Business Development Strategy for Managers

Senior Managers have different contacts and networks from the rest of the company. Their contacts are of a higher level. It is important that Senior Managers build their profile and have a planned strategy to work their network in order to get more business. Even Managers in Accounts and HR will have, or should have, a network of counterparts within other companies. Every Manager should see it as a part of their role to be proactive in working their network and contacts to build stronger relationships or gain market intelligence that could lead to new business.

This can not be delegated to someone in a lower level within the company as their contacts and network will be at a lower level of authority.

A strong network with regular contact within client or joint-venture companies, will ensure:

  • You learn market intelligence early
  • You learn about changes within the client company
  • You learn about new projects earlier
  • You learn about on-going problems which you may have solutions for
  • You are up to date with arrivals of new people or replacements
  • Your relationships will strengthen

When you have a planned strategy, you leave nothing to chance and do not have to rely on memory, skill or inclination. You will be in the right place at the right time to offer ongoing support and create added value to the client.

There should also be a budget allocated for Managers to take clients to functions, lunches or coffees. Plus there should be KPI’s to measure the networking activities and the annual results.

How Is this Done?

Each Manager makes a list of clients and segments them by priority such as Gold, Silver and Bronze. The goal is to strengthen the relationship and get more work from Gold.

Gold would be an existing active relationship and a significant amount of work. The goal with Silver is to move it to Gold, and move Bronze to Silver.

Occasionally, you will drop clients from your Bronze status and put new clients into this segment. Companies grow and change either through natural growth or through merger and acquisition.

Once a client has been allocated into a segment, each Manager must make a decision about the frequency of the contact, the type of contact and the manner that suits them. The company may set a Matrix with set frequency for each segment. If the contact is decided to be monthly, then within a quarter, you may have a coffee meeting one month, contact by email another month and invite them to be your guest at a business breakfast the next month.

Functions ideal for inviting clients

I recommend that you subscribe to a paper with a strong focus on business. They will promote breakfasts and functions that would make great opportunities to invite clients to attend as your guests. Other opportunities are charities which have business breakfasts or speakers and Chamber of Commerce functions.

Networking

The ultimate objective of networking is to meet new people with the intention of either converting them into potential clients or to establish ongoing relationship. So, simply meeting them is not enough, you have to know firstly how to meet them and how to start a new relationship and how to keep it going.

It is important that all Managers learn how to network effectively. Therefore, they either need training or operations manual modules that cover the following:

How to network effectively when you know no one in the room

How to work a room, how to approach a group of people you don’t know, what to say, how to move on and how to connect quickly and be remembered.

The business card system

How to follow-up by email or phone call.

What to do prior, during and after the function to create new relationships

Making Contact

How to make a call when you have nothing to say

How to make a ‘cold’ call where the person willingly agrees to meet

How To Build and Maximise your Profile

Strategies to build, maximise and extend your network

Shared Information

The final part of this strategy is the sharing of the information gained. This can be an informal process but this is often not shared with all the people who could take advantage of the information. Managers should share in their weekly Management meetings, any market intelligence or change in the companies they are in contact with. This would then be filtered down to other levels where they could use this information as a reason to make contact with their network. Again, this works best as a formalized process.

Sign Business Develops Entrepreneurs in the Computer-Aided Signmaking Industry

Sign Biz, Inc. was founded in 1989 by Teresa Young who established the business during a time when sign companies were neither retail-oriented nor computer-driven operations. Young, who anticipated the industry shift to B-to-B visual communications, opened the retail sign store concentrating on vinyl graphics and watched the industry grow into a broad advertising medium driven by computer-aided signmaking (CAS) able to offer unlimited design options for all size businesses.

By leveraging the latest technology, the CAS industry continues to grow at a rate of approximately 13% each year with companies becoming increasingly able to fulfill even the largest sign orders, including those for Fortune 500 companies. “This is a huge industry that affords almost limitless niche development – from wall murals and vehicle wraps, to gorgeous 3-dimensional branding elements and lobby video signs. Nearly everyone can find a specialty that is thrilling and profitable,” explained Young.

Today, Sign Biz has grown into the largest non-franchised retail sign chain with a network of nearly 200 store owners and is the only full-service business development company in the industry that requires no franchise fees or royalties from its store owners unlike its franchise counterparts.

According to Sign Biz, Inc. VP of Business Development, Greg Salzano, the company’s business development program provides complete training, equipment and support with an “evergreen” agreement for the life of the business. “Our non-royalty program, when combined with the lifetime of support, personalized training and comprehensive equipment package truly allows Sign Biz Network Members to be an entrepreneur, yet have the support structure available as they need it,” said Salzano.

Young believes that good prospects for joining the Sign Biz network are entrepreneurs willing to apply the company’s business model, and who also possess a positive outlook when trying new things. “We guide every new business owner through their first hire, their store design, their logo and branding elements. It is a partnership, so we look for those who want a strong partnership experience in a dynamic industry,” said Young.

“We believe Sign Biz will continue to be on cutting edge when it comes to new offerings in the signage industry. We were the first sign chain to add Large Format Digital Print equipment into our package in the 1990’s, as well as the first to add Electronic Digital Signage in 2007. Our Network will continue to grow via both new shops and new technology in a market that is nowhere near saturation,” said Salzano.

According to Salzano, new Sign Biz Network Members can be up and running within 75 to 120 days including a 30-day training period.

For more information: http://www.franchisegator.com/Sign-Biz-opportunity/

Small Business Development – Election Time! What Are You Voting For?

There is a lot of talk today about the Presidential Primary elections and the November elections. However, whether you know it or not, today is your voting day. It is the day you must make a decision about your future leadership and the direction your life and business will take going into the future. I encourage each and every one of you to go and cast your vote and make your choice count.

However, I am not talking about the Presidential Primary, I am talking about your life and your business.

You see, every morning you have the opportunity to make a choice. There are many options to choose from. You can choose success; failure, growth, status quo; risk, security, comfort, challenge, opportunity, problem, or countless other options.

The problem is most if us don’t cast our vote. Today, I choose success.

Here is the simple truth. Now is the only moment that matters, and you can only live one day at a time. Every morning we have the opportunity to vote on how we want our day to go. We can choose what kind of attitude we are going to “take to the marketplace” as Jim Rohn would say. We can choose how much time we want to put into preparation; self-development; physical and mental fitness; building our businesses; and parenting our children.

The problem is, most of us don’t take the time to vote. Today, I choose risk.

Eben Pagan, in his Wake Up Productive Program talks about designing daily rituals for the first 90 minutes of each day that allow you to “make yourself strong first.” By designing a daily ritual that allows you to start each day strong, you are choosing success. You are casting your ballot each and every day.

What rituals can you develop that will remind you that you have a choice. You can choose success today. What you will discover is that success is not the cars, and the money, and the clients. Those things are the result of you being successful. Today, I choose growth.

“Success is not something you achieve, rather it is something you attract by the person you become” Jim Rohn

I encourage you to follow the advice of Eben Pagan and develop those early morning rituals that lead you towards becoming a successful person.

Steve Chandler, author of one of my all-time favorite books, Time Warrior, talks about the distinction between reacting and creating. When you cast your vote each morning you are involved in the creative process. You are actively participating in the creation of your day.

When you don’t cast your vote, you end up living your life in reaction to what happens to you and around you. Today, I choose success!

Did You Vote Today! It’s Not Too Late.

Link Exchanges or Business Development Strategy

Viewing the ever growing issue and concern of Link Exchanges and the method by which they are being performed, I can clearly say to every white hat SEO consultant that WE HAVE A PROBLEM.

I myself as a manager in several organizations receive my share of irrelevant and sometimes insulting exchanges of link invitations from companies/organizations that have absolutely no relevance to my area of business and/or complementary industry. I am always amazed that those companies portray themselves in such a poor manner.

The Common Method

It is a known fact that links are a major concern for every site owner or SEO consultant looking for better rankings and higher PR. Today site owners and even some SEO consultants do not care where they get the links, sending thousands of e-mails through automated programs to whichever company/website that comes across their path. These companies work on a pure statistical assumption that out of all these thousands, few individuals will agree to the exchange.

The problem with this method is that most of us today regard Link Exchange as nothing more than another form of spam. This results in a built up resistance in cooperation to take part in a Link Exchange program as it might indicate your website as a non professional website.

I believe that part of the solution to this problem is for anyone who is looking for SEO consulting to take better care as to whom he/she chooses and to take some involvement in the process of his/hers company’s representation to the world.

Link Exchanges as a Business Development Strategy

After years of conducting Link Exchange activity for my business and those of my clients I started noticing the effect this program brought to my clients. I further wondered how we could create a more organized and thought-out effect from the beginning.

The Effect: The effect that started to happen for my clients was that slowly but surely they were gaining international contacts and forming business relations with distant partners, thus enabling them easier access to their local clients and free promotion of their name. It also brought activity into their circle of contacts and other business associates. That of course led to formal relations which evolved into a full international network with a sole existence to serve the respected clients of the international network’s members.

Creating the Effect

The development from this point was very natural, as it was logical to assume as a multilingual SEO expert that the bridging between cultural differences and forming the same kinds of relationships with local companies and in their own language will add to the tremendous strength of this business possibility. This is exactly what we did, realizing that giving time and attention to the type of companies you are contacting and industries you are targeting is imperative to the success of your Link Exchange campaign.

Many times I have heard that Link Exchanges work on statistics and the more you send the more links you will have. This theory might be true but the quality of the link is affected by this method, and not to mention the constant depletion of the internet resources such as SERP and directories while e-mailing in ignorance.

You will get more links and much more directed traffic and generated business if you take time and thought to the quality of your Link Exchange program. This had taken a tremendous effect for all the companies I consult and work with and will have the same effect for you.

Another excellent way to broaden the Link Exchange program is to contact the most desired of exchanges and explain the idea of business development opportunities that may be involved in such an exchange.

Conclusion

To summarize my thoughts and experience on the matter, the link exchange program will stop having a negative effect on the SEO industry, if professionals and non professionals will give the time and attention this major issue deserves.

I believe that with the simple and familiar advice I have passed along with this short article, there is great potential to create healthy Link Exchange programs where users will truly benefit from the links posted on ones website. Don’t forget this is the first and primary reason for the Link Exchange program to exist and why it is effecting your ranking in such a profound way.