Why Even Small Businesses Need to Focus on Business Development

As a small business owner, there is a great deal to focus on. Unfortunately, in their quest to manage every aspect of their business, many business owners find themselves neglecting what they need to concentrate on most: business development.

The fact is, without a business development strategy, a business-of any size-will eventually fail. Conversely, business owners who approach all aspects of their business with an eye toward its development are the most likely to succeed.

One of the best ways to look at business development is as a way to create long-term value for your organization. This includes all areas of your business—from customers to market share to professional partnerships.

If you are a business owner who realizes the importance of business development but is unsure how to get started, try asking yourself a few questions:

  1. How can I make my industry better?
  2. Is there a product or service currently unavailable that I can provide or develop?
  3. Is there any segment of the market that is currently being overlooked?
  4. Are there particular problems within my industry that I could help to solve?
  5. How can I secure more new clients?

If you are depending on your sales team to propel your business development efforts ahead, you are making a big, albeit common, mistake. The true business development agent in an organization must be the business owner, CEO or CFO. It is these individuals who must do the following to champion business development from within:

  • Create long term value
  • Formulate business systems and processes
  • Create new business partnerships
  • Explore new products

This is not to say that salespeople are not important. In fact, salespeople are critical to the success of any business. After all, no sales, no business. It’s as simple as that. However, salespeople must focus on making sales. And if they are good at that, that will take up the majority of their time.

While many smaller companies will argue that manpower levels necessitate that salespeople also act as business development agents, this is almost never a good idea. Remember, sales is all about closing. That is their primary job, along with things like product demonstrations, handling objections and drafting contracts.

To excel at business development, it is important that you have a longer-term outlook and are looking at your organization in a more strategic manner. Only when professionals within an organization are focused solely on business development can that business reach new levels of success.