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Understand the Value of Business Development

Learn about this under-appreciated, yet essential component of global businesses ecosystems

If you have ever found yourself in the position of having to sell a company on the concept of business development, chances are you have been asked one question in particular:

“What is business development?”

"Short-term gains are great, but to really succeed, you need long-term development to succeed."

Part of the reason why this question can be hard to answer even for people who work in the industry is that “business development” can almost sound a little redundant. After all, we already associate “business” with “development.” What type of business endeavour doesn’t emphasise or strive for development?

That’s why it is helpful to note that business development is concerned with specific forms of development, and how it can create sustainable growth for your business.

What does this add up to, and why is it valuable?

Long-Term Development

The big selling point of business development is the fact that it focuses on developing your company for the long term. Other forms of business development focus on short-term or one-time gains. This can help, of course, and they have their place in a company’s development plan.

In sports, however, while free-agent signings can give a huge boost and help teams win, for true sustained success, you need to build for the long term by developing a core of young players. The same holds true for businesses. Short-term gains are great, but to really succeed, you need long-term development to succeed.

And just how can you do that?

Business Development Strategies

Some of the most effective business development strategies include the following:

  • Encouraging companies to think more about the “why” of their actions, thus creating a greater degree of introspection and forethought when planning out strategies

  • Making sure long-term planning is a priority, with targeted goals stratified along the way so short-term progress can be met and checked as part of a grander overall plan

  • Explaining these principles to management in such a way as to encourage their endorsement of and engagement in the process

With this process in mind, you’ll be able to develop your business strategy with long-term goals in mind in such a way as to prioritise sustainable growth, better understand where, how, and why you’re gaining ground, and thus figure out what you can do with that information.

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