NYICC, our clients’ success is all that matters. Once
we begin working with you, we will be able to offer a wide
range of business development services that will fill in
any gaps in your own plan. Whether your business is large
and multinational or strictly “Mom and Pop,”
our core philosophy is always based on a set of 15 important
business “must do’s.”
Identify the appropriate market and target the appropriate
segments within the market -- Deep pockets; ability to leverage
core product from one segment to another without major design/development
Make sure there exists a market problem/pain that currently
demands a solution. Is the problem large enough to justify
the price of your solution? Is someone with P/L responsibility
willing to pay for the solution? Test: Are you able to clearly
delineate a value proposition that gets a customer’s
Solve the customer’s problem, don’t just build
cool technology. Value is always in the application of the
technology, not technology per se
Have a clear understanding of your value chain. Know who
are your partners, competitors, and customers – it
isn't always obvious
Understand where you are in the market cycle, from a timing
perspective: new technology, competitors entering, segmentation,
consolidation, solutions offering, commoditized, etc.
Don’t fight the market and where it is in its life
cycle – you will lose
Price based on value of solution, not to undercut competitors.
Compete first on functionality, not price. If you truly
are the only one solving the customer’s problem, you
should be able to price your offering based on value of
your product/solution to the customer You compete on price
only after the product/solution has become a commodity –
end of the life cycle
Techies should never hire sales people; they don’t
know what skill-sets and personality traits to look for.
Test: If it's someone who is too aggressive and a person
techies don't want to hang out with, it's probably a good
Identify the end user of your product or service before
you start thinking about Business Development. Even if you
do not sell directly to the end users, you should know as
much as possible about them. Don't be fooled by the misconception
that your target market is "everybody".
Write a detailed plan of action. Prioritize your opportunities
and consider partnering with proven and profitable businesses
first. It is very common to see announcements of strategic
alliances between companies with so-called "ideas"
and not solid business models. Don't invest much time talking
to your suppliers or companies you have to pay money to.
It is their job to give you the best deal. Always assign
a monetary value to the deal before exploring it. Form alliances
with companies that will bring you revenue first.
Learn as much as you can about the potential partner and
their competitors before you contact them. Determine how
your deal can make your partner's company more profitable.
That is, list all the ways in which your proposed joint
agreement adds value your partner's business. What holes
does it fill in your partner's product/service line? How
does the deal enhance your partner company's core business?
How will your product attract more customers to your partner
company's business? How does "doing the deal"
brace your partner against the trends of the industry, for
which they might otherwise be unprepared?
Identify the personal issues. What are the personalities
of the people who will be influential in the decision to
sign the agreement? What are their personal motivations?
Growth/expansion? Hot buttons? Family? Loyalty and commitment
to the company they represent? Business process simplification?
Identify the PR potential of the joint agreement. Why is
it hot news? To whom, in particular? How can you leverage
these PR possibilities in negotiating the deal? How do they
add value to the overall equation? Be careful in announcing
so-called "strategic alliances" where only a purchase
of equipment or services was made.
To insure that the partnership will successfully evolve,
commit the necessary resources to insure that the deal is
implemented and periodically evaluated. Set guidelines and
performance metrics as part of the deal. Involve senior
management in every step of the way. Assign a single point
of accountability for the deal.
Business development is much more than simply going to trade
shows and being a wheeler dealer. Business development is
hard work and you must stay focused on the long term. Hopefully
the above tips will help you whether you are experienced
in biz dev or if the role of business development was thrust
upon you due to layoffs, firings or other factors.