Business Development Plan

A business development plan is an essential tool for all prudent entrepreneurs if they wish to remain in business. Just wishing for one, will not get you anywhere. You need to know how it works in order to draft one for your enterprise. A complete business development plan serves three basic purposes: communication, management, and planning.

It communicates the group’s financial strategy and company policy to all outside funding bodies and sponsors. Frequently, it will act as the prospectus of the company to attract investment capital and/or get loans sanctioned. More than a mission statement, the business development plan is a comprehensive explanation of the opportunity. It reveals the profit making potential of the business and helps attract strategic business partners. The plan dwells on all aspects of business activity, anticipates future problems and suggests alternatives as solution.

Company management sees it as an effective administration tool. With the help of the business development plan you can monitor the progress of all the current programs and evaluate the efficacy of your future endeavors. The plan allows you to set timelines and goals. You can compare projected figures with the actual achievements and gauge the progress made. It is a dynamic tool that reflects the growing knowledge and experience of management.

The planning tool is your mentor as you walk through the different phases of your business. A carefully charted plan details all the possible risks and uncertainties, identifying future problems so that you can avoid them with the help of established alternatives. Entrepreneurs today are more inclined to share their business development plan with employees. This leads to a greater employee identification with the stated mission and a better understanding of the goals of the business.

Link Exchanges or Business Development Strategy

Viewing the ever growing issue and concern of Link Exchanges and the method by which they are being performed, I can clearly say to every white hat SEO consultant that WE HAVE A PROBLEM.

I myself as a manager in several organizations receive my share of irrelevant and sometimes insulting exchanges of link invitations from companies/organizations that have absolutely no relevance to my area of business and/or complementary industry. I am always amazed that those companies portray themselves in such a poor manner.

The Common Method

It is a known fact that links are a major concern for every site owner or SEO consultant looking for better rankings and higher PR. Today site owners and even some SEO consultants do not care where they get the links, sending thousands of e-mails through automated programs to whichever company/website that comes across their path. These companies work on a pure statistical assumption that out of all these thousands, few individuals will agree to the exchange.

The problem with this method is that most of us today regard Link Exchange as nothing more than another form of spam. This results in a built up resistance in cooperation to take part in a Link Exchange program as it might indicate your website as a non professional website.

I believe that part of the solution to this problem is for anyone who is looking for SEO consulting to take better care as to whom he/she chooses and to take some involvement in the process of his/hers company’s representation to the world.

Link Exchanges as a Business Development Strategy

After years of conducting Link Exchange activity for my business and those of my clients I started noticing the effect this program brought to my clients. I further wondered how we could create a more organized and thought-out effect from the beginning.

The Effect: The effect that started to happen for my clients was that slowly but surely they were gaining international contacts and forming business relations with distant partners, thus enabling them easier access to their local clients and free promotion of their name. It also brought activity into their circle of contacts and other business associates. That of course led to formal relations which evolved into a full international network with a sole existence to serve the respected clients of the international network’s members.

Creating the Effect

The development from this point was very natural, as it was logical to assume as a multilingual SEO expert that the bridging between cultural differences and forming the same kinds of relationships with local companies and in their own language will add to the tremendous strength of this business possibility. This is exactly what we did, realizing that giving time and attention to the type of companies you are contacting and industries you are targeting is imperative to the success of your Link Exchange campaign.

Many times I have heard that Link Exchanges work on statistics and the more you send the more links you will have. This theory might be true but the quality of the link is affected by this method, and not to mention the constant depletion of the internet resources such as SERP and directories while e-mailing in ignorance.

You will get more links and much more directed traffic and generated business if you take time and thought to the quality of your Link Exchange program. This had taken a tremendous effect for all the companies I consult and work with and will have the same effect for you.

Another excellent way to broaden the Link Exchange program is to contact the most desired of exchanges and explain the idea of business development opportunities that may be involved in such an exchange.

Conclusion

To summarize my thoughts and experience on the matter, the link exchange program will stop having a negative effect on the SEO industry, if professionals and non professionals will give the time and attention this major issue deserves.

I believe that with the simple and familiar advice I have passed along with this short article, there is great potential to create healthy Link Exchange programs where users will truly benefit from the links posted on ones website. Don’t forget this is the first and primary reason for the Link Exchange program to exist and why it is effecting your ranking in such a profound way.

9 Ways Performance Appraisals Promote Business Development

Employee performance is an essential ingredient in any company’s ability to achieve its goals. Therefore managing employee performance is integral to business success. A well managed performance appraisal assists managers to assess and provide feedback to increase the competency of their team members. Developing skills, knowledge, attitudes and increasing team member capability are key objective of performance appraisals. For many businesses performance appraisals results in spending ‘time on the business’ to build capability.

Performance appraisals promote business development in the following ways:

1. Drive business performance

Facilitating performance appraisals means managers making an effort to communicate with their employees. Managers who care about the performance of their people and business will recognise the importance of providing feedback and assisting their team members to grow and develop. The performance appraisal is a proactive HR solution in driving business performance.

2. Improve employee productivity

Assessing employee performance against job expectations provides the opportunity to improve capability and productivity This is achieved by communicating how the person has performed and identifying key result areas (KRA’s) and behaviors s which with improvement will increase capability, productivity and profitability.

3. Identify specific areas for improvement

An effective performance review process will consist of a plan specifically aimed at improving KRA’s and behaviours that have been identified as requiring improvement.

4. Address poor performance

Conducting performance appraisals enables you to talk about performance and behaviour that has been previously identified where improvement has been required.

5. Identify future development requirements

Performance appraisals help confirm employees’ strengths and weaknesses and identify future competency requirements to perform their current or another role. Through targeted development, team members will increase their value to the business as they increase in capability.

6. Make informed employee decisions

Employee decisions regarding improvement, promotion, job changes, and termination can be achieved through the performance appraisal process. The process provides managers with the opportunity to empower and delegate responsibilities to team members.

7. Increase the organisations capability

Performed organisation wide the performance appraisal process increases the organisations overall capability resulting in a competitive advantage – your people.

8. Recognise, retain and reward high performers

Having a strong link between effort performance and reward will motivate team members. Performance appraisals provide a HR solution which can be linked with intrinsic and extrinsic motivation methods, resulting in increased team member engagement and capability.

9. Improve profitability

Having a more capable, competent and motivated team will improve communication, productivity and ultimately profitability.

Businesses that see performance appraisals as a strategic method to develop employees benefit because the added competence further develops the organisations capability, competitiveness and sustainability.

Coaches And Consultants – Are You Making Any Of These Twenty Business Development Blunders?

Professionals who market their services can attract more clients by avoiding the following deadly business development mistakes:

ERROR #1: Talking about specialized knowledge more than about solutions.

ALTERNATIVE: Speak your client’s language. Show him or her how you will get specific results that will help their organization, career, or personal aspirations. Demonstrate your ability to provide significant value, in specific, measurable ways.

ERROR #2: Focusing on you instead of on the prospect.

Prospects care first and foremost about solving their problems and taking advantage of their opportunities. Therefore, they only care about you if your experience and knowledge directly and uniquely relates to solving their problem.

ALTERNATIVE: Focus on the prospect’s problems and opportunities. Build credibility and demonstrate value by establishing yourself as the expert who understands the prospect’s situation and ways to get results. Make sure you use the word “You” at least twice as much as you use the words “I/We” when you speak to prospects.

ERROR #3: Letting your achievements or expertise speak for itself.

This is a huge mistake. You may be brilliant, but that doesn’t mean clients will come to you.

ALTERNATIVE: Invest in business development. Reach out to prospects in ways that builds your credibility. For instance, provide education and information that matters to them, and also shows the value you offer.

ERROR #4: Not choosing a specific niche or target market.

This will give you the false security of having unlimited prospects, but ultimately will get you fewer clients at higher cost than if you focus.

ALTERNATIVE: Focus on a specific target market.

ERROR #5: Not reaching your target market effectively.

ALTERNATIVE: Develop a series of messages and strategies that reaches and attracts prospects from your target market.

ERROR #6: Not dominating your target market.

If you don’t dominate, someone else will, and your revenue will suffer.

ALTERNATIVE: Position yourself as the leader by establishing your credibility and authority with prospects. If you can’t be the leader, find or define a new niche.

ERROR #7: Creating an incomplete or non-compelling marketing message.

With a poor message, your business development efforts will go nowhere.

ALTERNATIVE: Develop a complete, compelling marketing message that describes the problem you solve for your market, how you solve it, the specific results you have achieved, and why you are better than anybody else. Be especially sure to highlight your “edge” and why it matters to your prospects/clients.

ERROR #8: Trying to “close the sale” too soon.

Most prospects, especially in the market for professional services, need a series of positive interactions with a candidate before making a decision.

ALTERNATIVE: Provide a series of educational messages to establish credibility and attract qualified prospects to you. Get rid of the tacky “sales pitch,” and follow up with prospects in ways that demonstrate your value. This will establish you as the authority in your field, lead to more sole source deals, and earn loyal clients.

ERROR #9: Making poor use of publicity.

Getting mentioned in the news is an exercise in vanity if it doesn’t grow your company.

ALTERNATIVE: Use publicity to attract prospects to your business, capture their information, and build a relationship with them.

ERROR #10: Not asking for referrals.

Few professionals take full advantage of their opportunity to generate referrals.

ALTERNATIVE: Ask for referrals at key times in the client relationship. Develop proactive referral strategies within your sphere of influence.

ERROR #11: Relying too much on referrals.

Referrals are a fine source of additional business, but they put you in the position of being dependent on others.

ALTERNATIVE: Make sure your marketing strategy includes tactics to attract requests and inquiries directly from prospects, clients and your sphere of influence.

ERROR #12: Competing on price.

This error is a sure way to lack enough high-paying clients to meet your financial goals.

ALTERNATIVE: When prospects perceive you to be the authority in the field, you no longer need to compete on price.

ERROR #13: Forgetting to stay in touch with past clients.

Remember the old adage, “Out of site, out of mind.” You forfeit one of the best sources of profitable work if you forget to stay in touch with, and continue to support, past clients.

ALTERNATIVE: Develop a plan to strengthen your relationships with past clients, maintain their loyalty, and continue to show how you can provide them with ongoing value.

ERROR #14: Providing poor or mediocre service during engagements.

Word spreads fast when you do this, and can quickly destroy your reputation.

ALTERNATIVE: Develop a system to delight clients on every engagement.

ERROR #15: Cutting or delaying your investment in business development, especially in bad times.

This error will only hurt your bottom line more.

ALTERNATIVE: Commit to investing in business development. There are plenty of low-cost ways to attract clients in good times and bad.

ERROR #16: Not creating a simple, clear business development plan that lays out goals and a way to achieve them.

If you don’t set goals, how will you know if you are successful?

ALTERNATIVE: Create a plan every quarter that sets aggressive goals and lays out a path to accomplish them.

ERROR #17: Creating a business development plan that misses some crucial steps in the process of attracting and retaining clients.

Your plan must establish yourself as a credible authority, demonstrate your value to prospects, earn trust and commitment, and keep your clients’ loyalty.

ALTERNATIVE: Evaluate how well your business development plan achieves these outcomes, and revise it accordingly.

ERROR #18: Not taking action on your business development plan.

ALTERNATIVE: Make business development a top priority. Budget time as if you were your own client. One of your primary jobs is business development because if you don’t do that, you won’t be doing much consulting.

ERROR #19: Relegating marketing to an administrative role.

ALTERNATIVE: Marketing should be a core part of your strategy, and handled at the top levels of your organization.

ERROR #20: Not getting help.

Many professionals tend to want to do it all on their own. In business development, this can cause them to repeat common marketing mistakes and get poor results.

ALTERNATIVE: Hire competent professionals who can help you build your business. The investment will more than return itself in results.

I sincerely hope you don’t make these, or other costly mistakes. The market is extremely competitive, filled with professionals who are struggling to attract clients.