Starting a business or freelancing has become a trendy thing nowadays. Many young and ambitious minds try to capitalize on their unique skills to make a living. However, only some people who start a business are fully equipped to handle business development.
Most entrepreneurs and freelancers need to understand what business development entails and how to execute it effectively. This blog post is meant to enlighten you on what most startups and freelancers don’t understand about business development.
Good to Great
by Jim Collins
⏱ 16 minutes reading time
🎧 Audio version available
Business Development is not Sales
Many people need clarification about the difference between business development and sales. Sales involve direct client transactions, while business development involves creating and maintaining relationships with clients to foster long-term partnerships. In addition, while sales focus on pitching a product or service to a customer, business development focuses on understanding the customer’s needs and providing value beyond the product or service.
Business Development requires a Strategic Approach
Developing a business requires an intentional and strategic approach. Unfortunately, many startups and freelancers rely on chance encounters and unstructured networking events to find clients. However, business development requires a well-documented plan with clear objectives and actions. In addition, you must understand your target market, create a value proposition that differentiates you from the competition, and create a communication strategy that resonates with your clients.
Business Development is a Continuous Process
Business development does not end when you close a deal or acquire a new client. It is a continuous process that requires dedication and persistence. You must continually identify new opportunities, improve your value propositions, and keep your client relationships fresh and engaging. Business development demands that you maintain a concerted effort to find new opportunities and retain the ones you already have.
Business Development Requires Collaboration
As an entrepreneur or freelancer, you may think you can handle all aspects of your business alone. However, business development requires collaboration with internal and external stakeholders. You must involve your team in the business development process, communicate the value proposition, and delegate some tasks to team members with specific talents. Additionally, you must collaborate with clients, industry experts, and strategic partners to achieve your business development goals.
Startup Business Development and Customer Success are Interlinked
Developing new business requires maintaining existing ones. Business development is not just about acquiring new customers but also about nurturing existing ones to ensure their continued success. As you generate new business opportunities, you must also remember to provide value to your existing clients. This will help your clients refer your business to others and create long-term advocacy.
Related: Can Business Leadership Skills Be Learned Or Are Great Entrepreneurs Born
Business development is the lifeblood of any startup or freelancer’s success. It requires a strategic approach, deliberate planning, tenacity, collaboration, and a focus on the customer’s needs and success.
Understanding these essential factors of business development can help startups and freelancers differentiate themselves from their competition, create long-lasting partnerships, and achieve sustained success.
With effort, dedication, and intentionality, anyone can improve their business development skills and take their business to the next level.
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