Business development can be defined as the activities, ideas and initiatives a business undertakes with a view to growth. Growth strategies may include building strategic partnerships to increase profitability, expanding the business, increasing revenue streams and making strategic decisions. Marcel Kooter has worked in business development, with a focus on forging key strategic partnerships within the global oil industry.

Business development encompasses all departments and areas of a company, which may take different routes but are all working towards the same goals. Business development requires careful planning, stamina and focus, but when implemented correctly can be one of the fastest ways to instigate growth within a business.

Building Trust and Value

One of the primary goals of any business development strategy is the building of trust. When a customer trusts a brand or company, they are more likely to offer repeat business and to recommend products or services to others. Trust is built through transparency, honesty and the public actions of a company. When value is added to each customer relationship, those relationships grow and in turn so does the business. The businesses that see the most success are often those that focus on treating their customers fairly and adding value by providing knowledge, advice and information as well as a good product or service.

Evaluating the Competition

Knowing the competition is not simply about knowing what other similar companies are called and what they sell. One of the most powerful tools for business development is being able to identify what makes competitors stand out from the crowd and using this information to add value to the products and services of the business being developed. Thorough analysis of what the competition has to offer leads to a better idea of how to create products and deliver customer service that goes above and beyond, creating memorable experiences for each customer.

The PDF attachment explores the entry requirements, including education and qualifications, that may be required by companies seeking new business development executives.

Establishing Credibility

Credibility can be tricky to establish in the early stages of running a business. In the long term, a proven track record will begin to speak for itself, but in the early days many businesses rely on testimonials from customers to develop relationships with new customers. Using these testimonials wisely can help. For example, when the prospective target is a mid-sized company, testimonials from similar sized companies will usually work better than testimonials from the largest client on the books, even if they are the ones who have the longest relationship with the business.

Handling Online Reviews

Customers today are likely to spend time reading reviews of any product or service they are considering purchasing online before they commit to buying anything. Some of the statistics for online reviews can be found in the infographic attachment to this post.

It is therefore vital that any business looking to succeed and grow pays attention to its online reviews. Setting up something such as a Google Alert can help businesses to monitor reviews and respond efficiently wherever necessary. Fast and helpful responses to negative reviews can in fact help promote the business and even attract new business, by engendering goodwill with a visibly caring attitude.

Reviews are not the only area online that a company needs to pay attention to. A website is often the first port of call for business customers, so maintaining a quality website is also important. You can find out why by watching the embedded short video.