How to achieve more with your business development?

Everywhere I hear conflicting reports of how sharp, severe or protracted this recession is going to be... or is the economy starting to recover? At the moment, I don't know what to believe, but know that there is a general downward pressure on fees and prices, and a reluctance for businesses to part with cash for non-essential stuff.

So this set me thinking, how to do you achieve more with your business development?

1. Have a marketing and sales strategy

Unless you know what you are trying to do, and how you will get there, you might as well not pass go. Business development is not like monopoly you don't get £200 for just passing go...

2. Get your branding right

Unless you have thought of a unique product or service, other people will offer exactly what you do. Branding yourself so that you will stand out with your target market - and be memorable is key.

3. Outsource if necessary

Maintaining a consistent market presence takes time and energy. Choose what low value tasks you can outsource, to free up your time to close down deals. For example, outsourcing SEO or social media tasks works very well.

4. Polish and perfect your copy

Your marketing copy, i.e. the stuff you write in your PR, blog, ads is vital. The words that you choose do make a difference - a well crafted piece is often the difference between a phone call or no phone call.

5. Integrate

Make sure your overall business strategy connects and then that your planned marketing & sales strategy is working towards achieving your overall business goals.

6. Look after your cash flow

It is envitable that you will need to invest some physical cash in your business development. Watching your cash flow and making sure that it's healthy and positive is vital to good business efficiency. Working with a good accountant or VAT specialist will help you keep your cash flow positive...

7. Get a coach

If you have followed all of my suggested tips it is likely that you will have a large amount of stuff to do. Rome wasn't built in a day, and if your resource is limited then you wouldn't be able to do everything overnight. A good business coach will help you prioritise your workload and give you the support to get everything done - but without falling apart in the process.

If you are about to enter a difficult negotiation OR think that you could achieve more for your time, money and effort in negotiations – give me a call on 01234 48 0123, drop me a line on heather@theefficiencycoach.co.uk or take a look at my website: www.theefficiencycoach.co.uk

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I help professionals, mostly accountants and lawyers become the Go-To-Expert. After joining BDO LLP in 2004, I have now almost clocked up ten years working predominantly with accountants helping them achieve their career and business goals. Unusually for someone with an Engineering Degree, I accidentally became a writer and used my knowledge on social media to write the current best-selling and award-winning book on networking, The FT Guide To Business Networking. (over 100 five star reviews on amazon) In 2012, the book I always wanted to write, 'How to make partner and still have a life' was published. In March 2014, my latest book, 'The Go-To-Expert: How to build your reputation, differentiate yourself from the competition and win business' was published. People frequently talk about me as someone who really knows her stuff – which may be the reason I have, over the last decade, worked with over 300 partners, coached and trained over 2000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices. 

I am honoured to have been asked to judge the British Accountancy Awards in 2011 and 2012. I am a member of the Accountant's Club Global Advisory Panel, and write regularly on practice management issues for CCH.

Myself, and Jon (my co-director) are approved Growth Accelerator Coaches. This means that we can if you are eligible, through the Growth Accelerator scheme, help you get some coaching funded by the scheme. Click here for more details to see whether you are eligible for the scheme.

Read how we have helped one of our accountancy clients access Growth Accelerator funding to grow their turnover by nearly 50% and profits by over 200%

The types of work I am currently helping my small professional practice clients with, includes:

1) Helping a £2m t/o practice grow to £4m by restructuring the firm and helping the management team step up 

2) Working with a £1m t/o practice to grow to £2m by generating more leads, and getting more work from existing clients

3) Enabling a £300k t/o practice grow to £1m by helping it sort out it's profitability by adding in efficient systems and processes, and increasing the quality of the  lead generation by marketing to a niche

4) Facilitating the growth of a one man band practice into a 3 person practice by helping increase the lead generation and conversion rate of leads, plus keeping the practice owner accountable to his goals.

The Excedia Group was founded by myself and Jon Baker to bring clarity, perspective and knowledge to help our clients achieve their business goals. We specialise in working with highly technical individuals, typically lawyers and accountants, helping them to get out of their comfort zone and build a profitable and sustainable client portfolio whilst handling the challenges of leading a business. 

My work splits into about 50% Executive & Business Coaching with Partners & potential partners, with the rest split between training, consultancy and writing.

My articles & quotes regularly appear in the press, e.g. FT, Guardian, Accountancy Age, Accounting Today, Economia, ACCA's publications. I regularly blog at Partnership Potentialventure-NowJoined up networking and How to make partner.

To book me for a speaking engagement please contact my PR Agency, Meerkat PR, on 020 8563 0182, and ask for David Stoch. For any other work related enquiries, please contact me directly.

My clients have included: Deloitte LLP, KPMG LLP, BDO LLP, Haines Watts, MSI Global Alliance, UK200 group, Macintyre Hudson LLP amongst others.