Business owners can get stuck in the area of Revenue Generating activities. This initially seems like a good thing, however, it’s important to devote time to other aspects of running a business to enable you and your business to grow and prosper and the cycle of Revenue Generating activities to continue. Business Development is one of those areas.
Here is a guide to help you know where to focus your attention during the time you make for Business Development. I have broken it down into 3 main areas with a definition, suggested activities and time frame for each:
1) Marketing – selling of products or services: the business activity of presenting products or services in such a way as to make them desirable*
Suggested activities: Spend time working on your website and marketing materials. They are your ‘store front’ so to speak and a reflection of you and your business. Check that all your information is current including contact details and upcoming events. Ensure website links work. Keep content fresh and regularly post new articles to your blog. Ensure your business cards and logo match your website. They may be in need of a fresh new look. Have an email marketing plan in place or send out a newsletter on a regular basis. These materials leave a lasting impression about your company.
Time Frame: Marketing activities can either be scheduled in amongst Revenue Generating tasks throughout the week (for example, 1 hour twice per week). Or you may prefer to include these in a day entirely devoted to Business Development.
2) Networking – practice of gathering of contacts: the process or practice of building up or maintaining informal relationships, especially with people whose friendship could bring advantages such as job or business opportunities*
Suggested activities: Network regularly in person, via Social Media and Forums. Build relationships with fellow business owners in your industry and those in your target market. Meet regularly both online and in your community. Attend trade shows. Become actively involved in Social Media and Forums providing useful information to your contacts and group members.
Time Frame: Schedule in 30 minutes or less each morning to spend on Social Media sites and in Forums. This doesn’t seem like a lot of time but by being consistent you maintain an ongoing presence and build relationships. The same goes for networking events that you attend in person on a regular basis.
3) Training – acquiring of skill: the process of teaching or learning a skill or job*
Suggested activities: Are you keeping up with the latest technologies? Let’s face it, technology is changing on an ongoing basis and it’s not possible to know it all. Listen to your target market in your networking activities and find out what their needs are. Learn something new that provides a solution to their needs. Attend informational teleclasses to discover new trends that will help you serve your clients better. There are many resources to learn just about anything online (live or self-paced) or in a classroom setting. This applies to almost any industry. Even my hairstylist keeps up with new trends in her industry through teleseminars.
Time Frame: I have found it best to focus on training during my weekly Business Development day where I have longer stretches of time to concentrate without interruption.
Remember, when you devote time to Business Development you ensure the constant flow of business to your company. Keep current clients and attract new ones by allocating time in your schedule to maintain a professional image through your marketing efforts, cultivate your business relationships and add to your skill set. These all translate into opportunities to generate more revenue and live the life you love.
*source: Encarta dictionary (
As a Business Support Specialist, Jennifer Hazlett provides offsite administrative help from her home based office to business owners with a multitude of office management and technical tasks, giving clients the expertise they need and more time to focus on growing their business. Sign up at Jennifer’s website, Alternate Admin
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