Services Provided By Business Development Consultants

Before a business goes public, it must create for itself an identity. To effectively accomplish this, many businesses turn to the help of business development consultants. These professionals are able to help businesses create business plans, brands and much more. Sometimes, they help with development expansion as well as the day-to-day operations that companies carry out. Because of the services these types of consultants provide, they tend to be experienced in an assortment of business-related topics. From brand marketing to start-up budgets to brand development, there are many areas in which the consultants can be of great value.

Brand Development

There is much involved in creating a brand. From a logo to a catchy slogan, a business development consultant will be able to help with the many different brand-related aspects. By creating an effective brand, a business will be sure to establish itself as a trusting company that consumers consistently turn to when they need particular products and/or services. Many times, a business will already have an established brand, but will turn to a business development consultant to help enhance the brand. In doing this, the business is able to reach a wider audience, which helps in boosting profit levels.

Marketing Techniques and Strategies

No matter the industry a business is operating in, it will need to effectively market its products and/or services. For businesses who struggle with this aspect of running a company, it can be of the utmost value to turn to the services offered by business development consultants. From social media marketing to print marketing, the consultants can make sure that a wide variety of marketing outlets are used to increase the brand awareness of a business. Businesses that have yet to create a company website for their selves will definitely benefit from obtaining website development services from a business development consultant.

Business Expansion

Once a business has implemented an effective business plan, it is then time to attract clients and customers. To do this, the business will need to generate and follow through with leads. Generating leads can sometimes be quite difficult; however, with the help of an experience business development consultant, attracting, finding and retaining leads can be much simpler. From identifying target markets to gathering contact information, there is much involved with generating new leads, but a business development consultant can carry out a wide range of processes to ensure new leads are obtained on a consistent basis.

A successful business entrepreneur doesn’t have to possess a formal college degree; however, he or she will need a wide range of expertise knowledge relating to the business world. For some entrepreneurs, the best way to obtain this knowledge is by hiring a business development consultant. This type of consultant can be very resourceful in many business situations, including the development of effective marketing strategies and much more. For many businesses, their success is determined by the consultants that they partner with, making it very important for a professional consulting firm to be hired.

Do You Want To Improve The Performance Of Your Business?

A Checklist to Begin the Journey of Improved Business Performance

“Culture isn’t just one aspect of the game – it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.” Lou Gerstner, Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?

Reviewing the management process of a large, nationally operating company recently highlighted once again the continual challenge of remaining objective about the business we lead. Our repeated observation is owners and managers of businesses may declare they want to implement new ways to enhance business performance, but rarely understand and accept that as leaders of the enterprise, their own personal change must accompany or precede business change.

Although senior management may name a set of values they assume will create the organizational culture, the real culture will be determined by how all workers perceive daily operations are actually practiced and rewarded. An old maxim states, ‘Perception is stronger than reality’. Our work teams will see, feel, sense and then practice the culture of our business long before they adopt any stated values or formally announced strategies and processes.

Behavioural change will not come through talking, written communications, lecturing or demanding a particular process. Effective long term change to increase company value and stability requires carefully thought out modelling of the proposed practices and processes plus showing all team members what needs to be done and how to do it. Rose-coloured glasses will maintain business performance at mediocre levels, based on historical practices in the company.

Bill and Kristine Schneider of the Corporate Development Group (CDG) emphasise how company value and growth is likely to be highest when the cultural practices, leadership style and strategy adopted by a company are aligned.

The following is a detailed checklist allowing any business to begin the journey of improving business performance. It is not intended to be comprehensive but will highlight sufficient key issues for your business to review. Please use the checklist as a positive assessment of how you can kickstart new growth and understanding of your business strategy.

Company Leadership:

  1. Does your business have a clearly defined written strategy as a foundation for all decision-making?
  2. Does your leadership team pro-actively research, discuss and adopt what is required to enhance business certainty and clarity?
  3. Do you conduct frequent regular reviews of operational and strategic planning?
  4. Are you confident about what is required to take the business to the next level?
  5. Have all business owners and senior management team members formally indicated they will learn and adopt all required changes to enhance growth?
  6. Have all business owners and senior management team members formally indicated they will commence the journey of personal change required to enhance their own leadership?
  7. Have you listed 5-6 practices of yourself or other leaders/managers in the business clearly inhibiting growth and clarity for the future?
  8. Do you know how to lead all staff into a program of change and improvement?
  9. Can you succinctly explain the Vision and Mission of the business?
  10. Have you done any specific leadership and management training in the past 10 years?
  11. Do you read about and study businesses, leadership and management frequently?
  12. Do you have certainty and clarity about the business in all areas?
  13. If not, how do you deal with this? (This may include personal skills you struggle with, tasks you are required to do for which you do not feel equipped, team issues, business functions, how suggestions or recommendations are handled… or anything!)
  14. How would you describe your leadership and management style and practice? (be honest!)? How do you think others would describe it?

· Autocratic/Controlling

· Participative/Democratic

· Developer/Trainer

· Visionary/Big Picture

Staff Training:

  1. Many companies limit growth by neglecting staff training. The resultant focus on short term targets delays expansion or stops it completely.
  2. Do you have a specific program of in-depth staff training?
  3. Does formal staff training include learning methods additional to lecture style and written instructions?
  4. Has the business designed and implemented on-the-job training processes to model and demonstrate all systems and processes?
  5. Can staff have some autonomy and be free to make mistakes as they learn?
  6. Does every staff member have a personal training and development plan?
  7. Do all business owners and senior managers have a personal training and development plan?
  8. If each staff member was asked about on-the-job training would they say it is frequent, relevant and equips them well for their role?

Marketing and Customer Service

  1. Do you view marketing as unnecessary?
  2. Do you have a multi-strategy marketing plan?
  3. Is there a procedure and schedule in place to frequently review your marketing?
  4. Do you have a specific written description of your key target market groups?
  5. Can you identify your primary customers (ie customers who create 80% plus of your business)?
  6. If so, is the plan known by all key personnel?
  7. What perception do your primary customers have of your business? How do you know?
  8. What uniqueness are you giving clients to create competitive advantage?
  9. Can you list the performance drivers of the business? i.e the factors that determine success – they must happen or everything heads south.
  10. Are Innovation, Creativity and Research being specifically nurtured, developed, tested and measured?
  11. Do you have a system of testing and measuring all marketing and advertising strategies?
  12. Do you have a clear picture of how many leads are required to obtain 1 customer and what the process of lead generation costs?
  13. Are your staff trained in how to use an effective sales process?
  14. Does the business have a specific program for writing effective advertising copy for all marketing strategies?
  15. Would relevant staff say all marketing and sales processes are frequently reviewed and therefore work well?

Financials, Performance and Business Control:

  1. Is business growth decided and planned? (the alternative is merely hoping it will happen)
  2. Do you have a Gross Revenue & Net Profit target for each Market/Industry segment as relevant to your business?
  3. Do you have other targets for various indicators relevant to your business?
  4. Do you have a written comprehensive strategy with detailed action plans and teams to move toward strategy achievement?
  5. Have you identified key issues and risks hindering achievement of growth plans?
  6. Do you have a risk management plan to protect the business against all reasonably foreseeable scenarios?
  7. Do you have a plan to ensure all systems and processes to keep up with proposed growth are reviewed, installed, updated or changed?
  8. Is there a plan to adequately fund all proposed areas of growth for the business?

Combined, the answers to these questions will give you a general, overall picture of the strengths and weakness of your business. This will give you clarity as you move towards improved business performance.

Three Big Reasons Why Most Businesses Fail – And It’s Not The Lack Of Funding!

Many years ago, I tried to start a storefront business. Actually, I tried to start a bunch of businesses through out the years. But this particular business was it! I thought of a clever name, had a coworker design a logo, and then I bought inventory. I’m officially in business, so I thought! I was excited and ready to start my business. I even started looking at offices to run my business.

I had everything: Enthusiasm, confidence, desire and most of all, a great idea that was a sure sure path to success and riches. This time.

I started an E-bay drop ship business. I was selling sports paraphernalia. Everything was going great. I was buying products dirt cheap from a warehouse and selling them on e-bay at a pretty nice profit. However, I did not have a plan. All I know is that I wanted to make a lot of money – fast.

I did not account for the cost of shipping. I did not account for shipping costs for different areas of the country and for the size of the boxes in which I mailed the products. This ultimately ended by drop ship business along with other unexpected costs,

But those weren’t the main reasons I went of business. The three main reason my business and most other businesses shut down is – lack of vision, plans and goals.

Vision

Vision is a clear picture of where you want your business to go. For example, your vision could be that you want your business to grow from one store to four stores in 10 years if you’re running an offline business. If you’re running an online business, your vision is to make enough money to be able to start an online marketing academy to help other struggling marketers.

Vision helps you and your business have something to strive toward. Your vision is a map to guide you on your business journey. When you have a vision, you have a clearer a since why you do what you do and anything that does not help you reach your vision, you should not pursue.

Goal

Goals are specific milestones that helps you get closer to your vision. Goals are specific, attainable and they have a deadline attached to them. I should have one more ingredient for a goal. It should have action!

Your goals should also be measurable, challenging but realistic. Setting a goal that says I want to make 1 millions dollars in three months is a goal but unrealistic. A better goal is I want to make 1 million dollars in my business in one year by using online and offline marketing strategies such as giving out business cards, running solo ads and posting articles on my website and e-zines.

It is important to write your goals down. keep them in front of you at all times. This will keep you focused and will help you not lose sight of your goal(s). As time goes by, you may have to reevaluate your goals depending on how situations change. It’s OK to set new goals. Businesses do it all the time. But you must keep your goals.

Because starting a business requires so much commitment, time and focus, it’s good to celebrate after achieving a goal. Celebrating renews your spirit and gives you the energy to keep going,

In the bible, even God celebrated his achievements. He created the sky and he said that was good, He created the water and the fowl of the air he said that was good. And on the six day he created man and he said that was good. On the seventh day, he rested.

We should have the same philosophy when building our businesses.

Plans

Plans are a foundation for helping you achieve your goals. As the old saying goes, people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. Although failure is not necessarily a bad thing, you should strive to fail as fast as possible so you can move on to success. What this means is that you’re going to make mistakes. Make the small mistakes early so you can learn from them. And use what you learned from those past mistakes to succeed.

Just like you need a blue print to build your house, you need a blue print for your business. The blue print for your business. The blue print for your business is your business plan. Here is what you need to include in your business plan:

  • Who is your target market?
  • What will we sell (Be specific)?
  • What makes us different from the competition?

You don’t have to write a two page business plans to include taxes, credit, inventory, receivables, etc. like your traditional offline business but you need a short term and long term plan, plan of action to achieve your goals and your marketing strategies.

I would like your input to what it takes to start and sustain a business. Provide feedback on my Facebook and twitter page. Also, leave comments on my blog page. Look forward to hearing from you!