A business development plan provides guidance and direction for an organization.
business image by peter Hires Images from Fotolia.com
Business development plans provide guidance to organizations in purpose, including mission, vision and values, as well as product or service, target audience and the strategies they will use to achieve success. Successful business development plans include a situation analysis, a SWOT analysis and clearly outlined goals, objectives, strategies and tactics. The plan provides guidance for all members of the organization.
A situation analysis is the process of gathering internal and external information to help in creating a business development plan. External information includes information about the business environment, economy, industry and competitors. Internal information includes information about employees, including turnover, longevity, satisfaction, as well as customers, including who they are, how long they've been customers, what they've purchased, and any particular strengths or weaknesses that the company may have. Doing a good job of gathering specific, factual information about the business environment is important to help frame the discussion that will eventually lead to the development of goals, objectives, strategies and tactics.
Based on all of the information gathered during the situation analysis, a SWOT analysis is generally done. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is the process that businesses use to review all of the information gathered during the situation analysis to determine how that information impacts the business in positive and negative ways. Generally, a small group will brainstorm each elements of the SWOT analysis, capture the items they come up with and prioritize the items so that they end up with three to five main items in each category.
Related Reading: What Are the Components of a Good Business Plan?
Goals, Objectives, Strategies, Tactics
The results of the SWOT analysis serve as an important input to the establishment of goals, objectives, strategies and tactics. Goals are high level and indicate what the business development plan is designed to accomplish in a broad, general sense. Objectives are more specific and include clear, measurable outcomes and timelines. Strategies indicate how the company will accomplish its objectives by leveraging its strengths and opportunities, and overcoming its weaknesses and threats. Tactics are operational and indicate exactly what the company will do to achieve its strategies.