Business Development Ideas For Small IT Business

Information technology is not meant for small business. This is the biggest misperception hovering around the IT stream. Instead, information technology is one domain that has many opportunities for all. IT not only offers you a wide variety of jobs to opt from, but is also a small business destination. The workloads are tremendous, and you should try venturing into this steam only if you are willing to work continuous sleepless nights. Getting work is not difficult, but delivering within the restricted time frames and still maintaining the output quality is what takes the toll. Another important characteristic of this business is the multi requirement. You alone with a specific skill set might not be able to satisfy all requirements, but a perfect team with a coalition of different specializations is necessary to expand. So, before advertising or planning for mass business development, ensure that you have the right personnel associated with you. Recruitment agencies could be handy or you can refer to your own educational institute’s student list for such reference names and contacts.

To grow your small business, it is important to make the target segment aware of your presence. This can be best done by procuring a few speaking slots in important conferences and sessions related to your field. You can also advertise in a few selected journals and directories in your domain; however, be cautious of your budget. Do not overspend unless you’ve roped in a few fixed clients.

Develop a website and use other online strategies such as search engine optimization to boost your presence. This suits your stream; your target customers are well educated and can be easily reached through the World Wide Web.

Another important way to get your break is by getting associated with professional consultants or AMCs (annual maintenance contractors). These people are generally looked to for technical advice. They can certainly refer you to their clients for a small mark-up fee. Another network where you need an entry to be among the chosen IT service providers is the company’s purchasing department. Look for informal referrals in this group and couple it with your professional networking. Send them your brochures and provide as many dummy runs through the offerings as possible. If they are impressed, half of the job is done.

Business development in the IT domain is not very difficult, especially if you can offer the right portfolio. So, emphasize as much as possible on your product and follow the mentioned guidelines to create the desired impact. Choose the path that is subtler, as immediate steps in this direction could mean enormous spending that might not be viable at initial stages.

Online Business Development For Beginners

Are you ready to kick off your online business development the right way? You’ll be pleased to know that there are many excellent established practices that can help guide your business from its beginning all the way through a fruitful and long journey of success. While online marketing has many similarities to traditional marketing, there are also many differences, as well as new facets and angles to consider. To properly succeed with online business development you need to understand the ins and outs of online marketing.

The great thing about online business development is that it doesn’t need to cost any money. Yes, there are paid online advertising opportunities, including the popular Google AdWords (a Pay Per Click service). These tools can be successful but aren’t the best place to start, especially when you are on a budget. You have to turn to free methods that can pay serious dividends for the time you put in.

When you’re creating your new website, you have to realize how online content is different from offline content. The content of your website needs to be easily readable and digestible. It should be short and to the point, and it should draw people into it. People skim rather than read online, so you have to find a way to get your point across in less time and in less space.

Another key difference between online business development and offline marketing is that before people ever even evaluate whether they want to read your content, they need a chance to get to your site, your blog or your article. This is opposed to say, an advertisement in a newspaper, where anybody flipping through the newspaper will see your advertisement. All you have to do there is capture their attention.

With your online business, you need to capture their attention as well, but you first need to get them there. This entails search engine optimization, social networking and link building among other strategies to drive traffic to your website. Search engine optimization involves creating keyword-optimized content that will help get you found in search engines.

How to Create Effective Business Development Strategies

Developing a business is never that easy. It is a vital start and the tensest part for a budding company to begin from scratch that is why you need to know and have business development strategies before stepping into the scene. These business development strategies will help you keep in track to your business success.

Just like before any game could start in a basketball game you need to have a game plan. Plan your strategy right for a good head start.

Your starting point is to know your product or services offered for your business, your target market, where they are located and how you will approach them. A lot of opportunities will open for your business once you identify these factors.

Whether you are offering a service or sell products, it is important that you know exactly your target market and set standards since there are different approaches in dealing different target market. This strategy will able you to focus on your base market and provide them their expectation from your product or services. Now if you already pointed out your target market you may identify their location for you to figure out how you will able to approach them. This is for you to have a suitable approach to your target market.

Start to make your market research for your business. This is one way to have a one step ahead to your game. You will able to identify your prospect customers and possible business growth. Market search also gives your business an edge especially you are just starting, for you will be able to see the overview of problems and obstacles of other companies or businesses and learn from it. It’s one way to also prepare your business to deal with the possible business issues and problems.

Keeping in mind these simple yet effective business development strategies will definitely help you attain your goal for success. As a saying goes, “People do not fail because they planned to fail but rather they failed to plan.”

Top 5 Business Development Blunders

Effective communication skills are essential to successful business development. Yet they’re often under-emphasized and sometimes completely ignored. Why? Because we communicate so much and so often (approximately 20,000 words per day) we often take it for granted. But regardless of how good your product or service is and how much expertise you have in your area, it all goes to waste unless you can communicate it to others. When you actually get the chance to sit down with a potential client and discuss doing business together, don’t blow it by committing one of these big five business development blunders.

1. Talking about your product or service. Infodumping is simply telling someone all there is to know about what you’re selling. You probably cover how long you’ve been in business, who developed what, your philosophy of business, your market share and all the choices you have available. This approach is likely to leave the potential client in exactly the same place on the sales continuum as when you started. Your objective should be to get him to gravitate towards you. Go into your meeting with a strategic goal. What specifically do you want him to know, do or believe after meeting with you. Is it to place an order, sign up for a trial or believe you’re the only logical choice? Once you have a strategic goal, your destination is in sight and you can begin mapping a route to get there.

2. Not listening. No salesperson has ever listened herself out of a sale. Yet, when asked a simple question, many salespeople take it as a license to deliver a monologue. Here are three tips to practice better listening. First, use questions to discover what’s important. If the potential client says “tell me about yourself (or your product or service or company)”, respond with “what would you like to know” or “what aspect is most important to you in making a decision?” Second, never talk continuously for more than a couple of minutes without giving the other person an opportunity to speak. Third, don’t correct the other person unless it’s absolutely essential for the discussion to proceed–it rarely is and no one likes to be told he’s wrong.

3. Using sales clichés. People usually begin to lose interest the moment they feel they’re being sold. They usually begin feeling that way when they hear stock phrases such as “That’s a great question” or “What will it take to get your business today?” People need to feel like individuals, not like pieces in an assembly line. Sales clichés operate on a Pavlovian model–use a specific phrase and you’ll get the response you desire. It’s manipulative. Try shifting to a consultative approach where you’re seen as a advisor or problem-solver.

4. Failing to adapt to the situation. The problem with using a sales script is that it assumes too much. It assumes similar motivators, perspectives and situations in life. A financial planner I know has developed a very clever approach to meeting clients. He places bowls near the cash registers of higher-end restaurants in his territory. On each bowl, he places a small sign encouraging patrons to drop their business card in for a chance at a free meal at that restaurant. He goes through the cards periodically and invites someone to lunch with the understanding that he’d like a few minutes to talk about his services. When I met him for lunch, he presented his sales talk that assumed A. I had taken on a big mortgage to finance my house (I didn’t) B. I had to save for a child’s college fund (I don’t) and C. that my parents might someday need assisted living care (they’re both dead). Treat each meeting as unique and don’t assume too much.

5. Failing to distinguish features from benefits. Salespeople often focus on telling someone what a product or service is or does at the expense of what problem it solves or what pain it takes away. I once observed a commercial leasing agent show office space. As he met the clients in the building foyer, he commented on the large parking lot outside. That was a feature statement. A benefit statement would have focused on how clients would never have to search for parking or that people could always park close to the building in bad weather. Let’s say your product includes a video–that’s only a feature. The benefit is that someone can see exactly how to use your product. Apply this test to the statements you make–ask the “so what” question. If you can’t answer it, you’ve got a feature rather than a benefit.

Developing good communication skills is a result of thinking more strategically about how communication affects our interactions with others, then putting those strategies into play. When you avoid these top five blunders of business development, you’ll not only gain more business, you’ll lose less. Remember, if your idea is important, it deserves to get heard.