The secret to continuous growth in business isn’t a magic bullet. It’s not about engaging in random activities and getting lucky, it’s more about knowing what you’re doing and why. That may sound obvious, but it really is an essential part of being successful in growing your business, whether it be as a start-up or when moving into an existing industry or market space.
In this post we will look at five key business development activities every business must undertake to unlock growth:
- Establishing a model for value creation and capture.
- Understanding and analyzing your market
- Understanding your customer and how they want to be served by you –
- Building relationships with key people within your industry, who can help you grow faster than anyone else
- Attracting the right customers for your business, etc.
But before we sink our teeth into that, we must lay a foundation by first defining business development and its role in a business.
What is Business Development?
There are a plethora of definitions of what business development is out there, but one I have come to adopt is the definition that explains business development as the aspect of business that deals with the act of creating value, building growth opportunities, and establishing long-term relationships for a business.
This could involve identifying, attracting, and engaging new customers, partners, and investors, all for the purpose of value creation for the business.
The Role of Business Development in a Company
Following our definition of business development, clearly elucidates the role of business development in a company. But for further emphasis, the role of business development in a company can be best explained by the following points:
- It helps identify, attract, and engage new customers, partners, and investors for value creation.
- It helps in expanding the reach of a business by creating several growth opportunities.
- It helps in maximizing the potential of every business opportunity without compromising on quality or standards.
- It helps in creating and establishing long-term strategic business relationships.
Business development is a critical component of any business.
You must have a solid understanding of how important this activity is for your company so you can make sure it happens in every area of your organization.
The 5 Key Business Development Activities Necessary for Every Business Growth
While there are various activities a business must carry out to survive, these 5 business development activities are essential to the growth of every business.
- Business model design
- Market research
- SWOT analysis
- Ecosystem mapping
- Lead generation
1. Business Model Design
For any business to be able to create value for itself and its customers, it has to operate a clearly defined business model.
Business model design is a process that is used to create a business model. The goal of business model design is to establish an effective way for your business to make money while creating and delivering value to your target customers.
Business model design helps you understand your customers and their pain points, what they perceive as value, and how to deliver that value to them while building and maintaining a relationship. It helps you define how best to sell to your customers, and what resources and partnerships are required to create value for your customers and for your business.
Business models are designed to meet customer needs and fulfill the needs of other stakeholders within an organization.
2. Market Research
Market research is a critical part of business development and growth activity. The goal of market research is to understand the needs and wants of your customers and that of the market as a whole.
Market research includes understanding trends in the industry and identifying gaps that can be filled by your business. It can help you determine what products and services are most in demand by your target audience, the price points they are willing to pay for those products and services, where they buy them currently, and how much time they spend researching different options.
Amidst all these, market research gives you key insight into your competitor’s activities.
3. SWOT Analysis
SWOT analysis is a tool that helps you identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that affect your business. A SWOT analysis can also be used to help you think about the strengths and weaknesses of your company as well as opportunities for growth in the future.
Strengths are internal factors that enhance your ability to compete. They can include size, experience, reputation, and a skilled workforce.
Weaknesses are internal factors that limit the ability of a company to compete. They can include pricing power, lack of resources, and a weak brand.
Opportunities are external factors that create new business opportunities. They can include changes in government regulations, demographic shifts in the population, or new technologies.
Threats are external factors that threaten your ability to compete effectively. They may include competitors who offer similar products at lower prices or companies that have a better reputation for quality than yours, a change in government policy affecting your business, etc.
The analysis is not a one-time activity. It’s something you should do at least once a year and more often if there are significant changes in your business or industry.
4. Ecosystem Mapping
Ecosystem mapping is a key business development activity for every business. It involves identifying potential stakeholders – individuals, and organizations that can bring you closer to your end customers and assist in creating more value for them. Generally speaking, you should look at institutions, media, companies offering complementary services, influencers, etc.
A strong and healthy ecosystem gives you a greater chance of success by providing a bird’s eye view of all the necessary collaborations and partnerships needed to meet your strategic business goals.
5. Lead Generation
Lead generation is the process of generating leads. Leads are potential customers, who you need to contact and convert into paying customers.
While lead generation is a fundamental activity in every business, it becomes even more effective when as part of your business development activity, you create a lead-generating system.
A lead-generating system can be as simple as creating call-to-action buttons on your social media, creating lead magnets, or even cold calling. Depending on what works best for your business and customers.
Other Important Business Development Activities
Developing new business relationships
Developing new business relationships and managing existing ones is a very important business development activity to unlocking growth for your company.
Business relationships are essential for companies to grow because they allow you to build trust between each other and provide value for each other’s products and services.
Identifying growth opportunities
The best way to do this is by identifying what your business needs to grow and by understanding the factors that will impact its growth. You can then use this information as a starting point for developing a strategy that will help you meet those needs. The first step in identifying growth opportunities is evaluating them based on four key areas:
- What are our current customers looking for? This includes understanding their needs and preferences, as well as how they interact with our product or service.
- What new products or services should we offer? We need to identify both existing opportunities (i.e., new products) and unforeseen ones (i.e., increased demand).
- What are the current and coming trends in the industry?
- How can we deliver an exceptional customer experience? This includes looking at how customers currently interact with us and finding ways to improve those interactions using technology.
Business Development Activities Are Essential To Unlocking Growth
The importance of the business development activities listed above cannot be understated. Without them, your business will never reach its full potential.
Those activities will help you identify and close new deals with existing customers and potential partners so that you can increase sales volumes and profit margins in the future. This is because these activities provide valuable information about your customer’s needs, which allows you to offer them the best possible solution for their problem or issue at hand.
In conclusion, business development is an important aspect of any company’s growth. It’s important to understand the role of business development in your business, how to identify market opportunities and how to develop new business relationships with your target audience. The purpose of this post was not only to inform you about these activities but also to allow you to reflect on what kind of activities are currently being done at your company and how they could be improved upon for them to unlock growth in the future.