Looking to expand your business, or penetrate a new market, or getting sponsorship for any event you want to conduct in your college? There’s only one answer to all of these- Business Development. Now this might sound like a heavy word to most of you folks out there, but it is too easy to understand as compared to actually doing it. You don’t need to have a Masters in Business to fathom Business Development, It’s what most of us do all the time even without being actually aware of it. A business developer can be the business owner(s), or the designated employee(s) working in business development. Anyone who can make or suggest a strategic business change for a value-add to the business can contribute towards business development. Businesses often encourage employees to come up with innovative ideas, which can help in improving the overall business potential.

Business development is the creation of long-term value for an organization from customers, markets, and relationships.

Now what do I infer by “long-term value”? In its simplest form, “value” is cash, money, the lifeblood of any business (but it can also be access, prestige, or anything else a company seeks in order to grow).  And there are plenty of ways to make a quick buck for you or your company.  But business development is not about get-rich-quick schemes and I-win-you-lose tactics that create value that’s gone tomorrow as easily as it came today.  It’s about creating opportunities for that value to persist over the long-term, to keep the floodgates open so that value can flow indefinitely.  Thinking about business development as a means to creating long-term value is the only true way to succeed in consistently growing an organization.

Business development activities extend across different departments, including sales, marketing, project management, product management and vendor management. Networking, negotiations, partnerships, and cost-savings efforts are also involved. All these different departments and activities are driven by and aligned to the business development goals. For instance, a business has a product/service which is successful in one region (say, the United States). The business development team assesses further expansion potential. After all due diligence, research and studies, it finds that the product/service can be expanded to a new region (like Brazil).

Due to the wide open scope of business development and activities, there are no standard practices and principles. From exploring new opportunities in external markets, to introducing efficiencies in internal business operations, everything can fit under the business development umbrella. Those involved in business development need to come up with creative ideas, but their proposals may prove to be unfeasible or unrealistic. It's important to be flexible, to seek out and take constructive criticism, and to remember that it's a process.

Business development may be difficult to define concisely, but it can be easily understood using a working concept. An open mindset, willingness for an honest and realistic self-assessment, and the ability to accept failures, are a few of the skills needed for successful business development. Beyond the ideation, implementation and execution of a business development idea, the end results matter the most. The bright minds in business development should be ready to accommodate change in order to achieve the best results. Every approval or disapproval is a learning experience, bettering preparing you for the next challenge.

Source: www.investopedia.com, www.forbes.com