Services Provided By Business Development Consultants

Before a business goes public, it must create for itself an identity. To effectively accomplish this, many businesses turn to the help of business development consultants. These professionals are able to help businesses create business plans, brands and much more. Sometimes, they help with development expansion as well as the day-to-day operations that companies carry out. Because of the services these types of consultants provide, they tend to be experienced in an assortment of business-related topics. From brand marketing to start-up budgets to brand development, there are many areas in which the consultants can be of great value.

Brand Development

There is much involved in creating a brand. From a logo to a catchy slogan, a business development consultant will be able to help with the many different brand-related aspects. By creating an effective brand, a business will be sure to establish itself as a trusting company that consumers consistently turn to when they need particular products and/or services. Many times, a business will already have an established brand, but will turn to a business development consultant to help enhance the brand. In doing this, the business is able to reach a wider audience, which helps in boosting profit levels.

Marketing Techniques and Strategies

No matter the industry a business is operating in, it will need to effectively market its products and/or services. For businesses who struggle with this aspect of running a company, it can be of the utmost value to turn to the services offered by business development consultants. From social media marketing to print marketing, the consultants can make sure that a wide variety of marketing outlets are used to increase the brand awareness of a business. Businesses that have yet to create a company website for their selves will definitely benefit from obtaining website development services from a business development consultant.

Business Expansion

Once a business has implemented an effective business plan, it is then time to attract clients and customers. To do this, the business will need to generate and follow through with leads. Generating leads can sometimes be quite difficult; however, with the help of an experience business development consultant, attracting, finding and retaining leads can be much simpler. From identifying target markets to gathering contact information, there is much involved with generating new leads, but a business development consultant can carry out a wide range of processes to ensure new leads are obtained on a consistent basis.

A successful business entrepreneur doesn’t have to possess a formal college degree; however, he or she will need a wide range of expertise knowledge relating to the business world. For some entrepreneurs, the best way to obtain this knowledge is by hiring a business development consultant. This type of consultant can be very resourceful in many business situations, including the development of effective marketing strategies and much more. For many businesses, their success is determined by the consultants that they partner with, making it very important for a professional consulting firm to be hired.

10 Essential Time Management Tips For Small Businesses

When you’re a small business owner, there isn’t a minute to spare! You no doubt have a long list of things to do and not enough time to do them all. You have to decide how many employees to hire (and then manage these employees), market your business, and a million other little details. This is why it is so important to make the most of the time you have, by managing your time efficiently.

You’ve no doubt read article after article full of time management tips in an attempt to get a handle on that to-do list and to make the most of your day so you can make your business a success! Not every tip is suited for every business owner; some tips might work for you but not for someone else. With some trial and error you can find tips that will work for you.

Here are 10 essential time management tips for small businesses. Pick a few and try them out!

1. Tracking your time is the first step toward time management. Doing this allows you to optimize the time utilized for each task and avoid the incredible time wasters that you face each day.

To do this, you don’t need fancy software or the latest smartphone. Simply carry a notebook around and write down all of your activities that occupy your time every day.

Try this for about a week. Jot down what you do and how long it takes you to do it. Are you spending half an hour making small talk with a supplier? Is your office so unorganized that it takes you half an hour to find that file that you just had? This time can really add up, and before you know it the day is over.Writing down how you spend your time helps you to see where your time goes and what changes you need to make to manage your time better.

2. Before doing anything, first thing in the morning, take the time to plan your day out. Assign a time period for everything – one hour for returning phone calls, 30 minutes to check email, etc. But don’t pack your schedule too tightly, because that’s just asking for failure. Make sure to plan your day with extra time assigned to each task (say, adding 10 minutes to each task to allow for interruptions).

3. Don’t be afraid to put up a “do not disturb” sign on your door for some time each day. “Do not disturb” also applies to your phone and email – turn both off to ensure that you can work without interruption. And, it applies to perusing the Internet and social media and other distractions – make sure that Facebook is off during the business day!

4. Along those lines, don’t feel like you have to return phone calls and answer emails right away. Include time in your daily schedule for these tasks.

5. Multi-tasking might sound like a great time management technique, but some studies show that people who multi-task actually get less done than people who focus on one task at a time. You may feel like you’re getting a lot done only to find, at the end of the day, that your to-do list is still full of items that still haven’t been crossed off. Trying to multi-task may, in the end, also cause you to feel more stressed out!

6. Celebrate those things that you have gotten done (“resolved” issues). After all, knocking things off your to-do list is a success! This also encourages you to move on and work on “unresolved issues,” by focusing your energy and managing your time.

7. Know when you can delegate tasks. This can be easier said than done if you are a Type A control freak. A good rule to follow is that if your staff can do something at least 80% as well as you could, then you know you can delegate a task with confidence.

8. Know when to say “no” and how to prioritize. Both of these things get easier with practice!

9. Get out of the perfectionist habit. Getting everything “perfect” is impossible, and trying to do so is frustrating and ultimately wastes time.

10. When you were at school concerned about grades or working for a company with a boss looking over your shoulder, did you easily managing your time? It may be that having someone holding you accountable is just what you need. Find an “accountability buddy” to encourage you to meet your deadlines and your goals.

Besides these 10 essential time management tips for small businesses, there are hundreds more out there. Don’t give up until you find a time management technique that works for you! In the end it is worth the effort.

How Much Sales Is Involved With Business Development?

If you ask a group of people what they think business development is, you would most likely get a few different answers. There is even a chance that your own view of business development and sales may be used interchangeably.

Business development involves more of a strategic approach such as strategy, marketing, customer management, and partnerships; these activities encompass about 75%-80% of the approach, and sales about 20%-25%.

When I get asked the question, does business development have something to do with sales? Yes, it does. Is it related to business growth? Most definitely it does. Does it have anything to do with business strategy? There is a good chance it does.

Business development is a culmination of these different activities but most importantly, it’s all about shifting to the point of view of the client. This will provide you with that new perspective and will have you balance your efforts across these key activities that you and your client will both need and address. Whenever you conduct your business development efforts make sure to take the perspective from the client’s point of view and try to develop a deeper understanding of what their problem is. Realize that the client only cares about one thing and that’s their own group or company’s survival and the problem that they are facing. The client is only interested in you if they identify a need/problem or pain point that you can solve and provide a solution for it. It’s the kind of value that you can provide them that will enable them to consider your firm for the project.

If your firm’s approach is strictly from a sales perspective, generally, the economy of scale is to grow as large as you can. The strategy is to sell your product or service with a clear price and value directly to an identifiable individual client.

From a Business development perspective, the economy of scale is much smaller because the approach to your service is more strategic with the intent to create a partnership. It entails cultivating a relationship with the client and provide a service that could be more cyclical by working through existing partner infrastructures.

In my 14+ years of professional experience in management consulting, business development has been stretched to encompass a wider variety of activities with the intent to stay smaller in size. In its most traditional definition it is all about developing partnerships, which often includes some sales. Whereas, strictly sales are more transaction oriented where scalability is the differentiator.

Business Development Requires a Multitude of Skills

Business development is one of the functions that every company, from inception to exit, performs at one time or another. It’s also one of the most “unbounded” roles within a company. For some companies, business development means acquiring new customers. Others, it means raising capital. And, for yet another set of people, it means to build alliances and partnerships.

Whatever the term ultimately means to anyone, it is a function that clearly requires a multitude of skills. Let’s take for example, raising money. A business development person in a small startup company would be responsible for building relationships to raise venture capital and/or general financing for startup operations. Oftentimes, the reason this function falls under business development is because the business developer is building strategic partner relationships. Some of these strategic partners deem the relationship critical to grow new business opportunities. In that respect, the strategic partner will then invest money in return for an equity stake in the startup company.

In the case of building and managing partnerships, the business development team is often called Alliances. In this example, business development or Alliance is responsible for recruiting, managing, and supporting partner companies. In addition to this, the Alliances organization would also have a responsibility for driving a certain amount of revenue through the partners, as well. This alliance function essentially builds a core ecosystem around the host company. The ecosystem effectively allows the host company to be in more markets, capture certain geographic territories, or even drive more revenue than it could on its own.

Building joint ventures is also a form of business development activity. There are times when a company needs to work together on a specific business opportunity. The opportunity could be related to driving new business in a specific country or perhaps in a particular industry. The two companies would develop an operating agreement under which they will work together. Shared revenue and expenses, team alignment and sales targets are examples of agreements created as part of this joint venture relationship.

Driving sales is another function where business development is often categorized. This is especially true when a company is first starting off in business. Many small companies categorize their sales efforts as business development rather than sales. One of the reasons for this is because the territory is new or perhaps the product line is untested with customers. The business development group is responsible then for selling new business in an uncharted environment.

Corporate development is another function often interrelated with business development. In general, though, a corporate development function handles aspects of mergers and acquisitions for a company. Their role is to identify companies that have synergistic business models and would complement the host company. In many aspects, a corporate development officer for a company has similar skill sets and experience as all of the above organizational roles.

As one can ascertain, business development is a “catch-all” term that can encompass many different roles within an organization. That said, the skill set and experience for a business development executive is fairly broad. He/she must be versed in areas, such as building partnerships, strategy, technology, geographic markets, sales, and, of course, finance. In addition, understanding the specific industry in which the company operates is icing on the proverbial cake.

The business development executive is a key contributor to the success of a company. This individual, if used properly, can help create the very foundation on which a company operates.