In any industry, it’s important to find ways to continually grow. After all, even if you’re one of the leading companies in your industry, if you wait too long to act or rest on your laurels, it’s easy to get overtaken by a smaller competitor with more drive and agility. From coming up with new markets to branch out into and researching the latest social media trends to seeking out new customers, one of the best ways for a small business to improve its standing in the sector by driving growth is to invest in a business development team.
What exactly is a business development team? Put in its simplest terms, business development teams are teams specifically tasked with analyzing your existing company and helping you see different opportunities and markets that you might miss as someone entrenched in the day-to-day operations of your business. From improving customer experience and performing market research to streamlining your online order system or finding new ways to increase your customer base, there are all sorts of tasks that you can have your business development tackle. A great way to use your business development team is to pick a focus each quarter that you want to improve so that each year you have four new reports to think about. Read on for some suggestions of areas to focus your business development team’s efforts on that are sure to have a positive impact on any brand.
Set your business development team to work investigating online ordering.
Ecommerce is booming because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which means that it’s crucial that you figure out how to serve your customer base with online ordering. That being said, it can be tough to research all of the different platforms for handling online orders, especially when you consider the role that many mobile apps are playing with buyers. It’s important to think about your specific industry when weighing the pros and cons of this sort of decision, which is where your business development team can come in.
For example, you may run a restaurant and desperately need a way to manage an influx of online orders and new customers. That being said, there are dozens of online order platforms beyond having people order takeout on your own website. From a popular online order platform like Uber Eats, GrubHub, Postmates, or Doordash to other online order systems like ChowNow, it can be difficult to manage all of these different delivery order systems, especially when you think about the costs and commissions associated with these platforms. Your business development team may ultimately decide that rather than going with separate restaurant online ordering systems it ultimately makes more sense to find a platform that streamlines the process by integrating your POS system with all of the most popular platforms. Being able to use one POS system to manage orders from GrubHub, Postmates, DoorDash, Uber Eats, Chow Now, and more can be a huge boon for your business, something a development team can thoroughly research and advise you on.
Task your business development team with improving your digital infrastructure.
The digital age is upending countless approaches to traditional business processes. That being said, the fact that things are moving so quickly means that it can be easy to get left behind. Having your business development team take a close look at your existing day to day operations and then researching ways to improve these processes using a more digital structure can take a lot of time, but the bottom line is that it can really pay off. For example, if you’re a business owner who knows your product or service requires high-quality customer support on a regular basis, it may be worth tasking your development team with looking at call center platforms that integrate with your customer data platform. They may also identify tech leaders like San Francisco’s Hayes Barnard who can advise you on how he used tech to build out digital platforms like LoanPal and GivePower.
Other things your business development team may notice while auditing your digital infrastructure is that your IP addresses appear blacklisted on a few online sites. While this can sound scary, it’s actually quite common for IP addresses to not be as clean as you think they are, with some estimates positing that between 40 and 60 percent of IPv6 and IPv4 addresses may have some red flags associated with them. Especially if you want to do business online, it’s a good idea to correct this problem when you discover it. Having your development team look into an IPv4 auction to get clean IPv4 addresses and save money at the same time is worth the research, especially if you have email marketing campaigns or ads on your Facebook page that point to your website and need to ensure that an IPv4 address block doesn’t waste your money and resources.
Consider using your business development team as a resource for improving workplace culture, too.
Another strength of investing in a third-party business development team is the fact that they can offer unbiased advice about your workplace culture as well. Most business owners understand that having a strong workplace culture and enjoyable work environment can go a long way in keeping employee morale high and reducing turnover, but they don’t always know how to execute that sort of vision. Beyond that, if you wind up soliciting your employees for suggestions you may come up short or with a strong bias based on personal experiences at your company. Instead of spending the time and energy polling your current employees about what would help improve their experience working with you, leverage your business development team to learn whether new water dispensers or a ping pong table in your break room will really make a difference in your team’s overall productivity.
Ultimately, you’ll want to think about what areas of your business are most worth spending the time and energy improving before you set your business development team to work researching them. That being said, the above ideas are well worth considering if you need a jumping-off point since they can positively impact any brand.