In this library and section we will list the fundamentals of business development for any business whether selling products or services.

Business owners, managers and professionals in business, sales, marketing often ask me to summarize everything important for business development into a list of critical tasks needed accomplished.

The following is the list of critical fundamentals and task that business development is comprised of.

The other libraries cover these fundamentals in details

This will be a simple list without detailed explanation.

1. Utilize a simple electronic database to capture customer information and to manage the continual communications with your customer base.
This database should have past, current, and potential customers and each to be designated or grouped as such.
Such database software can be purchased right in your office supply store. ACT is one of common account management software available and there are others.
2. Coordinate outbound courtesy calls to the customers on the database at some frequency to keep in contact, develop a relationship, keep contact for stimulating referrals, and update information on the database.
It is important that this database stays current and is utilized to communicate regularly with all accounts.
Remember; “out of sight, out of mind.”
3. Have professional literature that communicates all the business offering and capabilities in detail whether a service business or selling products.
This literature to include some format of a check list of all services and products offered so it can be used to review business offering with all customers and ones own staff.
Remember “anything that is important for customers or staff to know is important to have in a professional literature piece.”
It is important to keep literature up-to-date.
If the literature needs changing, throw out the old literature and print new up-dated literature.
Do not keep using the old just because you have some stock of it when a new current literature piece is needed to communicate more current information.
Be bold and throw out the old and create new current literature.
4. During these business times companies and services need a website.
The website can be a simple electronic literature piece expanded.
Of course the website needs to be communicated on all literature, business cards, letterhead, correspondence, PR, etc.
Finding local talent to develop and mange a website is fairly easy.
5. Have some type of a referral program.
Referrals should be a major part of any business.
A formal program is needed to encourage referrals.
6. A program and strategy is needed for expanding business within current accounts and customers.
Within business accounts look to expand business into other departments and employees.
With consumer type customers like a service business may have, look to expand business within referrals to friends, neighbors, relatives, and acquaintances.
Remember the saying of “there may be acres of diamonds in your own backyard.”
7. All businesses need business cards, literature, websites, PR, advertising, promotions, outbound courtesy calls to customer database at some intervals, and
a variety of communications at some frequency.
8. Public relations is very important for all businesses;
articles in local publications mentioning your business, local seminars, speaking engagements, and a variety of other sources.
9. Creative advertising is needed.
No matter how valuable your business is to people, if they do not know you are there, they will not do business with you.
10. You must be continually searching out new customers and new markets, and aggressively communicating with them to grow your business.
11. You must be always searching out ways to expand your business offering to meet more of the customers’ needs and more niche market needs.
12. You must have a business development program.
This can be as simple as listing all of the key tasks for business development and then assigning a specific individual to be responsible for that task.
13. Utilize bartering to obtain some business development services and offset costs.
14. Be active in local community and professional groups for business improvement, networking, and promoting ones business.
15. My small but favorite communication and promotional item is a simple refrigerator magnet with your businesses name, contact information, & products or services on it.
Refrigerator doors and file cabinet drawers are often where important businesses and services are found with magnets.
This can be a great source of repeat business as well as referrals.

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