Things to Help Business Development and Things That Will Decrease Business
Michael P. Marshall, PhD
Often, I am asked globally about the things that can help ‘business development’ and ‘grow the business’.
It is interesting that rarely am I asked about the things that will hurt a business, prevent it from growing or surviving.
Both are important for a business to grow and to survive.
When I teach, train, coach and advise about business development, I cover both the things that can be done to ‘grow business’ and the things that can prevent business growth or hurt the business.
Like a car or auto; even if you have a car that runs well and has tires, if you are stuck on ice or in mud, you will only spin your tires and go nowhere, and if you are on a hill or decline you will slip downwards and maybe even crash and have an accident.
You need everything working well and in good conditions.
The same is true with business development.
You need both, to be doing the progressive things that will help ‘grow the business’ and also aggressively improving all of the things that can prevent business growth or hurt the business.
The big influencing factors for managing both are:
1. Leadership and Management Attitudes
2. Leadership and Management Skills & Knowledge
3. Processes, Procedures and Programs
In this short article, I will just list many of the common things that can help business development and also list the things that will prevent business development and hurt the business.
Other articles of mine that are already posted onto my personal website of www.AskTheBusinessDoctor.com and also published go into the details of most of these things.
Since most people do not ask me what will hurt business and prevent business development, I will start with listing these.
Doing things or allowing things that hurt the business or prevent business growth is similar to getting a gun and shooting yourself in the foot and then wonder why you cannot walk, run or climb forward.
Let’s start with these first.
Things That Will Hurt the Business and Prevent it From Growing
1. Obsolete & end of life cycle Products & Services with declining use for customers and markets
2. Competition has better & more current products & services
3. Quality problems & issues
4. Delivery issues & problems
5. Not competitive pricing
6. High overhead causing high pricing & maybe low profits
7. Possible government regulations & laws in countries selling to
8. Possible tariffs & taxes in countries selling to
9. Possible government barriers of countries selling to
10. Possible environmental & cultural challenges in countries selling to
11. Bad PR public relations about any issue
12. Lack of brand name & brand image
13. Lack of field sales/marketing representation or distribution in target markets & countries selling to
14. Lack of continual training for all employees & representative sales/marketing staff in the marketplace
15. Lack of effective marketing communications & promotional materials and if in the retail markets a lack of effective POS point of sales promotional displays & materials
16. High employee turnover due to a variety of issues that need improving
17. Low employee morale & maybe not a good work environment
18. Lack of good ‘ethics’ of company, leadership, management, employees; lying & misleading & not honest
19. Lack of skills & knowledge, experience & abilities of leadership, management & employees
20. Lack of true team work with management & employees
21. Lack of innovation & creativity with many things
22. Lack of good marketing communications clearly showing features, benefits, advantages & value to customers from customers view with each target market niche and each international markets
23. Lack of clear strategy with programs, processes & aggressive efforts in place to support it
24. A bad strategy or lack of clear strategy
25. Lack of understanding of customers in all target niche markets and target international markets
26. Lack of insights & understanding of progress needed, product & services improvements or modifications needed, market changes, customer needs and their views, changes of all types & potential future business in many markets developing
27. Any disregard or lack of attention to employees, field sales/marketing representatives, customers, markets & trends
28. Not being able to recruit, hire & retain the highest skilled employees & staff
29. Lack of effective communications with employees, customers & markets
30. Neglecting in any way your customers or employees or field representation sales/marketing staff
31. Policies & procedures that make it difficult for customers to do business with you
A lack of policies & procedures to make it difficult for customers
31. Lack of keeping on the front edge of everything, internal & external
Things That Can Help Business Development
1. Products & Services that customers in the target markets need & want and motivated to purchase it
I have seen many good products and services globally that are needed but customers will not purchase them because they are not motivated to do so
2. Continue to develop new products & services that customers in target markets need and are motivated to purchase
New products & new services is the ‘life blood’ of a company & business development
3. Competitive pricing
4. High quality
5. Good & fast delivery
6. Depth of marketing communications that clearly communicate features, benefits, advantages & value to customers & niche target markets
7. Aggressive & good PR public relations and advertising promotions
8. Aggressively progressing with brand name & image
9. Continual progressive efforts to understand customers & target markets and continually aggressively solicit (ask) for suggestions, ideas, improvements needed, product/services modifications or improvements needed, other possible applications & uses, other market niches, market changes, changes of anything & trends
Such programs to be progressive for customers, field sale/marketing representation & all employees
10. Effective referral programs
11. Effective incentive & reward programs for all employees & field representation sales/marketing staff
12. Continual training for all employees & field marketing/sales staff
13. Recruiting, hiring & retaining highly skilled & ethical employees
(this includes paying more than average to accomplish this)
14. Expand into more target niche markets
15. Expand into more applications & uses
16. Expand into new markets international/global
17. Expand representation & distribution into new target niche markets
18. Adjust & customize/modify products, services & marketing communications to target niche markets & international markets
19. Seek out ways to improve in all ways & have programs to do so with rewards & incentives for such & for all employees
20. An understanding that 80% to 90% of good ideas & suggestions on everything will come from employees, field sales/marketing staff & customers; and the need for programs, processes & incentives/rewards in place to effectively manage this, encourage this & reap the benefit from this
21. Programs, processes, incentives & rewards & sincere recognitions for team work & teams efforts
A bunch of sticks together is stronger than a single stick. Go outside and pick up some tree branches & sticks to test this out. This simple task and example will help you understand the strength of team work & team effort.
22. Continual improvement & innovations is needed for products, services, marketing communications & promotions and internal operations of all types. Effective programs, processes, & adequate levels of incentives & rewards are needed to support such
23. Affective programs, training & hiring practices is needed to assure high ethics
24. Continual affective communications with employees, customers & market niches is needed.
Communications to include a closed loop system which is communications with them; ask & get feedback from them & then you communicate back to them again to make sure all understood all correctly
One way communications do not work and are not affective
25. Understanding the needs of your employees, staff, field marketing/sales staff & customers and have programs & efforts in place to manage this effectively meet these needs
26. Development of & always be improving on a good working environment for your employees and a good environment with customers to work with you & do business with you easily
There are many other things that we can add to both of these lists of things that can prevent business development and the things that can help business development and growing the business.
If you ask your staff, employees, field sales/marketing representation and customers about such, you will easily find things to add to these two lists.
The big question is, ‘What will you do with these two lists to help grow your business?’.
Michael Marshall is available for advisory & coaching, liaison, special projects and training.
Michael Marshall, PhD