What Is Business Development?

What Is Business Development?

Published: January 10, 2022

Business development (BD) refers to all of the efforts (processes, strategies, tasks, personnel) whose purpose is to identify and expand new business opportunities with relation to other companies. Some organizations hire BD directors and managers to oversee this complex aspect of entrepreneurial growth, but you can also seek the help of an external consultant for help with a business development strategy. Because this can involve so many factors, it helps to break the concept down into a few main avenues that drive a company’s growth.

4 Ways to Think About Business Development

To create a strong business development plan and process, it’s useful to think about BD in the following four ways:

  • Long-term value. Long-term value generally refers to money, but it can also mean anything a company requires to grow. Importantly, this isn’t a short-term value, but one that concerns your company’s wellness in terms of future goals.
  • Customers. Your business can’t grow without building loyalty among existing customers and finding new ones. Doing this requires some marketing, but it’s also important to increase customer satisfaction with your products and services as well as how they are delivered and guaranteed. 
  • Markets. Markets can be defined by geography, lifestyle, age, and other demographic categories. Keep an eye on new developments in your current market (such as leisure wear for newly remote workers) as well as ways your business can tap into new markets.
  • Relationships. It’s important to build good relationships with everyone your company interacts with: employees, partners, customers, vendors, the media, and more, because all of these impact its success in differing ways. Think of it as networking for your business: strong, meaningful relationships may one day be leveraged to help your enterprise succeed and grow.

Learn Business Development Strategies with a Business Accelerator

If the prospect of business development sounds risky or overwhelming, consider working with a coach who specializes in this area. Growth-minded businesses in the Northwest Chicagoland area should consider applying for admission to a business accelerator program focused on one-on-one coaching with Next Level Northwest.  

Next Level Northwest is a business acceleration public-private partnership serving the Northwest Chicagoland region. We support regional and local businesses through collaborative and innovative initiatives to help grow the economy. Download our Program Overview (PDF).

Ready to take your business leadership to the next level? Download and prepare your application following this process today!