Business development includes processes and activities to develop and introduce growth opportunities in between and within companies. It is part of the disciplines of organizational theory, business, economics, and marketing. The ultimate objective of business development is to satisfy company needs through innovation, leadership, and strategy. It encompasses research and development, management training and mentoring, business analysis, and strategic planning. In the United States, it is often referred to as BDI or business development.
The traditional tools for business development have included such strategies as marketing budgets, compensation programs, and social media campaigns. While all of these are important, they cannot address the myriad issues that businesses face today. To broaden their perspective, business development professionals are now incorporating a new set of strategies, which they call “strategic initiatives.”
Strategic initiatives are business development activities that tend to address different problems at different levels of an organization. They use a series of different techniques to try to resolve common business issues. These issues might include product design, innovation, communication, finance, sales, supply chain, human resources, and manufacturing. Each of these areas will be addressed in a series of different projects managed by different departments. However, the goal is to apply the same problem-solving approach in each project and then bring the solutions to the different departments.
In some cases, a company will choose to implement a series of strategic initiatives at the same time as pursuing business development activities. For example, in order to expand their product lines, a manufacturing company may seek assistance from a design firm. This company would provide the design team with information regarding different technologies available to improve the quality of their products. In return, the design firm would provide them with information and technological solutions to help them create a better product. In this example, the company would expand its business development efforts in addition to expanding into new markets. This business development strategy is often coupled with a business expansion strategy.
Many companies have a number of different business development and business expansion opportunities. A manufacturer might seek assistance from a brand new business development partner in order to increase the number of colors it offers to its customers. In addition, one might find a third party that could assist in business development activities such as acquiring new clients, finding new business expansion opportunities and launching new product lines. Each of these business development and business expansion partners will have their own specific responsibilities.
As part of a strategic partnership, the manufacturer will establish strategic partnerships with different vendors in order to gain a competitive edge in its particular industry. For example, a medical device manufacturer might form a strategic alliance with a medical equipment supplier in order to produce a specific product. These types of strategic partnerships can provide manufacturers with much-needed inputs as they pursue business expansion goals. In turn, the suppliers will be responsible for developing, manufacturing and releasing the new product to the market. This type of business development and business expansion partnership will also help to protect the manufacturer’s intellectual property portfolio.
There are several other forms of strategic business development and business expansion opportunities. One might find that a consulting firm can help a manufacturer achieve business development success by helping to identify new opportunities in the marketplace. A consultant can help a manufacturer develop new products, develop new manufacturing processes or help the manufacturer implement a manufacturing process improvement program. By identifying new opportunities and implementing strategies, a strategic business development consultant can help a manufacturer realize its business development goals.
Finally, a soft skills business development team can help a manufacturer achieve business development success. A soft skills team will work with a company in order to identify potential opportunities in areas such as market expansion, sales and service. With these consultants on board, a company can expect to expand into new markets and develop new products that are designed to enhance the quality and safety of the products manufactured. The consultants will also help to train employees and help the company to implement safety policies and training programs. By developing soft skills, a company can become more efficient and create a successful strategy to meet the challenges of a changing marketplace.