Thoughts on “business development”

I’ve had my share of business development (or “bizdev”) while running my own training and consulting company. I get to do some as part of my responsibilities with my current organization as well. Really blessed to do that! Because I sincerely believe it’s the best way to learn about the market, your competition and your own business.

In fact, without an exception, I think learning bizdev along with negotiation and dealmaking is the best investment you can make towards a brighter future.

That said, I would like to simply (as in strip it down) business development for people who think it’s a big deal. It’s not. And mind you, this is coming from someone who’s a practitioner.

  1. It’s not about the pitches, tenders, newsletters, alerts, websites and social media at all. It can be, it that’s all you care about. But that’s not business development. It’s something else.
  2. It’s about the relationships that you build, nurture and trust.
  3. And it’s about figuring out what you can bring to the world that can make it a little better. It’s not just about creating value. It’s about creating massive value!

I think Scott Pollock described bizdev the best:

Business development is the creation of long-term value for an organization from customers, markets, and relationships.

The key is to always seek to provide long-term value to the relationships that you build and nurture.

I know businesses who get the relationships bit right but aren’t able to fix the product or service they’re selling. In my opinion, if there’s a gap in the perceived and actual value of the product or service you deliver… you probably shouldn’t be in the business.


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