Robbie Kellman Baxter shares more than a few useful resources on business development and partnership strategies in this article.
Delivering on a forever promise, and maximizing an organization’s overall business potential, is often a task too big for one company. So they need partners, and new ways of doing things. But who builds out those relationships? Who jumps in to explore, formalize and potentially run a business opportunity pops up that “feels right” but doesn’t fit neatly into business as usual? Something really strategic, and with long term potential—where you see a hazy outline of possibility but the roadmap isn’t clear?
Business development is about driving growth, mostly by working in an unstructured way to identify new partnerships, categories of customers and lines of business. Let’s say you have a lunch restaurant, and a new office building opens nearby. They have hungry workers—now, your can either simply market your current hours and takeout menu, or you can have a business development conversation with the building management. Maybe they need catering for breakfast meetings, or maybe they want a “to-go” kiosk in the building. And maybe they are even willing to pay a premium for these services. Business development is about looking for win-wins between two organizations.
Once there’s a clear structure, the scope is developed and terms are defined, projects launched in business development can be handed off to operations, sales or marketing. But that first part—building a new relationship, identifying the opportunity, and defining the terms of the agreement—that’s business development.
A business development person often walks into a meeting unsure of any outcome beyond “look for synergies,” and that’s the fun of the role—there’s a lot of freedom and a lot of room for creativity, and of course, there’s the possibility of a big return on your investment.
Business development is the functional area of a company responsible for identifying and fleshing out new areas of business. These new opportunities often require a combination of new technology and/or new products and/or new markets and/or new distribution channels. Generally partnerships are involved, and these partnerships are unlike any other relationship the organization has had up to that point.
Key points include:
Business development fundamentals
Academics and industry analysts
Gaining buy in, negotiating, and managing partnerships for scale
Read the full article, Resources for Business Development & Partnership Strategy, on RobbieKellmanBaxter.com.