To Win in Business Development, Train Like a Track Star


What’s your motivation for business development?

Many companies are motivated to decide on new business development because of poor cash flow. On the other hand, many are ready to expand, if they notice positive tell-tale signs.

You might already have strong sales and cash flow. You might have customers who make repeated suggestions for new products or services.

Perhaps you’ve reached your capacity in space and workload. Or you just might be in a marketplace or sector that’s on the rise.

ID-100215476Metaphor for business success

You must be poised like a track star to win.

To be sure, business development requires working hard and working smart to create opportunities for growth.

But true business development is not all about just making some quick cash.

Nor is business development about pursuing a zero-sum game in a defensive posture.

You’ll lose the race if you continually look over your shoulder at competitors while scheming to steal their customers.

Growth requires strategic planning in finance using technology and avoiding trendy fads.

It requires an ongoing down-to-earth approach in order to create value – with a finance checklist in strategic planning.

For your company to achieve higher performance, you need to enhance your business processes.

In essence, this means turning your attention to business process optimization (BPO) to increase your business value with BPO strategies.

Additionally, in this new economy and digital age, businesses that use the best tech strategies earn stronger financial results.

Positioning to win

Again, consider a hypothetical metaphor: A gold-medalist track star.

While running the race, the star athlete doesn’t look over his shoulder worrying about his competitors. The runner gets the right coach, eats the right food, and trains the right way.

Then on race day, the athlete remains a track star by focusing on running his fastest to win.

If you want to spot a zero-sum game, all you have to do is look at the businesses in sectors in which there are fierce pricing wars.

In five years or less, with such defensive strategies they’ll lose because they won’t enjoy a sustained future.

That’s from focusing on a quick-fix approach instead focusing on the big picture and creating potential for long-term prosperity.

You must rise above zero-sum competition and develop strategies and opportunities to reach your financial goals.

After all, zero-sum competition is a ferocious enemy of sustainability.

“I don’t think limits.”

-Usain Bolt

You will not win in the long run if you’re constantly lowering your prices to win customers. All you’ll accomplish will be to proverbially kick the can down the road.

Abraham Lincoln once said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

He knew preparation is paramount.

So in the parlance of a track star, true business development means positioning to win the race. You will accomplish this by going into training mode – enhancing your skill sets to develop long-term value by creating opportunities.

Therefore, you need to decide on your desired destination before you design the map for your journey. Put another way, once you decide where you want to be, then create and develop strategies for long-term growth.

Constant evaluation

You must constantly evaluate the paths you are taking. For this, you need information, strategy, sales and relationship management.

To start, you must understand the drivers of your company as well as those of your marketplace, customers and vendors in order to make the best decisions to pursue long-term value.

It involves a full scale of activities – research, spotting trends, sourcing opportunities, evaluating your company’s ability to create value, and executing your strategy.

After you find enough needs to fill and assess your opportunities, develop the best routes to achieve your objectives.

This will help you in sales as you enter new markets, strive to attract the right customers and manage your relationships.

This also means identifying the right centers of influence, the right decision-makers and learning their concerns, and presenting them value.

Relationship management

Again, while you’re at it, don’t forget the importance of relationships with all stakeholders.

To create long-term value, it’s vital to build, manage and to capitalize on relationships. You need mutual foundations of appreciation, respect and trust.

Your stakeholders include strategic alliances, employees, customers, vendors and the media. For all of this, it takes an enormous effort.

Whatever your motivation for business development, train like a gold-medalist athlete to win.

Only then will you prosper in a myriad of ways such as diversifying, expanding locations, offering franchises, boosting e-commerce, merging or acquiring other companies, or selling to government agencies.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are additional relevant strategies:

10 Red Flags Your Business Needs Strategic Planning — Many entrepreneurs are so busy putting out fires, they fail to take care of business in two ways. They fail to plan strategically and they don’t make marketing a priority each day.

Financial Management – 6 Keys for Best ROI on Information Technology — In financial planning, there six steps you can take to solve the mystery surrounding information technology projects – how to assess and prioritize for an excellent return on your investment.

8 Simple Strategies to Give You Pricing Power –– If you’re struggling with pricing strategies, you’re not alone. Many big companies have struggled, too. By way of explanation, according to a study, almost 90 percent of executives in a global survey forecasted their continued growth. However, they anticipated implementing just minimal price increases as they continue to slash costs, or at least closely monitor expenses, for positive cash flow.

Dos and Don’ts for Writing a Top Business Plan — There are many valid reasons to write a business plan. They’re not necessarily to attract capital. Whatever your reasons, avoid writing a mediocre document. To ensure success, there are key essentials.

For Profits, Manage Your Growth at the Right Pace — Entrepreneurs frequently try to rush their business growth. Certainly, growth is great but if you scale too fast, you’re looking for trouble. The key is to prepare.

Best Practices to Capitalize on Business Intelligence — In the majority of situations BI isn’t effectively used to identify and create opportunities for sustainable growth, according to Forrester Research. Here are the best practices in BI.

“I don’t think limits.”

-Usain Bolt


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.