The goal of any business development strategy should be new business or better business. For those who offer products or services online a business development strategy that works can be invaluable. Whether you sell B2C or B2B a solid business development strategy can become as common to you as breathing. However, it isn’t easy to get there.
One thorny task is deciding what to include in your business development strategy from the many methods that are available. If one is susceptive to sales tactics one can find plenty of people on the Internet willing to separate you from your money and deliver little if anything. Discerning what is crap from what is genuine also takes work. There are however, business development strategies that have proven to work over time.
The one thing that appeals to everyone is “free”. If it is free people will take it, even if they don’t’ really need it. Just like the samples offered in the grocery store, you may not want a small piece of the latest concoction but you’ll take it because it’s free and offered to you. The same is true with information or services offered from your web site. The more applicable your freebie is to what you are selling the more you’ll get in return. A free “white paper” is a good tool.
Use the same knowledge you applied in developing your web site to generate traffic through the written word. Write articles and offer them free in exchange for a byline. A byline is a short summary of the author, their credentials, and the web site address. Join and contribute to forums where your target market participates.
Use advertising in your business development strategy. Banner ads are popular, however, they are often ineffective because they appear to viewers who are probably not in your target market. Use banner ads only if you can afford them and can be assured that the majority of viewers are in your target market. Another advertising technique in your business development strategy should be search engines. Optimize optimize optimize. Analyze pay per click services against you available budget. Purchasing high rankings in search engines can be a great benefit, however, if not used well can be a source of expense, rather than a cost of sales.
One inexpensive element in your business development strategy should be networking. No matter what your product or service there is undoubted a community of others out there doing the same thing. Develop networking partnerships (link exchanges etc. ), but be cautious when choosing these partners, as they will reflect on you and your product and service just like you do.
Off line advertising and publicity should be a part of your business development strategy if your budget allows. People wrongly assume that all advertising for an online business should be online and that the Internet is the end all. It isn’t. Look into the myriad of newspapers available to you, from the daily paper to the shopper, they will all offer cost effective advertising if you use them properly. Radio and television shouldn’t be shunned out of hand, depending on your budget. Nor should billboards and sponsorships. At the least you should prepare a press release and send it out to all media that you want to reach that also reach your target market.
Copyright 2006 Stephen Pierce
Stephen Pierce is a business optimization strategist who provides strategies that make growing profits in your business a fast reality. To learn how to get Marketing Momentum for real business success please visit: http://www.optimizationseries.com