In the simplest terms, business development can be summarized as the ideas, initiatives, and activities that help make a business better. This includes increasing revenues, growth in terms of business expansion, increasing profitability by building strategic partnerships and making strategic business decisions. Sales, strategic initiatives, business partnerships , market development, business expansion, and marketing —all of these fields are involved in business development but are often mixed up and mistakenly viewed as the sole function of business development. Business development activities extend across different departments, including sales , marketing, project management, product management, and vendor management. Networking, negotiations, partnerships, and cost-savings efforts are also involved. All of these different departments and activities are driven by and aligned with the business development goals.
Think you have a great idea for a business? The best way to find out whether your idea is feasible is to create a business plan. A solid, well-researched business plan provides a practical overview of your vision. It can be used to ground your ideas into workable actions and to help pitch your idea to financial institutions or potential investors when looking for funding. The standard business plan consists of a single document divided into several sections for distinct elements, such as a description of the organization, market research, competitive analysis, sales strategies, capital and labor requirements, and financial data. Your plan may include more or fewer sections to best represent your business.
Business owners and executives often experience bottlenecks in growth because they fail to see problems forming. Sometimes these unexpected issues develop within an organization, and sometimes they develop outside the organization because of poor customer management. To that end, companies sometimes hire business developers—consultants operating as business development experts. If you seek to work in the field of business development, you will need a certain combination of hard and soft skills. You'll also need to be familiar with specific industries and the company you are helping.
A business plan is a written description of your business's future. That's all there is to it--a document that desribes what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you've written a plan, or at least the germ of a plan.