What the hell is Business Development?
I’m a Business Development professional and I’m here to tell you that my job is not as easy as it sounds.
I’ve been working in Business Development for about forty years now, even before it had a name on its own, and it’s an interesting experience every day.
I can’t tell you how many times people have mistaken or confused my job with sales. And when I correct them, they usually say “oh, so you’re a marketer.”
The truth is that Business Development is so much more than that! It’s not just about selling products or services—it’s about helping organizations grow by identifying new opportunities and capitalizing on them.
It’s about finding ways to reach new markets and customers, whether they’re domestic or international. It’s about supporting organizations and teams by providing strategic insight into the best ways to approach potential market areas, clients or partners. It’s about making sure everyone involved in the process has all the information they need to make good decisions quickly and efficiently so we can move forward together towards achieving their goals for growth and profitability!
Here is what BD is not
Business Development is a broad and complex topic, but here’s what it’s not:
– It’s not sales.
Business Development is about creating long-term value for the company through strategic partnerships, relationships, and new opportunities.
– It’s not marketing.
Business Development focuses on identifying strategic partners, or other companies that would benefit from your product/service and vice versa.
– It isn’t just a job title.
BD is an entire function within a company that is responsible for the company’s long-term life itself.
Here is what BD is
Business development is a complicated concept to explain, fundamentally because it’s not just one thing.
In fact, it’s not even a thing at all — it’s a process.
Business development is what you do when you’re trying to grow your organization by bringing in new revenue streams and customers. It might also include finding ways to grow your existing revenue streams and customers, but that’s not always the case.
For example, if you own a restaurant, business development might mean finding new suppliers for ingredients or finding new locations for your restaurant. It could mean looking into different types of restaurants (fast food vs fine dining) that are popular in other cities and see if there’s any demand for them in your area. Or it could mean hiring someone to cook all of the food in-house instead of outsourcing it from another restaurant — something that would probably increase profits and reduce overhead costs while still maintaining quality control standards.
The important thing to remember is that business development doesn’t always have an immediate return on investment (ROI). It can take years before something like opening up a second location starts generating profits or before hiring an in-house chef.
If I don’t have time to elaborate a complex explanation of my work, I try to explain who our customers are — for example, “We help startups get off the ground” or “We help large companies grow” and I talk about the way our work helps people and organizations achieve their goals — for example, “We help our clients meet their revenue growth targets by expanding their customer base” or “We help our clients cut costs by streamlining processes.”
And far more than that, because Business Development is almost in everything we make every day.
Let me start with some simple explanations. Next time, next article, I will explain to you how similar is baking a cake to making business development.