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What is Business Development?

Kit Jenkin
23 Sep 2021

“Business development” is one of those terms that gets used a lot, but few people actually know what it means. However, most companies have some kind of business development role on their books. 

Here, we’ll discuss what business development is, why it’s important, and the different departments in your company it can apply to. 

Business development definition

In essence, business development is any action, idea or initiative that improves your business. Business development can target a range of things, including:

  • Increasing profits
  • Client expansion
  • Building strategic partnerships
  • Cultivating relationships

Business development can often be its own department within a company, with specialists dedicated to generating new clients and revenues. Or, business development activities can be integrated into other departments like marketing, sales, and project management.

C-suite management sets the larger business development goals, which guide most business development activities. 

The different forms of business development

Business development can come in many forms. Here are all the ways that different departments can contribute to business development activities. 


Sales professionals tend to focus on generating sales from a particular set of clients, often according to pre-set targets. Sales departments can also be involved in attracting new clients to their company’s products and services by upselling


Marketing is designed to articulate what a company is trying to do for its target audience and create content that will attract customers. In this fashion, marketing can contribute to meeting sales targets and accessing new customers in existing markets. 

Project management

Project management has to be informed by the needs of clients and the demands of the market. Successful project management can also help build good relationships with customers and set the stage for improved company performance. 

What do business management professionals do?

Business development professionals actively pursue opportunities for business growth. They have three primary responsibilities:

  • Identifying new business opportunities
  • Pitching products and services of their organization
  • Maintaining strong relationships with existing customers
  • Generating new revenue
  • Finding new ways to reach existing markets
  • Working with clients to determine a market fit for new products

The business development professional concentrates on building long-term, sustainable revenue streams. They thus play a long-term role in building a sustainable future for the company. 

Business development professionals tend to be motivated by meeting targets. They also tend to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, which help them build good relationships with their clients [1]. 

The business development process

Each company’s business development process is different. Here are some things you can think about to develop your business development process. 

Create a pitch

It’s much easier to develop business opportunities when you can sum up your company’s offer succinctly. Making initial conversations with clients and customers is a lot easier when you can deliver a great soundbite at will. 

Your pitch should clarify your company’s missions, the value of your goods and services, and how these things can help your customers solve potential pain points. 

Set goals

It’s vital to set clear goals that your business development activities should reach. You want all your goals to be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. You also want to make sure that your business development goals sync up well with larger business goals. 

Do a SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis is a tried and tested practice that helps companies identify where they sit in the marketplace, and how they can leverage their particular strengths and opportunities into business development success. 

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

  • Strengths: What is your company best at? Your company’s strengths could include things like product quality, company culture, sales processes, marketing, and more.
  • Weaknesses: What is your company bad at? Weaknesses could be at any company level, from employees on the ground to the management level.
  • Opportunities: What is possible for your business to accomplish? What opportunities for growth or development can you identify?
  • Threats: What is a threat to your business and its growth? Threats could include competitors, market forces, environmental factors, and more. 

Measure your success

Now that you have your SWOT analysis and SMART goals, you will need to determine how you measure the success of your business development activities. 

There are many metrics you can choose from to determine your success. Some of the most common metrics include:

  • Views, impressions, and clicks
  • Leads generated
  • Leads converted
  • Customer satisfaction reports
  • Reach
  • Sales
  • Increased profits

Set your budget

Once you know how you’re going to measure your success, it’s time to determine your budget. Think about the resources you have, how much previous strategies have cost, and the cost of other elements you may need. 

Cultivate your target audience

No matter what your goals are, you should never lose sight of your target audience. Determine their needs and figure out how your company can continue to meet them, even if you’re going after other markets. 

Determine an outreach strategy

A key part of business development is determining new clients and leads. Choose the best way to reach out and connect with your target consumers, and what channels you will use to achieve this. 

Use your EPOS to track all business development activities

When you’re trying to grow your business, you need a tight focus on your performance metrics. Without knowing how your business is performing, you can’t create a good business development system. It’s vital to have a robust reporting system that will give you the lay of the land so you can set a course for the future. 

With an Epos Now EPOS system, you can take control of your business, from the largest marketing campaign to the smallest item of stock control.

  • Track single item performance so you can forecast with accuracy
  • Receive stock alerts so you never miss a selling opportunity
  • Easily add, edit and bundle items to create new revenue opportunities
  • Create automatic purchase orders so you never run out of stock
  • Full barcode management. Import, update and manage 1,000s of products
  • Track inventory real-time, right down to ingredient level​
  • Automate purchase orders and stock levels so you never run out of what you need
  • Minimise cash flow tied up in stock​
  • Establish drink recipes & ingredients to reduce over-pouring
  • Manage stock between multiple locations

Contact Epos Now to learn more about our systems. 

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