Growing Your Business Development Function

By Anna Kennedy

Part of Business Development For Dummies Cheat Sheet

In a small business, people wear many hats (and not just at the holiday party!). Being ready for growth means knowing how you’re going to expand your business development function over time:

  • Have a business plan that shows how and where you expect to grow: new services, new geographies, new industries, new channels?

  • Picture your company in three years’ time. What people will you need to keep the money coming in?

  • Build an organization chart for your business development people: marketing, sales, customer management. Put names in those boxes and prioritize who you hire next.

  • Act as a team. Work out how to handle the customer from initial handshake through to completing the work.

  • Figure out where your revenue is going to come from for the next year. Existing customers? New ones? How many? What’s it going to take to achieve that?

  • Start to track the numbers – leads, opportunities, how many wins and losses.

  • Get tools. Manage your contact lists, create a pipeline of opportunities. Move from sticky notes to proper systems.

  • Get the right leadership. You eventually need specialists in marketing, sales and customer management.