In large organizations, business development departments are commonplace. They often have goals to increase the company revenue, build strategic partnerships and increase profitability. The people in a business development department are from a variety of employment backgrounds, such as sales, marketing, research and development, analytics and project management. In a small business, a business development department can play an important role in growing the company, too.
Before starting your business development department, it’s vital to define your goals for the new operation. For example, do you want this department to focus on increasing company revenue through any means possible, or do you want them to specifically focus on signing on new customers that can lead to future partnerships? Set new business goals that are high, but achievable and realistic. That way, you have a clear objective to work towards with your new department. Plot out the main tasks you need to do to meet your target and figure out how you will do them.
Figure out who will be taking on the business development role in your company. Whether you’re a one-person operation or a team of 50, you’ll need to assign someone to take on the new business development duties. You can hire someone new to the company that fits the skill set you need, or you can consider moving someone from another department into this one. Your business development role doesn’t need to be full time. You may also consider splitting an employee’s duties so that half of their time is spent on business development activities, while the other half is spent on marketing, for example.
Focus on the kinds of skills and knowledge you need to achieve the goals you have set for your company. Also, consider who your target market is and what you need to do to reach them. For example, if you sell hand-crafted children’s toys, you may consider someone who has experience in selling children’s merchandise and knows how to reach parents of young children through online advertising and social media marketplaces. In order to make strategic partnerships, you may want to hire someone with contacts in the one-of-a-kind craft trade show sector to help you exhibit your goods at events where they can be seen by their target market. Focus on the specific skills the business development role will need in order to grow your business.
Doing it all yourself certainly has its benefits, but there is also a plus to seeking help from the experts. Account for your skills and your employees’ skills, and figure out what is missing. If you have a background in sales and analytics but are missing the marketing aspect, you may want to speak with a small business marketing expert to understand what promotion strategies you can use to further your business development plans.