I’d like you to take a moment to picture business development heaven (clouds and harps optional). Imagine that every one of your customers is as good as your best customer, that your work delights them. It also inspires you and your team to leap out of bed every day, impatient to get on with the work. Wouldn’t that be great? Does it have to remain a dream?

Not at all! The key to living this sort of life is ensuring that you align your offer with what the market wants. To run a successful and profitable business, all you need are enough customers who want what you do and are willing to pay a fair price for it. Don’t worry about customers who want something that your company doesn’t provide. That’s not your problem.

Keep your offer fresh

The business development lifecycle gives you a tool for managing the growth of your business, making you think clearly about what your customers want and how to give it to them. The first part of that lifecycle is to create (or more commonly recreate) what you’re bringing to the market. Even with the wild pace of change in today’s market, with careful planning, you can fend off the challenges of the marketplace, which are sure to assail you at some point whether you like it or not.

Let’s go back to the early days of your company. Why did you start your business or become involved in it?

Do you have:

  • Specialized skills that you wanted to bring to the marketplace (you’re a subject matter expert)?
  • Business skills that can support the growth and development of a business (you have business development skills)?
  • Entrepreneurial skills (you know how to build a business)?

Any one of these skills can be the genesis of a fine business leader and all these skills are valuable, but the most valuable to the market, and hence to your prospects and customers, is the application of deep domain knowledge (what you know that the customer doesn’t) to the solution of business problems (the needs of the customers).

A business owner with subject matter expertise, is the perfect person (provide they can remain up-to-date) to re-examine the business’ offer. You want to do this regularly, say once a year, so you don’t fall behind on what the market actually wants.