Once you started your own company or were brought on to lead one, there’s no looking back. Every day, the work is about looking forward and considering how to not only keep the business going, but to build upon all the achievements made thus far. As you pursue growth and continued success at your company, here is how to build your goals around business development.

The Goals of Business Development

The goals you set under business development may depend on your definition of it. Some people view it as sales and marketing, or just sales, while others believe it has more to do building up partnerships or acquiring customers.

Consider what you put under the umbrella of business development:

  • Increasing revenue
  • Increasing marketing share
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Increasing demand of your products or services
  • Entering new markets
  • Expanding your presence in a geography or market

Key Steps Toward Effective Business Development

Smart growth of the business and expanding your reach requires regular evaluations of what’s working, what’s not, and where improvements can be made. Should current priorities shift? Will current efforts toward certain goals lead to noticeable profit? The needle is always moving as the company establishes its foothold in its market and the need to demonstrate growth persists. Here are some of the areas to pay attention to and continue to improve upon under the umbrella of business development:

Strengthen your partner ecosystem. Who you know matters as you make progress on growing the business. When you connect with partners and experts who want the best for your company, you may be less likely to miss out on opportunities.

Look for service providers who view themselves as trusted advisors—they prioritize what’s best for their clients, and if they don’t have the expertise themselves they can connect you with companies they know and highly recommend. When this up-front building up of an ecosystem occurs early on in a business lifecycle, the company can be set up to act quickly when the time comes to act, whether that means priming the business for an acquisition, which will require multiple experts to make happen, or pursuing funding or another strategic change.

Be flexible. Having a strong ecosystem can enable nimbleness as can a concerted effort to build in flexibility to the business. For some companies, this may entail outsourcing some services, such as finance and accounting, and marketing, as the business grows. Outsourcing for specialized expertise and skills means a company can make progress and get the work done but not take on the risk of overhiring.

Unite the marketing and sales teams. Misalignment between the sales and marketing organizations is prevalent but can also be detrimental to growth. If they’re operating toward separate goals, or a misunderstanding of what their priorities are, it’s going to show up in the company’s ability to reach its overarching goals. Do they understand, and have they been included, in the company’s main objectives?

Sometimes an outside, expert perspective can speed up and help to effectively unite these organizations on the same goal path, rather than continue to operate toward separate destinations.

Do the research. Market research is necessary even if it affirms some of your assumptions about consumer behavior and current market trends that can affect the success of your new product or company.

Within such studies and surveys you may uncover issues you haven’t considered and ideas that you could take advantage of to make more of an impact in the marketplace. Younger companies sometimes fall into the trap of believing so much in the innovativeness of their app or device or service that they fail to put in the effort to know if there is actual demand for it. Or you may find that your view of your customers is off—and it’s actually another demographic that you need to target in your marketing messaging.

Know your competition. This is another area where an outside perspective can give you a truer picture than you may get from within. If they are experts in your industry and/or know how to get at this information, they can provide an objective, real view of what you need to know in terms of your current competition, who’s lurking to encroach on your space, and potentially ideas on how to fend them off. A full picture is needed to fine-tune your competitive strategy.

Know your customers. Customer behavior changes on a whim. Companies often have an idea of who they want their customers to be, but they can sometimes end up being someone else—or their customer base may in fact be too diverse and they should pare it down to first focus on one slice of the market over another. Should you aim your marketing efforts toward the younger crowd? Or should your B2B company be focused on enterprises rather than smaller companies?

What Is the Objective of Business Development?

Ultimately, the company needs to be constantly improving, from improving profits to improving how it operates to improving the understanding of the market. This requires ongoing understanding of who your products or services can benefit, crafting effective messages to make that clear to them, and aligning finance and marketing goals with the overall corporate goals. SMART goals can help with this, to refine KPIs. You also want outside experts who can help you make sense of what’s going on today and what’s possible tomorrow. That’s where we come in. For your finance and accounting, and marketing questions and insights, reach out to RoseRyan.