Although the phrase business plan and business development plan may be used interchangeably, there are noteworthy differences between the two. A business plan is created when a new business is started in order to provide guidance.
Alternatively, a business development plan is a long term plan equipped with business development strategies in order to produce sustainable and realistic growth in the upcoming years. In other words, while a business plan is a foundation for a new business venture, a business development plan is a roadmap for continual growth and success.
7 fundamental elements for creating a great business development plan include-
1. Define Goals
Without a strategic plan in place, most high level business goals are never accomplished. Defined development goals can have a wide variety of focuses, ranging from developing new products to long term business growth objectives.
The SMART goals technique is a great method for defining development goals that are attainable. SMART goals are defined as goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.
Writing down a detailed description of business goals accompanied by actionable plans can drastically increase the probability of reaching those goals. Companies should make sure to focus on the quality of goals instead of quantity, as too many goals can quickly overwhelm even the most organized business professionals.
2. Develop Profiles
Companies that develop a target market and buyer personas are much more likely to create a business development plan that is successful. After these categories are clearly defined it is much easier for enterprises to generate a marketing plan and business strategy overall.
Any time a company is entering a new market or whenever new customers are interacted with, a focused business strategy is especially invaluable. Additionally, through business development strategies the customer service provided to existing clients can be improved.
Overall, studies show that customers react well to personalized and informed business development strategies. In fact, 97% of B2B buyers report that they chose a specific vendor due to their superior demonstration of knowledge regarding a particular business landscape.
Fact-: 94% of B2B buyers expressed that the vendor they purchased from better understood their specific company and its needs.
3. Explore Marketing Channels
There are so many different marketing channels available for corporations to choose from that it is easy for a business owner or marketing department to get overwhelmed. Depending on the budget size and human resources available a company can decide on either social media or in person marketing, or even a combination of both.
Companies must make sure that their established marketing plan is reevaluated consistently. Marketing plan reevaluations are especially important during changing circumstances, like when new products are released.
4. Establish KPIs
Key performance indicators, commonly abbreviated as KPIs, are a popular business strategy tool used to quantify performance. However, in order for KPIs to be effective, they must be realistic and reasonable.
Some business planning software programs can even assist in tracking and measuring KPIs.
5. Evaluate Customer Service
Focusing on providing ideal customer service can significantly influence both business growth and success. Especially in an increasingly competitive global market, customer service capabilities can make the difference between a client choosing a certain vendor or their competitor.
Both existing and new customers should be afforded a positive customer service experience every time they interact with a company. Excellent customer service can help make sure that new customers become long term business clients.
An additional bonus to great customer service is that happy customers can provide free marketing through social media posts and personal referrals.
6. Analyze Resources
The formulation of successful business development strategies is influenced by the resources an enterprise has available. Resources that businesses should consider range from human resources to financial accounts.
After a corporation has comprehensively analyzed its available resources, it is wise to evaluate how its business development plan can be executed most efficiently.
7. Share Information
A common mistake committed by corporations is a failure to share business development strategies and plans with individuals outside of the immediate staff list. Although it may seem obvious to present updates and pertinent information to stakeholders, sometimes this crucial step is missed altogether when discussing long term business goals and plans.
Check-: Companies must make sure that key stakeholders are well informed about business development strategies and business development plan updates.
While a business plan is more of a foundation, a business development plan is a roadmap for future business growth and success.
7 fundamental steps for creating a great business development plan include goal definition, target market profiling, marketing channel exploration, KPIs establishment, customer service evaluation, resource analysis, and sharing of information.
Although it may be time consuming initially, a business development strategy is a great way to take a new or growing business to the next level.