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We’re all heavily invested in the long-term viability and success of our businesses. The amount of time, thought, love, worry and yes, money we pour into them means that achieving success is not only a financial consideration, but also often an extremely emotional one.
And it’s not simply a case of wanting to see them survive, we want to see them thrive. To grow. To become far more than the sum of everything we’ve put into them.
Truly, a business is like a child in that sense. We nurture our businesses, guide them, shape them, and hopefully find ourselves with a fully grown entity, capable of standing on its own, succeeding at life, and able to nurture and care for us as we have cared for it.
Despite sharing this common dream, effective business development can often feel like a really fuzzy concept that nobody can clearly explain. This is largely due to the individual nature of businesses – giving out generic advice on developing all kinds of business is bound to be inherently non-specific. But it’s not only the individuality of our businesses that leaves development such an unclear concept.
We’re all individuals, with very different hopes, dreams, needs and desires.
Some people want to develop their businesses to the point they no longer have to work at all (or at least, only have to work an hour or two a week), others can’t stand the thought of such inaction, and dream of a business booming with so many clients they find themselves hiring and expanding, and managing everything in a very hands-on manner. Which begs an obvious question:
How Do You Develop A Business?
Well, it really depends on what you want to create, what you’re trying to develop your business into.
Beyond that, it’s frequently about the aspects of business we neglect.
When we hear ‘business development’ we think ‘sales’ or ‘revenue’, we think ‘client lists’ or ‘email lists’, we think of hiring new people, launching new products and services, we think of everything getting bigger and, well, more developed.
But what about everything else that goes into developing a strong business?
The mindset, the mentality, the relationships with your clients and with yourself?
There are a lot of ways to effectively manage business growth and development, but the real trick to effectively and easily developing your business doesn’t lie in the mechanics of business development, but in the mind of the developer.
So rather than list the various marketing tricks and tactics you can use to develop your business, I’m bringing you something a little different. A mindful guide to easily develop your business, that will give you the mental tools and perspective needed to get everything else working far more effectively…
Easy Business Development Puts Profit First
In a moment I’m going to tell you that business development isn’t all about the money, and it really isn’t. That being said, any business is a financial entity and the simplest definition of any business’ goals is the creation of income.
True, it may not be your core motivation, but even non-profits seek to generate income so they might spend that income in a worthy cause.
They are businesses, after all, and a business should always be profitable.
Not after the first year or two, not sometimes, not when the market’s up or the economy is booming, but all the time.
Every year. Every month. Right from the start.
The myth that profit isn’t always possible, isn’t consistent, can’t possibly be there all the time is just that: a myth.
So before you even try to develop your business, check in with your profit margin. How’s it looking?
If it’s non-existent, don’t panic! We can totally fix that.
And if you’re already turning a profit ask yourself two questions:
First, are you happy with that level of profit, or do you need/want your business to generate more?
Second, even if (and it’s a huge if) you are happy with your current level of profit, wouldn’t it be nice if there was more of it?
Maybe not even for yourself. Maybe just so you can spend it on some worthy causes of your own. Maybe to look after your family, or maybe (just maybe) so you can get the house of your dreams, travel more, work less, whatever you want.
Money may not buy happiness but it certainly opens up a world of possibilities that can be incredibly positive, not only for yourself but for your friends, family, and the world.
The very first aspect of your mindset that will help you in your business development and make everything else so much easier, is wrapping your head around the notion of putting profit first. I recently wrote a beginner’s guide to the profit first system, so be sure to work through that for a detailed breakdown of the mechanics of this mindset shift.
Develop Strong Success and Money Mindsets
There are many forms of mindset, they essentially cover every aspect of life, but there are a couple that are really crucial to helping you develop your business and become as successful as possible.
Your money mindset is essential to enabling you to develop that ‘profit first’ mentality and ensure the financial side of your business is truly flourishing.
We all have a lot of limiting money beliefs that hold us back, both in business and life. By transforming your money mindset and developing a truly positive money mindset, you can completely change the way you view the financial side of your business.
That shift in perception is often the difference between effective business development and frustration. Your business situation itself hasn’t changed, but the way you view it can be completely turned on its head, allowing you to make different choices and find fresh paths and opportunities.
Beyond your money mindset, fostering a powerful success mindset by developing your self-worth and working on any upper limit issues you may have, allows you to break through to the next level of development. Stay there, and keep moving on up.
Write Your Own Money Story
One great way to boost both your money and success mindset is to rewrite your money story and give yourself a happy-ever-after ending.
This is a really simple process, but very powerful, so be sure to have a read of my recent Rags to Riches post and download my free money story workbook to help you transform the story you tell yourself about money every single day.
Prioritise Your Health
This is another mindset shift that’s crucial to the development and success of any business, and it’s one a lot of people really struggle with: Prioritising your health.
Prioritise your health over your business, because your business health comes from the amount of energy and care you can pour into it.
Allowing yourself to become physically rundown will have a knock-on effect on your work and ability to effectively maintain the current level of your business, let alone grow it.
Many entrepreneurs are struggling with overwhelm, don’t let that be you too. Spending some time taking care of your health and wellbeing, and learning how to work smarter not harder, in turn will lead to a healthy business capable of development and growth.
Have A Clear And Meaningful Message
A huge part of business development is having a clear understanding of who you are and what your business is all about. More than that, really understand what makes you and your business unique and special.
Distilling down all your thoughts in this regard into a few very clear and concise statements that form your business message and mission will really help you focus.
This will not only help you in the personal and mindset side of business development, but also in the practical marketing and process elements.
We get so familiar with our products and services that we often lose sight of the ‘why’ behind them, and this makes it very difficult to drive our businesses forward.
We’re unsure where we’re going or what we really want.
When you have such a wishy-washy perspective on your meaning and mission, it shows. You will find prospects are disconnecting with you because they’re not really sure who you are and what you stand for.
Getting really clear on both your mission and message, and making both evident in your manner, your branding, your voice, and your marketing efforts is incredibly powerful.
It will also help you boost your online profile and position yourself as a thought-leader in your niche, because you genuinely have something to say. Something to stand for.
Be Very Clear About Your Goals
Linked to the importance of understanding your mission and message is the need to be very clear about your business goals. It’s very difficult to make wise decisions when it comes to your business development if you don’t really know what you’re trying to develop.
It’s important to understand exactly what you want to achieve, and the time frame you’re giving yourself to reach those goals. Don’t sell yourself short. Dream your biggest, most impossible dream, even if it seems completely implausible.
Once you know what your ultimate dream is you can work on a plan to get you there by mapping out your goals for business expansion, and giving yourself manageable steps to take leading to that end goal.
Don’t Confuse Development With Sales
Perhaps the greatest shift in mindset to make when it comes to developing your business is that development does not equal sales.
This is really difficult to grasp, because the crux of business development, really the whole point, is attracting more clients and growing your revenue and sales.
So how can the two things not be connected?
Well, it’s not that they are unrelated, it’s more that they work in tandem. One affects the other but they are not one and the same thing.
Consistently growing your sales and/or revenue does not necessarily mean you’re effectively developing your business.
In fact, it doesn’t even necessarily mean you’re developing your profits (although really, it should if you’re putting profit first).
Developing your business is about a lot more than simply making the numbers go up.
For one thing, it’s about making the right numbers go up. For another, the development of your relationships, both with existing clients and prospective clients is truly the core of ensuring the sustainable and effective development of your business.
It’s not about one new client, one big sale, one good month, or even one good year.
It’s about developing your reputation, reach, relationships, and overall presence as a recognisable and respected organisation and brand.
If you’re struggling to establish this kind of presence and reputation, it might be time to rethink your business with your mission, message and goals in mind.
Once you’re satisfied with the shape of your business investing in making sure your clients have happy journeys with you and increasing their lifetime value, as well as dedicating time, resources and attention to building a tribe of potential clients and fans around your business will give you a truly solid foundation for development.
Development is all about nurturing relationships – the relationship you have with yourself, and the relationships your business has with the world.
Find The Right Coach Or Business Developer
It’s really easy to fall into the trap of feeling everything rests on our shoulders, but it doesn’t.
Finding the right person to help you in your personal and professional development, and guide you through the process of developing your business can make all the difference.
Establish Internal Support
In a similar vein, looking at the internal support structure in your business is crucial.
Do you have the staff and support you need?
Do you have effective and efficient systems and processes in place to support your goals and plans (both current and future)?
And are you effectively working on your team development while you’re developing your business?
Growth requires additional support. Like a rose climbing a fence it will thrive with the solid frame to grow up, right to the point its growth exceeds the height of the support, at which point all that new growth eventually wilts under its own weight.
Make sure you have the support in place to help you achieve and sustain the development of your business.