Creating Your Own Business Upturn – Powering Business Development

We all see it . . . business markets are trying hard but continue to be flat, easily scared, and “frozen in the headlights,” – – – primarily maintaining, and definitely not building. Workforce attitudes suffer from a steady flow of negative global and economic events, career disappointments, and the constant threat of being laid off. Customers are struggling to identify their path forward, which in turn makes it even more difficult for any business to determine their own plans for the future. The fear of post Enron scrutiny on business leaders and organizations is ever present. When will the “upturn” come?

In response, it seems companies are moving forward on the back of very conservative and “tactical” decisions and day-to-day activities. Why? Because they are much safer, and not as likely to be second-guessed. “Winning big” has become much less of a focus than not losing big! Unfortunately, tactical approaches focused on day-to-day survival versus a bigger picture do not prepare companies for the future, nor do they capture the immense value that is inherent in times of great change, uncertainty and disruption. And the longer this goes on, the more steep and slippery the slope on which they reside becomes! But again, when will the “upturn” come?

Sad news . . . the general upturn that many are hoping will arrive to “save them” is not coming. It will be up to each and every company to uniquely and quickly use every part of the current business environment they face to literally create their own upturn!

For a company to create and continuously advance their own business upturn, they will need to amass the full knowledge, talent, experience and capabilities of their organization and in certain cases introduce some outside influences to:

· Identify the “what, where and when” of their current environment while

· Simultaneously identifying “exploitable discontinuities” and related new mountain tops for the future, and then . . .

· Develop short, mid and long-term commitments and plans that tactically harvest the most out of today without compromising placement for success tomorrow.

Below are some steps that can help companies quickly accomplish this:

1. Identify the “upturn team” and include:

· “Quiet leaders”, “unsung heroes”, and possibly a “cynic” or two.

· Those involved with the current situation at a management / tactical level.

· New employees (and especially those from other industries or companies).

· Business development, market research, “future minded” personnel (internal or external).

· Those who are feeling the most “stress” from the current circumstances such as:

· Functional leads

· Strategic management

· Vendors who supply clients

· Customer support/feedback centers of knowledge

· Financial stakeholders

2. Challenge the “upturn team” to fully:

· Define and validate the current conditions with facts, not anecdotal conclusions.

· Identify and understand the conditions that drive the current situation.

3. Analyze the causal source of the conditions, their interrelationships, and identify patterns, trends, future “points of change” and impacts, potential market “backlashes”, new opportunities, etc. and focus on the “critical few ” items that will have the greatest potential to create upturn value.

4. Brainstorm and develop “value scenarios” that optimize the near and medium term with a view toward maximizing the long term.

5. Coordinate value scenarios with infrastructure development plans and financial capability to identify and eliminate “barriers to success” and validate return on investment before beginning.

6. Communicate the vision and the tactical details as they apply to each participant to create a constant “call to action” for successful implementation.

7. Compliment and encourage what people start, and enthusiastically celebrate what they finish!

Fear, uncertainty, and lack of ownership often inhibit participation, creativity and expression of thoughts and ideas. It is usually beneficial to utilize internal or even external facilitators to overcome these concerns. In so doing, companies often find they have created a “process” for thinking strategically AND tactically to ensure the “upturn” created becomes a company way of life, versus a one-time event!

Copyright 2003, PBK Communications. All rights reserved.

Business Development For Small Enterprises

With anything that you do, it’s important to establish a clear plan of action in order to assure a higher probability of success. The same rule applies to small businesses. Many enterprises have folded in less than five years because they did not start with a clear-cut plan that defines what they want to achieve. Operations suffered because the whole organization was not well-informed on what it is exactly they should be doing.” Without a proper business development plan, you might as well be running your business blindly, which could be fatal to your investment.

The winning edge

During the conception of the type of business that you wish to open, you will want to start with a clear definition of what it is exactly that you intend to offer your potential customers. For instance, if you want to open a bookshop, it’s not enough that you have a basic overview of your operations – i.e. that you sell books and other similar supplies. You will need to provide a more specific definition of your business, identify your winning edge. What will set your small business apart from all other similar shops in the area? Surely, there are a number of bookstores in your locality so you will want to provide your potential consumers something new, something that hasn’t been offered yet. Your business development strategy should be able to identify all that.

Research

The role of research as a stable base for business development plans for small businesses. Even small businesses should be run with proper information regarding the type of niche market they intend to tap into. Before you decide to offer certain services, you will want to learn more about the market that you will be working with. You need to know more about their different quirks, what they look for in certain products and services and how they react to new ideas.Contrary to popular belief, the benefits of business development are not only limited to large-scale corporations. Even SMEs (small-medium enterprises) can stand to achieve more if they have a clear-cut plan to back them up. Companies such as International Business Development offer specialized services that are geared towards helping startup enterprises device a plan that will catapult their businesses to success.

Contingency plans

A business development plan not only specifies the goals and objectives of a company. Tthis plan can also serve to provide specific contingency measures. Everyone knows how the market can be unstable. Several different changes can happen and these conditions can either hinder your company’s growth or enhance it. The idea is to have a specific strategy on hand that is capable of foreseeing certain possibilities and providing an action plan that will address these potential road blocks or opportunities, as the case applies.

Finally, the importance of staying as faithful to your business development plan as possible. Throughout the life of your business, there will be instances when you may have to deviate from the strategy you have established. The most important part that you need to keep in mind is that you need to still keep yourself informed of what your goals are.

Real Business Developers Wanted In This Recession

Have you decided yet? Have you determined once and for all that you are going to do something BIG for your self and your family?

My mentor always says, “what you do for yourself makes you successful but what you do for others makes you significant!” Are you still working at the same job hoping things turn around for you someday? Still hoping business picks up again like it once was years ago? Still on the JOB boards and newspapers looking for that next new exciting company that will finally pay you want you are worth? Or maybe you’ll even settle for just a little more money than you’re making now.

When will enough be enough for you?

I want to introduce you to someone I met recently…

His name Is Robert Burrows. Robert lives in Michigan and found an ad my Partner Yolanda Williams-Davis had on the Michigan Talent Bank.

Robert is a social worker with the juvenile disciplinary system. In other words, he works in the non-profit sector and his income was also non-profit.

He was telling me during our interview he believes many many people in Michigan are starving for an opportunity to get more control over their income and therefore their lives.

I was shocked to hear that the unemployment in the state of Michigan is almost 25% higher than the national average!

What is it like in your area?

What does the housing market look like in your city?

Just last week I met Christian, a young guy from Arizona who was also a newly-wed that was also expecting his first child in about 6 months.

Both Christian and his wife home owners and were calling the bank that same day to notify the mortgage department that they both want to voluntarily give up their houses…

The he shared with me his house was already rented out but he could not charge enough to cover the entire mortgage. He could refinance because the appraised value had decreased by $60k within the last year.

Can you tell that people need to make some adjustments in their income and in their lives?

Where are you in your life?

More importantly, what are you doing to maintain much less advance you quality of life and those around you?

There are tons of people looking you and your leadership. Actively seeking and starting businesses that can help them become recession proof.

Approximately 79 million people will start their own business in the next few years. All will need to master the skills that you can learn now and position yourself to teach to others.

Right now you have a chance to put your self in position to be the one who helps them set up a marketing system that will bring them more customers and therefore more money and when that happens, you profit too.

You can first take back control over your own life by becoming a real business developer marketing everything from simple necessities, like a cell phone and Internet service, breakthrough technology like video phones, info products on how to swap car engines, baking or any field you are passionate about using proven marketing systems.

You can, in turn ,create the lifestyle of your dreams by helping people get more of what they want out of life.

Making New Business Development a Priority – You Wouldn’t Ignore Accounting, Would You?

Everybody’s in Sales

Business development should always be a priority, but it’s especially important for organizations that don’t have a sales force. In my opinion, everybody within an organization is in sales, because every touch-point with the outside world is an impression that you leave and an opportunity to sell. Too many times I have encountered a culture where business development was viewed as something that someone had to do (begrudgingly) and nobody took ownership. Somebody within your organization has to own sales and business development. This person needs to understand the process, or be able to hire somebody who does. Talking to somebody at an airport bar while waiting for a flight is one way to plug your business, but how many times can you do that? We need to think of business development as something that is replicable and that could be continued even if people leave the organization.

Set Up Systems

My opinion is that, if you get hit by a bus tomorrow and nobody can continue your job, because there is no system in place, you don’t really have a business. Warren Buffet once said “you need to set up a system for your organization that an idiot can run, because at one day that will happen” (check out the quote!).

Systems are used for engineering, IT, production, or accounting. Nobody would expect a company to not have an accounting system but it’s highly common for companies to live without any system when it comes to sales. That is when I developed the blueprint of “Selling & Dating” and how the two compare. It’s a humorous way of looking at the process, but if one follows the steps sales becomes more transparent.

Selling is a Process

That’s probably why most people are afraid of sales, because there is no guidelines, no blueprint. Hiring somebody who is charismatic is very often an option that is chosen. But charisma only takes you so far. Sales really is a process and once everyone in the organization understands that, it will be a lot easier to follow. There is this fear of selling, almost a disdain where sales is viewed as a practice where we have to persuade another person to buy something that they really need or like. Once we shift that mindset and understand that as long as we meet a need that another person has, it’s so much easier to embrace selling.

In my opinion, the fear and reluctance to selling stems from the fact that we are not taught to do it in a process oriented way. “Just pick up the phone and pitch our business”, seems to be the advice that many people are given, especially in smaller organizations. Once you have developed an ideal prospect profile and you know that what you are offering is something that your target will need, you can be structured in your approach and have a conversation rather than a sales chat.

Trust me, it works every single time.

Never forget those 3!

When developing the benefits to your audiences, always remember to develop messaging that helps them get their attention. If you have read my blog you will remember that people buy because you can help them:

  • Make money and/or
  • Save money or time and/or
  • Improve their reputation internally