.

Long Term-Outlook

Business growth results in the culmination of long-term planning and reaching milestones on schedule. Developing an exit strategy or vision for future growth can result in lucrative mergers and acquisitions, going public or attracting venture capital. It’s important to remember that business development is flexible and wide open to custom solutions, as owners and managers should always be open to constructive criticism and business model adaption to market changes.

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What Employees Want Most From Their Leaders

Thousands of employees can relate to feeling under-appreciated or feeling as though their job isn’t fulfilling. This lack of fulfillment can be a result of a chaotic work environment, poor communication between colleagues or even favoritism displayed by management. When it comes to the employees’ needs, many times they are not met which can translate to poor quality of work, unproductive work ethic, tension among peers and much more. By giving employees what they need and want, leaders can build stronger connections with their workers and also receive a better quality service from their employees. 


Employees want to trust their leaders when it comes to job assignments and judgment calls. Leaders should be decisive when making a decision and when communicating. Indecision can lead to doubts and confusion. Employees need to have confidence in their leader and also maintain the belief that their leaders are guiding them in the right direction. 

Emotional Support 

Although work is usually a formal setting, employees are still people who experience dilemmas in their personal lives. While it’s considered professional to put emotions aside for the sake of completing a job, employees want to have the freedom to express their feelings. Leaders should encourage open and transparent communication. Empathy will go a long way as trust is built between leader and employee. 

Mentoring and Effective Communication 

Being a leader isn’t just about being served. It is also very much about being of service to others, even those individuals that work for their leaders. Leaders should always see their employees and teammates to work with. This distinguishes a leader from a boss. A boss delegates tasks and tells people to do a job. A leader is willing to work with their employees and show them how to do a job. Employees greatly appreciate when their leaders take the time to mentor them through a task. Having additional support and guidance will strengthen their self-efficacy, making them more confident in their capability as well as competence. 


Employees want appreciation most. Leaders should strive to give recognition to their employees. This can be done through salary increases, bonuses, certificates of appreciation or other creative ways to show employees that their efforts are taken into consideration. Showing appreciation will make employees feel more valued, giving them even more incentive to do their best at their job.

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Sales vs. Business Development

Companies who are ready for expansion may be interested in hiring additional executive staff to manage growth. Business Development Managers and Sales Directors have different purposes within the company. These roles and similar titles have different areas of responsibility. Depending on the job description and the current phase of company growth, sales and business development officers will need to focus on very different aspects of the corporation. 

Sales Roles

There are two basic ways that companies develop sales within the organization. Outside sales personnel are responsible for obtaining new customers. They establish relationships in several different ways. Setting appointments with potential new customers and wooing them is one of the main responsibilities of the outside sales team. This crucial role is primarily tasked with introducing new prospects to the products and services offered by the company. An outside sales representative may also be responsible for visiting at-risk clients to ensure they are satisfied. 

When properly utilized, the inside sales team is also responsible for business development. This role is usually customer service and order fulfillment based. This is the second line of support for business growth. Inside sales personnel, which may be known by many different titles, offer a positive customer experience. This is a hybrid role which supports existing customers and attempts to grow the business by rounding out customer accounts. They have a soft sales role that gives them the opportunity to offer additional products and services to expand existing accounts. 

Business Development Roles

 Business development is a rather generic term that can take on several different characteristics, depending on the nature of the business. A business development manager or consultant is responsible for monitoring the growth of the business. This specialized role is tasked with a two-fold approach to business development. The priority is to add new accounts to the customer base. In order to be effective over the long term, growth spurts must be sustainable. 

Business development officers must be able to add new accounts that will not strain the business during the growth process. The second role of business development is marketing. Courting new customers requires an introduction and targeted advertising. This type of marketing also focuses on word of mouth referrals and other special promotions.

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What is Business Development?

Business development consists of a variety of different strategies and team efforts. Specialties such as marketing, sales, and market development are all a part of business development. Anything dedicated to improving a business is classified as business development. A developing business is not only able to figure out ways to increase its profitability, but it is also able to decrease costs and increase the efficiencies of its operations. There are many different parts to business development, but they all contribute to the overall health of an organization.


Nearly every department in a business is a part of the development of that business. The tasks that each department completes is usually aligned with the goals that a company has for its development. These goals can vary from business to business. Some groups make goals to expand their operations while others may make goals to offer new services to their customers. Multiple departments are typically involved in developing a business and assisting the organization with accomplishing their goals.

External Help

Not every business, especially smaller startup companies, has all of the departments that they need to develop fully. While building these internal departments should be a significant goal of a company, many external firms offer help to growing businesses. Most of these external firms cater to smaller businesses rather than larger ones and provide services that help companies build on their foundations.


Aside from its overall goal, business leaders will also need to determine several objectives during the business development process. One of the most important things that a company should understand is its position within its industry. In addition to other factors, a business should also realize who their customers are and what their customers need. Businesses need to include the number of customers, prices of products, and projected growth in their calculations. 

It takes time to develop a business properly. Many things should be taken into account before a business embarks on the adventure of business development. While companies should try to improve using their own resources, there are a variety of companies that assist businesses with their development efforts. These external companies specialize in business development and understand the steps that are necessary for effectively completing the development process.

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Components of a Successful Leadership Team

A leadership team is responsible for guiding a company through the ups and downs of the business world. The right team will make all the difference in whether or not your organization succeeds. 

Creating the right leadership team, however, is far easier said than done. You’ll be working with some of your company’s most accomplished workers, all of whom must balance their role on the team with their other duties. The following tips will help you bring your team together as they accomplish their goals. 

Choose Your Team Wisely

Most of the time, the members of the leadership team are selected for their leadership skills or individual achievements. Although these are good ways of measuring someone’s performance, they aren’t indicative of how they will work on a team. Someone may feel that they are too successful to have to listen to the differing opinions of other team members — select people who have demonstrated that they are constructive team players instead. 

The Right Purpose

For a leadership team to work together effectively, they need to have a reason. Many times, there isn’t any apparent reason. Members may feel that they’re only responsible for their direct roles. Their first focus is their main area of responsibility, and they may lose sight of why they need to work together. Your team should be committed to pursuing a higher purpose together. 

A Set of Goals

The best way to make the organization’s true purpose feel more concrete is to establish a set of shared goals for the team. They should inspire everyone and require involvement from each individual. Each person needs to feel responsible for its achievement. Your leadership team’s goals can be different from the company goals. Leadership goals could include changing the company’s culture, boosting employee engagement, or bettering the customer experience. 

Strong Relationships

The best leadership teams are composed of members who respect and support each other. If people genuinely like their team members, they are more likely to support them. They’ve earned each other’s trust and want to work together. 

Unique Strengths 

Your team should feature a diverse group from a variety of backgrounds. The members should offer complementary skills and experiences. A team composed of individuals who are too similar will rarely get anywhere or accomplish their goals. Members with different skill sets will fill any knowledge gaps and ensure that your team doesn’t get stuck. 

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Common Leadership Myths

The old models of leadership are becoming obsolete. People seek opportunities to make differences, feeling as though they matter, rather than merely going to work every day. At the same time, workforces are spreading out more, creating a need for delegation of decision-making and collaboration that those traditional leadership models cannot handle. This is creating leaders in organizations at every level. It is also showing that old leadership concepts are failing, as demonstrated by these myths that need to be debunked.

 Leadership Exists Only at the Top

Not long ago, there was a widely held belief that leadership belonged only to a couple of people, or even just one, at the peak of a power pyramid. The truth is that, in reality, the role of leadership is multidimensional. Everyone, on any particular day, moves through a spectrum of various expressions of leadership. Simply put, everyone is a leader in some way or another. When employees have a view of wider leadership, they can work together to utilize everyone’s unique talents.

Leaders are Designated From Birth

Perfectly natural-born leaders simply do not exist. Everyone has the potential of growing into a capable leader by way of seizing responsibility for actions with those who are led. A title alone does not make a leader out of someone. Fancy titles do not instantly grant the ability to connect, empower, develop, or inspire others. A true leader comes of hard work and is able to work with others and encourage them to achieve goals.

 Leaders Work Alone

There was a theory of leadership that leaders should be lone wolves, held isolated from the pack, but this has proven ineffective. Good leaders are aware that everyone has weaknesses, including themselves, and surround themselves in a group of people who can make up for their shortcomings. Effective leaders today work among their people and evoke leadership in those they lead, creating more and effective leaders.

 Leaders Can’t Afford Failure

With the belief that failure cannot be an option, growth and change stagnate. Failure is a vital piece of discovery, exploration, and the encouragement of innovation. Without taking the chance to fail, the old proven approaches must be maintained. Leaders need to embrace, admit, and even celebrate failure as a part of the path toward discovery and development.

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Qualities of a Successful Leader

It’s valuable to know the qualities of successful leaders, as this knowledge can be the foundation for entrepreneurial success. Profitable industry leaders make excellent mentors and role models for people who aspire to follow in their footsteps. Here are several traits of successful leaders that can be used to enhance one’s career as a business owner or manager.   

Basing the Business on a Vision

A manager must be a representative of his or her company and ensure that its structure and systems are carried out effectively. At the core of the company needs to be a strong vision that defines its success. Using a consistent vision for company projects is essential to getting all team members on the same page. 

Developing Strong Strategies

One of the primary tasks of a leader is to implement strong strategies that drive the organization toward meeting its goals. The qualities that help improve business strategies include forward-thinking skills, curiosity and open-mindedness. A manager must maintain a positive attitude about the future with a focus on realistic approaches to improving operations. 

Communicating Effectively with a Feeling of Team Spirit

Effective communication is one of the most essential skills for any company at all levels, from owner to customer service agents. Improving internal and external communication can help streamline business, creating a workplace of greater efficiency. Successful leaders have a desire to build winning teams, which can be felt from their interactions with team members.

Maintaining a Balanced Perspective

Someone who oversees a complex organization must be able to handle the responsibility and still enjoy leisure time. In other words, balancing professional and personal time is essential. Managers must know how to delegate responsibility so that it all doesn’t fall on themselves, while still ensuring the work gets done. A manager must understand self-management in the sense he or she must use their time and resources wisely.

Taking Responsibility

Every successful business leader is one who steers the company toward success by taking responsibility and proactive measures to improve the business. They must admit their mistakes and learn from them. They must also understand corporate governance and communicate rules to others. 

Allowing for Creativity and Innovation

Modern businesses are flexible and allow workers to contribute ideas to improve the company. Creativity and innovation are considered positives for companies looking to disrupt markets with new products. One of the keys to a successful disruptive product is to do research and find market holes that customers want but aren’t getting from existing players.

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How to Develop Leadership Skills

Are great leaders born, or are they created over time? This long-debated question has many valid points on both sides. What’s more important, however, is a leader that is open to continuing to develop their leadership skills, no matter how they got them. 


A disciplined leader is an effective leader. If you’re in a position of leadership, try to apply specific disciplines to your personal life and watch as they spill over into your work life. Those who are under your charge will take you more seriously as a leader if they see you exhibiting discipline. In your personal life, build a habit of getting up early to work out or do some other needed tasks and see how quickly you’re hitting every deadline at work. Discipline breeds discipline.

 Value Your Employees

To some, this may sound entirely too simplistic. Many people, however, have worked with a demanding boss who didn’t support them. These types of leaders are ones that don’t support their employees and may even make it almost impossible to be productive in the workplace. Take steps to ensure that you’re not one of those bosses. Make your employees feel valued, trusted, and important. 

Make sure that you take some steps  to avoid damaging the morale of those you’re leading.

Take On More Responsibility

By no means am I suggesting that you take on more than you’re able to handle, but great leaders consistently do more than the bare minimum to get by. It’s not about puffing up your accomplishments, but people around you will view you as more of a leader if they see you stepping up and doing what needs to be done even if it falls outside of your expected job description. Don’t be afraid to say “yes.”

Lead From the Behind

Great leaders aren’t afraid to follow sometimes. As a great leader, sometimes you have to look at a project and realize that you’re not the best person to lead the charge. That doesn’t mean that you have to walk away from the project! The exact opposite is true; you can take part in some projects even if you’re not the one leading. People will be more apt to follow you later if they see that you’re willing to follow.

Great leaders may be born, or they may be created, but either way, the best leaders are purposeful about improving their leadership skills.

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