Having a business development strategy is essential for survival in the digital age we live in. This is because, in contemporary times, things don’t always adhere to the established, traditional norms.

Take something like the news for instance. Naturally, you’d expect local cable news to always be the first to report major happenings.

However, it’s Twitter that seems to always have the daily scoop.

With change sweeping the airwaves, it’s worth noting the business world has not remained untouched.

If you’re looking to run a thriving enterprise in the modern world, it’s pragmatic to join us as we break down the nitty-gritty of what business development entails and how to develop your own winning strategy.

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What is a business development strategy?

A business development strategy refers to an elaborate plan to expand your business in a particular calculated direction.

Often times, business development strategies are developed with the intention of discovering new sources of revenue and outdoing the competition. 

In essence, business development is all about creating long term value for customers, stakeholders, and the markets.

As such, when conceptualizing your own business development strategy, you need to focus on going the distance. Instead of visualizing it all as a zero-sum game, you need to think about creating opportunities for sustained success.

Why it’s important to have a business development strategy

So many entrepreneurs today have their eyes fixed on growing their reach. 

With an elaborate business development strategy in place, it’s quite easy for you to expand your operations.

This is because business development tends to act as the glue that links various important departments in your organization. It’s what keeps the sales, customer service, and advertising sections in sync.

For business development to work, you need to quit relying on habits, anecdotes, fads, and established trends to run your organizations. Instead, stick to your strategy and witness real profitability and growth.

To achieve success, the onus is on you as the business person to implement, launch and market various strategies. Since this is a crucial role, you need to have a proper understanding of all internal and external operations. 

Business Development Strategy: 12 Key Tips

If you’re looking to develop your business development strategy, these 12 key tips will come in handy.

1. Networking

This is a staple when developing business development strategies. 

This is because humans have an innate need to communicate one-on-one for proper comprehension. When done right, these kinds of meetups can bear fruit and lead to the development of longstanding relationships.

Since most relationships emerge after face-to-face networking sessions, it’s your best bet if you want to live long in the minds of prospects.

To effectively pull this off, you need to avoid staying inside the office. Instead, strive to attend different business events that can expose you to different people. 

Having revealed this, it’s worth noting that this networking method has its faults. This is particularly true once you consider that a majority of modern buyers are caught in the rat-race ebb of life.

This means that time constraints play a heavy hand in most of the decisions they make. These kinds of face-to-face meetups can also be quite expensive.

To make things easier, you can choose to employ digital networking techniques to lower the burden for your clients. While it’s true that your clients will still need to find time to interact with you, it’s a less stressful method. 

2. Referrals

Closely related to networking, referrals are what keep existing relationships thriving in the long term. Provided you have a fantastic relationship with existing clients in place, they’ll easily be able to recommend your services to others. 

Having revealed this, it’s worth noting that in most situations, referrals are passive. This is because they are heavily reliant on your customers identifying ideal prospects for your business and then making the pitch at the right moment. 

Surprisingly, many referral sources only have a faint idea of the kind of services your business offers. As such, it’s not uncommon to discover that they have no idea how to contact the right buyers you need.

To avoid missing out on referrals simply because your brand message is unclear, you need to ensure you touch on all the pain points you’re capable of tackling when establishing a relationship with clients.

At the same time, you also need to lay the ground for referrals to happen. While referrals can naturally happen without much input from you, it wouldn’t hurt to ask for referrals from happy customers. The best time to do it? Right after a sale!

3. Come up with new products and services

This can positively impact your business development strategy. When you realize that your current products and services seem to have plateaued in terms of performance, it’s important that you look into devising new products or simply expanding your service offerings.

If you’re unsure about how to proceed, we suggest reviewing how to introduce new products and services that can complement existing ones. By doing this, you’ll be able to generate more sales from your current customer base and grow. With more to offer to clients, you’ll be smartly playing the numbers game and enhancing your odds of achieving success.

4. Extend your market reach

This is a simplistic approach that can do your business development strategy the world of good. While conventional thought may entail conceiving new products and services before venturing into new markets, you can elect to go against the grain by simply making tweaks to your existing marketing approach.

This may mean seeking new ways to explore new markets and gain more market share from your competitors.

You can also seek to identify other geographical locations where your products and services may be required. Alternatively, you can choose to switch up and look for an entirely new demographic. 

5. Sponsorships and advertising

Through advertisements, you can have your brand’s name on people’s lips in no time.

However, you need to be smart with how you go about it. While traditional advertising will surely inform the masses about your offerings, it’s best to have a dual approach where you also tap into new models of digital advertising. This is because digital advertising trumps the traditional system when you compare the rate of growth.

With a targeted approach, you’ll be able to get your message to the right people at the right time. 

If you have the power to sponsor events and conduct advertising, it’s highly recommended to speak during such events. By doing so, you’ll be injecting some extra enthusiasm and encourage full client participation.

6. Outbound telephone and mail

For the longest time, a host of professional establishments have been using phone calls and mail correspondence to contact prospects. 

To gain traction, you can do the same provided you target the right firms with relevant messages. Once you do this, you can expect to identify new leads that need nurturing. 

Notably, such kinds of undertakings can be quite costly. The methods employed also heavily rely on catching prospects at the right time.

To ensure that you stay true to your business development strategy, it’s important to keep your messages appealing. The best way to do this? Seek to have a very qualified and responsive list.

7. Thought leadership and content marketing

This is a brilliant business development strategy since it seeks to broadcast your expertise to the masses.

The key thing here is to properly understand your niche in the industry and embrace it. 

You can specialize in a particular field and then seek to become an expert in the field. Once you truly understand what your company does, and how it fits in the larger jigsaw of the industry, you’ll find it easier to tailor your message for different audiences. 

Once you assert yourself as an expert, you’ll become a real resource for other people. This can help you grow your brand since you’ll be able to build trust all through your ecosystem. At the end of the day, the net result is that you’ll have deeper, and more meaningful relationships. 

8. Embrace social media

By posting well-crafted content and sharing great pointers in public circles, you’ll be able to win over a following. This is because there are a host of platforms that can give you great visibility among potential buyers and referral sources. These include LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Quora, Reddit, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Remarkably, you don’t have to be an established brand to make ripples. With the onset of digital communication, you can compete with the very best

Thanks to search engines, you’re not limited to your geographical scope. At the same time, platforms like webinars, blogs, and websites allow you to amplify your message to the masses with ease. 

By making use of video and social media, you can also unlock several new doors and expand your reach organically.

9. Always be ready to adapt

There are so many things which were relevant yesterday but have already been jettisoned in preparation for tomorrow. 

If you discover that your business lies in such an industry, then you need to be positive and see it all as a big thrill.

Despite the hurdles you face, you should always be ready to become an early adaptor since this will grant you the keys to the city before your competition. This can be really beneficial if you’re looking to grow your brand name and connect with a broader audience. 

Since change is almost always constant, it’s vital to be ready to anticipate the winds of change and steer your sails accordingly.

10. Keep your chin up in the face of rejection

This is one of the most important business development strategy tips to keep in mind. This is because, during your growth phase, rejection comes with the territory.

Therefore, you need to anticipate rejection during the buyer journey. This is a wise move since you’ll be able to prepare counter-arguments and respond to prospects accordingly. 

In due time, you’ll realize that some of your naysayers actually pan out to become willing collaborators. All simply because you didn’t allow your shoulders to droop in the face of adversity. 

11. Joint ventures

Joint ventures refer to agreements made between two or more businesses with regards to a particular product or service offering. 

By joining forces with other entrepreneurs, you’ll be able to effectively expand your business operations. You can explore different avenues like combining marketing lists or come up with a package deal featuring different existing products. Optionally, you can also choose to come up with new products for your joint business. 

If you’re looking to keep your business operations autonomous whilst still reaching out to new customers, then, this is one of the best ways to do it. 

12. Boost your productivity

You may realize that you need extra financial capital to expand your productivity and meet your goals. When this happens, be on the lookout for business loans, grants, and input from investors. The capital you get from such endeavors will help you access more equipment, space, and personnel to boost your productivity levels.

To ensure that your productivity levels don’t take a hit, it’s important to also have a great marketing plan as part of your business development strategy. With one in place, you’ll effectively be able to keep your products flying off the shelves. 


That wraps up our tips on how to implement your business development strategies. 

As revealed earlier, business development is not a onetime thing, success doesn’t happen overnight. To flourish, you need to really focus on looking ahead. 

When you do this right, you’ll have a steady pipeline of leads showing up at your front door from various channels.

If you follow the highlighted business development strategy tips shared, you’ll find that you’re better placed when it comes to delivering against your sales objectives.

To conclude, we’d love to hear your take on the topic.

  • Are you ready to embrace a business development strategy?
  • What fascinates you the most about the whole undertaking?

Let us know in the comments below!


Having spent 18 years either running his own agency or an agency for others, Jason has strong expertise in both B2B and retail marketing, and has been working with large clients on how to bring campaigns to market.

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