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A business development consultant is a person or company that helps new business owners create their businesses. In addition to helping owners with the creation of their business, they might also assist them in the day-to-day operations. Some of the tasks completed by this individual are business start-up, marketing strategy development, brand marketing, writing and editing copy, client development and deal closing.
Consultants often help with business start-ups. They might assist with items such as start-up budgets, business plans, and any other items that might be necessary to get a fledgling business off the ground. Their relationship with the new business might end there after having just covered the basics, or it might continue on to other activities.
Development of a marketing strategy is another area covered by a business development consultant. Many businesses struggle with devising ways to effectively market their business to prospective clients. A consultant can use his or her knowledge and expertise to guide the business owner in creating a marketing plan that will generate a great deal of new business.
Many companies have a logo, which is part of their brand. Consultants might help a business further develop their band by suggesting changes, new ways of using the brand, or create an entirely new brand identity all together. Sometimes, this can be the single most effective change a business can make.
Most businesses have printed materials and websites. The consultant can assist with writing and editing these pieces of marketing materials. They might be able to suggest changes that can make the pieces better, or they might be able to point out mistakes that show a less-than-professional tone.
Many sales businesses use business development consultants to help generate leads and show them how to do so. In a business such as sales, lead generation can make or break a company. Having someone show a business owner how to successfully acquire this key piece of information is very important.
In addition to showing a business how to find clients, a consultant can also show a business how to close a deal. It is important to find new clients, but it is also vital to have the knowledge and expertise necessary to close deals with those same clients. The consultant can show a company ways to do this that it might not have thought of previously.
There's lots of competition in this field so take your time to choose the right person or agency for you.
I think a good place to start is by requesting a business development consultant's resume. They may not be willing to include exact details of all their work, for confidentiality reasons, but at least you'll have an idea of their experience.
Things to look for include: previous work in a field similar to your business area, memberships of relevant trade organisations or seminars attended, and perhaps reference to the range of personal contacts they have.
When you meet for the first time you need to be sure that the business development strategies this person comes up with are in line with who you are and what you are doing.
I've worked as an economic development consultant for several years, and any potential client who asks for these things from me gets extra kudos for thinking in the right way.
@CaithnessCC - I think you'd be fine doing it that way, although it makes more sense to get a business development manager on board well before you actually open for business.
Their knowledge will be invaluable in making sure you have all the marketing and advertising in place. Once you have that relationship established it will be much easier to have periodic consultations later, as you gain experience.
I'm thinking of starting up on my own, and it does seem like a good idea to check out a business development consultancy. The thing I'm nervous of is having to pay out too much when I am not going to have a reliable income.
Is it possible to hire someone just for the initial launch, and then use them later when I get a more secure financial plan worked out?
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