How to Write a Business Development Plan: A Step By Step Guide
So we’ve already tackled how to write the infamous business plan, but now that you’re in the growth stage of your business - what’s next?
Many business owners will look to write a business development plan with the aim to make their business better. Running a business is never a stationary job, you constantly have to be looking to grow and improve.
But what exactly is a business development plan and how do you write one? Let’s find out.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
What Is a Business Development Plan?
A business development plan is a document put together by the business owner with the aim to grow and improve their business. The plan will set goals for growth and explain how you will achieve them.
A business development strategy can have a short-term or long-term focus, or both. They should also be constantly reviewed and revised as things shift and your goals may change.
A health plan is one that builds as your business evolves.
How To Write a Business Development Plan
A standard business development strategy can be split up into 6 different sections, each one with a different aim and purpose. These sections are:
You should always be looking to grow your business. In this section, you will identify where growth will come from. For example, whether it’s new product development, adding different services or breaking into new markets. Your main business development goals should always point towards growth.
According to a U.S. Bank study, 82% of small businesses fail because of poor cash flow management and understanding. That’s why it’s vital that you have a constant eye on your funding and your bottom line.
You need to understand how you’ll fund your business development. So in this section, you should lay out your current capital, and how much more you will need to sustain growth.
3. Financial Goals
You should have a good idea of your current revenue, costs and profits. These numbers can then be used as a starting point for setting new, more ambitious revenue goals. This is for when you have expanded and developed your business.
4. Operational Needs
When growing a business, your operational needs will change. For example, what started out as a two-person job can develop into needing a whole team of people. So in this section, you will need to identify what things about your business will need to change to accommodate and promote growth.
5. Sales and Marketing
No business can succeed without a strong and stable sales team and marketing team. As your business grows, so will your sales and marketing needs. So you will need to take the time to figure out your target market and what sales and marketing efforts will promote growth. You should then put all of your focus on those efforts.
It’s vital that your sales process and marketing strategies are strong and sturdy enough to support a growing business.
6. Team Needs
Every strong business needs a strong team around it. When you started your business, it’s likely that you shouldered a lot of the jobs and responsibilities. As your business grows, you’ll soon come to realize that you can no longer do this alone.
So as a business developer, you need to think about what jobs and tasks you are best and most effective at. You should then correctly delegate the other responsibilities to the appropriate team members. This is often a good way to figure out if you have the right team around you. If you dread the thought of offloading tasks to your team, you may not have the trust in your team that you should.
Business development plans may seem like a relatively daunting task. But once you figure out the basics then they can almost write themselves.
You need to have an open mindset, a realistic approach and the ability to accept some potential failures.
Expanding and developing a business is hard work, but with the right plan in place, you are giving yourself the best chance possible.
Are you looking for more business advice on everything from starting a new business to new business practices?
Then check out the FreshBooks Resource Hub.