Delivering business development must result in adding economic and human value to the entreprise that contracts me. Business Development is literally what is says: realizing that the business of the client is developed in a positive, profitable way on economic and human values and as contracted. Developing a business is based on having knowledge of the business for what I am contracted, and general and specific business experience in that market domain of the entreprise. Plus, a lot of expertise in human dynamics in the professional context of an entreprise.
Expertise and experience are critical factors for a successful development process. The ability and skills for a proper process management is another factor. Development means a process in time and with ‘moving objects’: during the development process the situation in the entreprise and in its environment will change. This will also happen under the influence of what is happening during the ongoing development: interventions in procedures, other key players get involved, financial constraints will alter, systems are upgraded, or new systems come in, and so on.
In other words: the dynamics on the playing field continuously change. The expert in charge for the business development process must handle these dynamics in such a way that they stay (a) constructive for the running business, and (b) create positive conditions for the new business situation, resulting in more profit.
Besides the economic conditions, this regards for a big part the human relations and dynamics in the organization. The dynamics of change influence the situations on the personal and on the team level in an organization. And to make the picture somewhat more complex: these two also interfere with each other. That is why intra- and interpersonal dynamics, and organizational dynamics always are part of the contracted assignment as the expression of the task to help adding human value.
I come to the economic values hereafter. The human values that can be contracted to increase under the influence of the business developer, are of a different nature. Not to be complete, but the main human values to add, deepen, consolidate, that I contract are:
• Inclusion on gender, cultural background, age, handicap
• Remuneration package that corresponds with expertise, and efforts, and personal sacrifices
• Participation in decision making and openness in communication
• Leadership by example, receptive and inspiring, democratic and respectful
• Professional development and personal growth, empowerment, learning space
• Moral values, personal and business ethics, integer interpersonal relations on every level
• Sustainability to express the shared responsibly for nature and the ecological footprint
• Dynamics between individuals, between team members, workers and managers.
Adding economic value is a rewardable asset and is therefore contracted. As parties we come to an agreement about what will be delivered and with what kind of rewarding for what outcomes, and about the height of that rewarding. This is what is normally ruled in a contract.
Adding economic value by business development activities and interventions, meaning spending time and expertise on the entreprise, can have all kinds of forms, as there are:
• Developing or revision of the business strategy/concept/model
• Attracting Funding for expansion of equity and venture capital, donors
• Higher turnover from market expansion
• Cost reduction and optimising efficiency
• Leads for expansion of production capacity
• Restructuring finance and optimising financial analyses, audits and reporting
• Innovation of production processes and products/services
• Generating new business ideas that are adopted and then implement
• Marketing and promotion of the entreprise and its products and services
• Exploring customer propositions and adjust company’s offers to them
• Optimising the organizational efficacy and development
• Presence to and contacts with stakeholders that can influence the business results
• Generating new business contacts and networking in the business environment
• Reflection on business concept and model in relation to strategical issues
• Drafting documents that contribute to the market presentation and organization
• Recruitment of professional support, temporarily or permanently.
As said: business development contributions have a rewardable worth for what must be paid. The discussion with the client about the offer must clarify what is rewarded for what, also in for adding human value. The rewarding can have different forms, and with that defined in an invoice or in another written statement that can be reproduced.
I list some possibilities that also can be mixed:
• A cash payment with a slip, and: cash is king!
• A money transfer on an invoice, paid within the set period
• A grant that represents an obligation with interest, paid on a predefined date
• Any form of profit sharing from the extra turnover coming from the interventions
• A commission fee over attracted investments and donations
• The equity participation by shares, a risk-taking option
• An interest over liabilities from extended payments.
Not all organisations are in the same state of (professional) development, and they will have other challenges. As a business developer you discover by actively working with/within an entreprise much more than what you expected to be present, and you might discover the real issues that were kept unconsciously hidden or – for whatever reason – with a clear purpose. The fully staffed organization and provided with all kinds of checks and balances in their production and governance, must be fully different serviced from a start-up entreprise.
A start-up organization with a limited budget and restricted staffing, will show some incompetence and serious delays in delivering the needed information to proceed. Seen from my professional perspective, they will need complementary expertise and capacity to develop the basics of their business and to complete the organization. Developing a start-up – and most of my clients are – is very time and money consuming, and much of both plus expertise is needed. Not to bite in its own financial tail, the best option for a start-up is to contract a rewarding what not immediately leads to cash-out. This also created the freedom to invest the time and efforts that they really need.
The intake of an assignment often starts with a talk at distance and not in personal meetings and can stay without the exchange of ideas and perspectives. That makes it not easy to design a development route. Even it will block to reach an agreement because financial or other constraints are often pushed forward and dominate over opportunities. The constraints get easily counterproductive to the realization of opportunities that both parties want to realize. When you do business with each other, do it with an open visor, insist on a proper time spending intake. As business developer discover, recognize, and confront the client with the patterns in their way of doing business and internal and external relationships that hinder to become successful.