Business Development: Techniques & Strategies

Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara has a PhD in Marketing & Management

Business development is a necessity for a company to grow and expand. This lesson provides many helpful techniques and strategies to help managers set and achieve practical goals.

What is Business Development

Business development is the process of creating strategies and plans to grow a business, expand operations, and create a more stable company. By looking at business development opportunities, a company can figure out how to grow and strengthen its leadership, organization, and take advantages of opportunities.

Let's imagine you are part of a management team for a small regional hotel chain. Your company has 20 hotels in the southeast and is evaluating business development options. You believe there are opportunities to grow your chain and improve your marketing. There are also ways to reorganize the leadership team to maximize efficiency.


There are several essential techniques for creating a business development plan. Following these steps, you can improve the quality of your decisions and create a more concise, effective plan that supports growth.


Before any form of development can happen, research needs to be conducted to determine what needs are in the market and what products or services are wanted. You can spend a considerable amount of time and money creating options or solutions that do not solve the problem. Understand what areas are under-served in the market or what customers want. Once the research is complete, you can brainstorm with the relevant personnel to develop the business development plan.

You suspect that the greatest growth opportunity is to grow the family tourist market. You consider offering more family-friendly features like slides in the pool area and game rooms. However, before you make changes your team researches what groups are under-served in your region and realize there is a great need for corporate services. By researching, you have learned that your initial idea was incorrect, and there are more opportunities and income available in the business market.

Input from the Group

The right people need to be involved in planning for business development, especially when evaluating plans that will impact multiple teams or divisions. It is important to outline what the goals of the plan, who will be affected, and what resources will be needed.

Your hotel chain wants to grow the corporate business and believes that negotiating contracts with several large companies could increase the number of rooms sold by 62% in the next year. As a management team, you discuss the possible options and the effect the growth will have on individual divisions and the company, as a whole. You determine that all departments will be affected and need to be involved in the planning and execution of the growth strategies.

Creating a Plan

Once the goal is determined, the plan needs to be developed to execute the plan. This can be a time-consuming process but it essential to ensure a solid plan is made. During this process, contingency plans are also necessary. You must consider how things will go, what to do when potential problems may arise, and what will be done if the plan doesn't go as expected. Each person should have clear expectations of what they are responsible for and when each item is due.

You determine there are three key steps to growing your corporate business: preparing your hotels for increased business, offering products and services corporate clients want, and securing contracts with other business. By planning each of the three aspects and making assignments to the appropriate departments, your company can prepare and execute the plan to seek corporate business.

Creating Business Development Strategies

Once the plan is created, and the goals are set, strategies need to be implemented to reach the goals.

Focus on the Right Actions

One of the benefits of research is determining what the best course of action is for your business. There are often several options that will get you to your desired goal. As you develop strategies, you need to focus on what the best steps are to reach your goals. Choosing the right actions will help you fine tune your plans and save time and energy from being too distracted on activities that are not necessary.

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