Becoming a business development consultant is an exciting and challenging prospect. If you have the wealth of experience and background knowledge as a business development executive, your prospects for creating your own business look excellent. Presumably, you know how to develop business from several angles; however, when it comes to starting your own business, this may be a good time to examine the scope and sequence to effectively do so.
The process of a startup is often a step in one direction, a pivot, and a few steps in another direction. Setting your business plan firmly in one direction allows the other elements to be grounded in the structure, as well. As a resource and guide, use this business plan template for comprehensive coverage of the steps needed to complete the plan. In the following paragraphs, we’ve outlined the major steps of creating the business plan for your business development consultancy:
Step 1: Set Your Mission and Objectives
Before going into the nuts and bolts of starting a business development consultancy, the establishment of the mission statement and objectives for your business are set into place. These explain the “why” behind your leap into the wide world of creating a business. The objectives tell the story of “how” you will accomplish the task of building the business and running it successfully. These grounding statements inform the rest of your story.
Step 2: Assess Your Target Audience
Although you may know many of the individuals who will become your clients, you’ll need to make a thorough assessment of those who are actually a good “fit” for the status of becoming your client. Although people are talented and successful, they may not conform to the consultancy you want to practice. Make a mental image of who your ideal customer may be, then consider who among your friends and associates would qualify and fit into that function.
Step 3: Research Your Competitors
Equally important, you’ll want to research and analyze your competitors. Try to obtain a sense of what they offer and the pricing models they use, study the frequency with which they meet with clients, and try to discover some of their business practices and processes overall. For example, do they talk with clients every day? Do their staff members create strong relationships with all clients, generating referrals that “click through” to additional references down the line? Your competitors may not want to make room for you; study effective ways to address and overcome this concern.
Step 4: Create Marketing Strategies
It is typically awkward to market oneself, although self-marketing is common and conducted at every event or business gathering. To be effective at self-marketing, individuals need to recognize that a soft approach that is diplomatic will go much further than twisting the arm of the CEO. Efforts such as these are routinely dismissed as a result. Make specific marketing efforts and execute them. Evaluate each effort to determine if the direction you’ve chosen is performing or if they need improvement or cancellation. This is a trial-and-error exercise until you have reached a place where you are certain your marketing efforts are producing the clients needed.
Step 5: Complete a Financial Plan and Forecast
If there is the possibility that you will need funding upon startup, create the financial plan and forecast carefully, emphasizing the milestones or goals reached and stretching the forecast into the 5th year of the future plans to demonstrate confidence in the coming years. This informs the lender or investor that you are confident and plan on making a success from this business.
Step 6: Build Your Final Business Plan
There are several other steps that can be included in a business plan, however, some of them are not relevant in a professional consultancy. At this point, place all elements of your plan, from Step 1 through 5, into a single document and finalize any arrangements as necessary. Most business plans are between 75 and 100 pages in length. Enlist an associate to proofread the document.
What is next?
If you may be interested in obtaining funding for startup or early stage expenses, present the business plan to lenders or investors. Lenders will want repayment, of course, with interest and on-time payments. Investors will want to provide funding with the ability to take a percentage ownership stake within the business, usually 10 to 15%.
A business development consultancy will be filled with challenges and satisfaction. By completing the structure for your new consultancy and securing several elements of your business within it, you are now prepared to obtain funding, if needed. We wish you the best of success!
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