Archives: Strategic Planning

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Does Your Pursuit Say “Working With Me Will Be Different”? | Business Development Planning – Part 5

Part 5 in our series on Building a Strategic Business Development Plan focuses on Delivering Value — the first step in establishing a working relationship. We’ve discussed strategy, target identification, building a strategic network, and most recently, becoming relevant (creating visibility) with the targets you’ve identified. But actually securing that coveted engagement, never mind earning … Continue Reading

You’re Not Selling Phones! Business Development Planning – Part 4 | Creating Visibility

It creeps into consciousness sometime in mid-to-late September. By mid-November, partners in firms everywhere are feeling either personal or institutional pressure (or both) to come up with a business development plan for the coming year. If you’re in the midst of this planning, you’ve happened onto the fourth installment in a series on building a … Continue Reading

Building A Business Development Plan: Part 3 — If You Can’t Name Targets, Focus On A Network Tune-Up

Professional service providers who have difficulty identifying specific targets (as discussed in Part 2 of our series on Building A Business Development Plan) typically have one thing in common: an anemic or non-existent professional network. If this sounds familiar, Part 3 In our series on creating your business development plan is for you.  A healthy … Continue Reading

Building A Business Development Plan for 2019 — Part 2: With Whom Should You Connect

This is the second installment in a 14-part series dedicated to everyone working on a business development plan for 2019. Part 1 outlined the necessity of a strategic foundation, and suggested a framework that will help in identifying and articulating the strategy. If you haven’t come to terms with this first step, resist the temptation … Continue Reading

For Everyone Beginning To Work On A Business Development Plan For 2019

Over the next two-and-a-half months or so you may be among the lawyers, accountants, consultants and other professional service providers taking a long hard look at your marketing, business development and sales initiatives. The dye for 2018 is pretty much cast. Time to focus on market movement, emerging trends, lessons learned, and begin the work … Continue Reading

The Resonant, Authentic Voice Of Leadership

Some accomplish it with a pen — mightier-than-any-sword. Some with eloquent oratory. For some the tool is as simple as an invitation — how may I help you? Or the offer of a cup of cold water A few speak volumes with the sheer force of example. Whatever the avenue or methodology, the voice of real leaders encourages … Continue Reading

Are You Doing the 4 Things Necessary to Stand Out From the Crowd and Build a Pipeline of Future Clients?

Most professional service providers would welcome a more predictable, consistent and robust flow of qualified new business leads. Scratch that. When it comes to business development and sales, virtually every professional service provider I know is searching for an efficient way to connect with potential new clients. Marketing strategies promise it; the possibility is the siren … Continue Reading

Seven Signs Your Firm Could Be Facing Consequential Transition

Whether a new enterprise or a venerable brand, the realities of a market in transition are most likely having an effect on your firm. Responses to Altman Weil’s 2018 Law Firms In Transition Survey underscore the magnitude. 49% of responding firms failed to meet billable hour targets in 2017 59% say equity partners are under … Continue Reading

The Four Keys To Acquiring Quality Leads

Most professional service providers would welcome a more consistent and robust flow of quality leads. Scratch that. When it comes to business development and sales, virtually every professional service provider I know is searching for a way to connect with potential new clients. So much so that this is the promise of marketing strategies, the siren song … Continue Reading

The Perils of Peering Into The Future Through a “That’s-The-Way-We’ve-Always-Done-It” Lens

Vision is the lifeblood of any march toward the future. Without it, the status quo offers a comfort zone that is difficult to give up — especially when things have been pretty darn good for a very long time. Before we go further we should clarify terms. A Vision is not about a 100-word so-called … Continue Reading

What It Takes To Build A Professional Service Practice

How do you build a professional service practice? Where do you begin? How much time do you invest? What constitutes progress? In a previous post on the similarities between business development and planting a tree, we recounted the story of French Marshal Lyautey, who instructed his gardener to plant a tree that would take 100 years … Continue Reading

How To Build A Marketing Strategy That Will Deliver

Ask a dozen professionals to define marketing and you might receive a dozen different responses. From retailer to B-to-B enterprise, from service provider to widget producer, from Fortune-listed to start-up — we tend to define marketing based on what we’re selling, and who we need to motivate. But all of us, unique perspectives notwithstanding, count on … Continue Reading

If Your BizDev Plan Doesn’t Specify Targets, Don’t Expect Great ROI

Two things are often true of professional service providers wrestling with how to build a practice, and we discuss both frequently: an anemic network — which translates to a severe shortage of connections that can either hire you, or refer and introduce you to the folks in a position to do the hiring; and, the absence … Continue Reading

Breaking News — Business Development Is Not Complicated

Business development is not complicated. Hard work? Indeed…because it is, at its core, about succeeding at relationships…and we all know that almost anything having to do with relationships is hard work. But the quest for formulas, fast-fixes and a magic planning template notwithstanding, biz dev success does not reside in a silver-bullet or one-size-fits-all solution. Strategically sound … Continue Reading

When And How To Evaluate Your Business Development Efforts

How do we measure progress? What constitutes ROI on what is plowed into business development efforts? The practical challenge is that between the initial work necessary for productive business development efforts and any tangible signs of growth, it can be difficult to see the progress that is being made. This is especially true if real progress … Continue Reading

Essential Elements of Business Development Success | Part 2

If business development is causing you sleepless nights, chances are the source of much of that angst is an anemic professional network, or the absence of strategic targets. Or both. A healthy network connects you to opportunity flow. We discussed this, along with three ways to address challenges associated with “networking” in a post a … Continue Reading

Two Essential Elements of Business Development Success

We’ve said it before — business development will never be mistaken for rocket science. It isn’t even Algebra I…unless you employ the most basic of formulas — Success = X + Y. But this isn’t to suggest it is easy. Strategic business development requires a combination of factors: focus; tasks and activities that are difficult … Continue Reading

A Formula For Business Development Success

Business development in the professional services sector is not rocket science. Anyone possessing the will and the discipline to follow a simple formula can, over time, build a thriving practice. (Okay — “over time” is the hard part. Much of the time we expect immediate results.) What is this formula? {Target Identification} + {Understanding of … Continue Reading
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