A business development consultant can help your business improve its overall success -- especially if you have a basic understanding of what you're seeking in a consultant. So before you begin looking for a business development consultant to improve your bottom line, you need to have a grasp of the basic terminology. Understanding key terms like "business development," "assessment," and "client development" will help you choose the right business development consultant for your needs.
Business development is a broad term that refers to ways to create a stronger market presence, develop stronger relationships with existing clients and expand the business' customer base. It can include elements as diverse as staff development, marketing strategies and customer service improvements.
To help you with your business goals, a business development consultant will generally conduct an assessment of your current business strategy, including evaluating how effective it is. Typical topics that are examined in a business development assessment are your current competencies, resources, flexibility and customer base. With an objective eye, the business development consultant will identify both strengths and weakness of your organization to create an actionable plan.
Business plan, or business strategy
A business plan, sometimes called a business strategy, is a document that outlines your business goals and how you will achieve them. Business development consultants often help you update your business plan and may even help you craft an entirely new business plan to better meet your goals.
Leadership development is an aspect of overall business development that focuses solely on creating a strong sense of leadership among individual managers and within the organization as a whole. Leadership development is especially useful if your business struggles with internal HR or communication problems.
Client development is an aspect of overall business development that focuses solely on creating a stronger client base, which includes reaching out to and retaining current clients, in addition to attracting new ones. Though client development can help all businesses, it's especially useful if your business does not have enough clients or if it has few repeat customers.
Many business development consultants offer ready-made materials designed for those within a specific field, such as sales or law. However, sometimes your business may need materials and approaches custom-designed for your situation. Custom consulting is consulting designed especially for your business, often offered by firms that serve a single industry.