Online business development services have been on my mind a lot lately as I get further into design and SEO for entrepreneurs using the Wix platform.
There gets to be a specific point at which the work only does so much.
Design a great site and that's fantastic but then what if no one sees it? Create a great social media campaign that gets a lot of likes and comments? Hard to continue investing into it if it doesn't bring you more sales.
Creating long-term value for a small business by developing areas of their business like customers, markets, products and services is the only true way to have someone fully invested into your company.
This type of relationship involves two people making full commitments to each other and measuring success as as a common goal of growing a business.
Whereas if you were to hire a social media expert for a month who raised stats for your Facebook and Instagram, you would be unable to hold them accountable to how many sales you made that month.
That wasn't their job and what they did was successful even thought it didn't make you any more money.
So let's break down what kind of services are involved in business development, how much they cost, where you can find these services, and ultimately if they are worth the investment.
What Are Business Development Services?
The exact definition always changes depending on who is offering the services and who is paying for them.
Ideally you want these services to be contributing to your growth as a business.
This means they can include customer acquisition, finances, product development, service development, finances, sales, partnerships, and any other areas that could contribute.
Companies or individuals who are committed to business development services have made the decision that their entire goal is to make you more successful.
Once you hire someone you will sit down with them and go over what you are currently doing in your business.
Which strategies you have decided on and how you are going about getting those together.
Once you have given enough information the business developer will talk with you about what you are currently doing, what their thoughts are, and strategies that they have found that have worked for clients in the past.
At the end of the day you have the decision to continue with the service or to move on because it might not be the direction you feel is right for your business.
Just remember that if you feel you need business development and you hire someone who is recommended with good experience, there is a good chance they can see things about your business that you cannot.
It would be beneficial to hear them out and do some major mindset work to see if what they are saying is based in facts of if they are just trying to swindle you.
How Much Do They Cost?
There is a change happening within online services that seems to be trending upward.
Because services like business development are only really successful if your business is successful, more and more companies are looking for a percentage of profits (3% - 15%) gained from the client after they are finished with their work.
As mentioned above, this is a full commitment to each other and is a different type of relationship than what you are going to find with a designer or coder or social media manager.
I found this type of model when doing some research on developing SEO services for entrepreneurs. Many SEO businesses are using this model to become more fully invested into their clients.
SEO takes time, as does business development. At the end of the day a business needs to make more and more money to grow.
Entrepreneurs don't like paying for hard work that doesn't equate money and businesses like pleasing their clients so they can get better referrals and testimonials to continue attracting new clients.
Expect to see more and more of a percentage based negotiation as time move on.
Otherwise, pricing will reflect what you and your business developer decide is right for your small business.
As we discussed earlier, business development can involve many areas. If you want a full audit and implementation strategy this is going to cost thousands if not tens of thousands.
This is why larger companies hire business developers under salary.
Since you don't have that luxury I recommend getting a consultation before making any long-term commitments.
Will run you anywhere from $80 - $250 but will be well worth it if you are having trouble getting things together.
Keep in mind that when you pay higher you are paying someone not just for their thoughts and opinions but actual implementation.
The lower you pay you will need to be doing most of the work yourself.
Are There Alternatives?
Maybe you don't have the cash flow available right now or maybe you just have some time and feel like this is a challenge you can step into, but whatever the reason there are some ways to avoid paying big dollar amounts for your small business.
The most highly recommended is going to be anything the SBDC (Small Business Development Center) puts out.
Government funded, this program was made for you and me. You can find local programs that will host workshops, have literature, and worksheets that can get you a solid foundation set up.
Another organization that has great opportunities is S.C.O.R.E. (Service Corps Of Retired Executives) and their amount of free resources are incredible.
This is a group of very successful retirees looking to help out fresh and new entrepreneurs to the world of business.
They even offer a free mentorship program...
Regardless of which one you choose you will still need to do the work and figure out how to get it done. It is a free version of getting a business developer consultation.
Since it is free you will need to have a little more patience because you are counting on a bunch of volunteers to give you their time which takes longer than if you were to pay someone.
Business development services are absolutely worth it for your business.
It really depends on if you are in a position to afford the services but having someone else who is fully committed to your success and will strategize with you, plan with you, and implement with you is a rare opportunity to take advantage of.
I recommend considering the percentage based payment where you pay your business developer a percentage of your gross profits. This ensures that both of your are committed to the partnership working.
If you aren't in a position to pay someone for this type of consultation but still have a desire to help your business grow then check out the free resources at SBDC and SCORE.
They will provide the guidance you need to move forward but you will need to do the work to help get your business to where you want it to be.
I'm loving these business development articles! Very into it right now! If you are feeling the curiosity then comment with a question and just let me know some thoughts. Would love to keep the conversation going with someone.
Like or share if you learned a bit more about what business development is and how you can get what you need from it!
I'm pretty pumped about business development and different ways to grow and online business. Contact me if you'd enjoy talking more about your own business development and having someone to brainstorm some ideas with. I'd love to help out! Good luck and keep navigating your business forward!