If you’ve finally managed to get a startup Business going, great But don’t let yourself start thinking the hard part is over and you can start taking it easy. Far from it. Things are only just getting started. Getting the business started was just the beginning. Now comes the point where you have to develop your business and make it grow. To help all you budding entrepreneurs with that, here are a few business development tips to get you going and get you growing.
1. NOT Sales
This is an important distinction to keep in mind. Business development is not sales. Sales is focused primarily on driving revenue. Business development is more of the “wheeling and dealing” aspect. It is the creation of partnerships in order to drive revenue, to increase distribution, or to better the product.
Make sure you are focusing on the right targets. Don’t take a shotgun approach and reach out to anyone who might be interested, as you can end up wasting time in meetings that go nowhere or focus on those who respond quickly out of desperation. Instead, narrow your focus and take a strategic approach. Create a short list of potential partners who will offer the most “bang for your buck”.
After targeting a company you want to partner with, get as many contacts as you can within it who know what you are offering, because you won’t know which groups within the company will be making the final decision.
Have a sponsor who will back you up and be able to give prospects solid reasons why a company should partner with you.
5. Right Person, Right Time
Choosing and hiring the right person at the right time can make a big difference and save a lot of hassle. If you’re not ready yet to hire someone in a particular area, don’t. For example, don’t hire a business development person who’s ready to make deals for you if you’re not at that stage yet.
6. Online Marketing
In this digital age, online marketing is an easy way to promote your business. It can help with not just sales but also with growing your business because with an online presence you can reach and connect with a lot of people without having to physically be present.
7. Be Flexible ➰
Be willing and able to adapt. Customers who know you will go out of your way for them will come back and will be more than will to promote you.
If opportunities arise that will benefit your company, don’t be afraid to jump at them. Watch your market and see what’s happening, and if you see something that you can take advantage of, go for it. Make sure, too, that any deals you make are providing good opportunities for your business.
9. Deal Carefully
When it comes to dealing, be sure to make your deals carefully. Have trust in your business development person to be able to tell a bad deal from a good deal. A good dealmaker will be able to identify false signals and be able to tell when a good opportunity is being masked.
10. Be Creative
As a startup, you have the ability to set your own rules when it comes to doing deals. Brainstorm and explore all possibilities. As long as the framework for the deal fits both sides, it’s worth considering.