View the course conclusion and next steps.
- Congratulations, you've made it through the entire course on business development. By now, you understand what business development is, what it takes to be successful, and how to build excellence in your department. You also have some perspective on the lifecycle of a typical business development relationship and why it's so important to the longterm success of many of the best companies. What's next? Now is the most important part, taking action.
It doesn't matter if you're starting your career in business development, building a team, or striving to deepen your organization's understanding and support. What you do right now, will determine the value you take with you from this course. Invest some time every week in building your network, both in your industry and in adjacent industries. Join associations, attend conferences, and reach out to friends and former colleagues. You never know where a great new idea will be born.
If you haven't already, start reading at least one general business publication, like Harvard Business Review, or Forbes, and at least one industry specific publication. If you're tasked with building out the business development team, work with leadership to ensure that your metrics are strategic to the company's overarching goals. And, make sure you understand your company's longterm strategy so you can better identify opportunities for new initiatives. Watch video of your CEO's speeches.
Read internal strategy documents and if your organization's public, check out investor publications. There are some great books you might want to check out, including Bernie Brenner's The Sumo Advantage, Leveraging Business Development to Team with Heavyweights, and Power Questions by Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas. While there's no national non-profit organization committed to the success of the industry, the kind of people attracted to the profession, are generally warm extroverts.
If you organize a local meeting, people are likely to come. I encourage you to start your own mastermind group, six to 10 business development professionals in non-competeing spaces to meet regularly for mutual learning and support. Having colleagues to bounce ideas off of, and explore different kinds of partnership structures, can be an invaluable resource. Now that you're armed with insider tips, and an understanding of what your organization needs from you, get out there.
Start building relationships. Let your curiosity be your guide. You'll be amazed at the ideas you come up with and the partnerships you create.
Business development teams identify areas of opportunity: new products, new markets, new partnerships, and new distribution channels. It's critical to start with clear objectives. Are you using business development (BD) as a marketing tool, a sales channel, a source of innovation, or a corporate development hub? Management consultant Robbie Kellman Baxter shows you how the best BD professionals identify and build momentum for new initiatives. She also gives you the insight you need to launch a BD function in your organization, explains how to manage a BD team, and shares how to scale the BD function as your opportunities grow.
- Define business development.
- Explain the purpose of business development.
- Distinguish business development from other functions.
- Identify the skills and personality requirements for a business development role.
- Measure business development performance.
- List options for organizing a business development team.
- Describe how to make business development relevant at the C-level.