Business Development — Growing Your For-Profit or Nonprofit Organization

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    Business Development — Growing Your For-Profit or Nonprofit
    Organization

    © Copyright Carter McNamara,
    MBA, PhD

    Whether your organization is a for-profit or nonprofit, you
    have to address certain considerations and make certain decisions
    if you set out to intentionally expand — or grow — your organization,
    products and/or services. You can grow your organization, products
    and/or services just by managing them well, for example, by having
    very good products and services that are sold with strong sales
    and customer service. However, this topic in the Library is for
    those with an explicit goal to intentionally grow the organization,
    product or service.

    Notes About Terms:

    1. The phrase business development is so common and broad
      in nature that it means many different things to many different
      people. In this Library topic, the phrase means growing — or
      expanding — an organization, product and/or service, including
      by starting a new product or service, if necessary.
    2. The phrase “business development” traditionally
      does not refer to starting a new organization. For information
      relevant to that activity, see Entrepreneurs — Are You Really Ready to Start
      a New Venture?
      , Starting
      a Business
      or Starting a Nonprofit.
    3. The term “development” could mean strengthening,
      rather than expanding, the organization, products or services.
      However, business development traditionally has not meant primarily
      the process of strengthening; rather, it’s meant growth or expansion.
    4. Certainly, many people would agree that it’s more important
      to be sustainable than to grow (although growth could be done,
      but sustainably). For those people, see the topic Organizational Sustainability.
    5. Although the guidelines in this section apply to growing
      an organization, product or service, the term “organization”
      is used to apply to either of these three — this is to avoid
      tedious duplication of terms throughout this topic.

    Sections of This Topic Include

    Understanding Life Cycles of Organizations,
    Products and Services

    Deciding Whether to Grow or Not
    Evaluate Your Organization — What Are
    You Starting From? What Do You Need to Fix First?

    Growing Your Organization — Are You Personally
    Ready?

    Typical Challenges in Growing
    General Advice to Grow Your Organization
    Getting Professional Help
    Planned Growth — Strategic and Business
    Planning

    Planned Growth — Organizational Change
    and Development (Managing Change)

    Ways to Grow — Organizational Alliances
    Ways to Grow — Buying a Franchise
    Ways to Grow — Buying a Business
    Ways to Grow a Product and/or Market Development
    You May Need to Increase Staff
    Leading and Supervising Staff, and Managing
    Resources

    Financing Growth

    Also consider
    Related Library Topics


    Understanding Life Cycles of Organizations, Products and Services

    Organizations go through certain life cycles just like other
    systems, including people, plants and animals. When setting out
    to intentional grow, it really helps organizational leaders to
    understand the nature of each of these cycles and the challenges
    in moving from one cycle to another. When reading the following
    articles, think about what life cycle your organization, product
    or service is in.
    Find Your Business Life Cycle
    Basic
    Overview of Life Cycles of Organizations

    Founder’s
    Syndrome — How Organizations Suffer — and Can Recover

    Deciding Whether to Grow or Not

    There are certain considerations that must be made when deciding
    whether to grow or not — you don’t have to grow it if you don’t
    want to.
    To Grow or Not to Grow

    How to Expand Without Losing Your Indie Culture
    Are
    You Ready to Grow Your Business?

    Evaluate Your Organization — What Are You Starting From?
    What Do You Need to Fix First?

    Before you start major activities to grow your organization,
    you should first get a realistic impression of how your organization
    is doing now. There are a variety of tools that you can use to
    get a quick impression.
    Organizational
    Assessments (For-Profit)

    Organizational
    Assessments (Nonprofit)

    Growing Your Organization — Are You Personally Ready?

    There are certain considerations about yourself that also must be made when
    deciding whether to grow your organization or not — again, you don’t have to
    grow it if you don’t want to.
    Are
    You Personally Ready to Start a New Venture?

    Taking Risks: Your Attitude Toward Business Growth
    33 Small Ways to Expand Your Comfort Zone

    Typical Challenges in Growing

    Organizations often face the same types of challenges when growing. Organizational
    leaders often face the same types of challenges, as well.
    Founder’s Syndrome (founders
    sometimes struggle to change themselves)

    Getting Over Growing Pains
    The Perils of Expansion
    Busting
    Down the Obstacles to Growth

    General Advice to Grow Your Organization

    Keep in mind that the following general advice can apply to
    nonprofits, as well as for-profits.
    3 Ways to Grow Your Business
    Alternatives to Hiring Employees
    10 Steps to Grow Your Business in a Difficult Economy
    How to Scale Up Your Service Business
    Don’t Take the Sales Order
    10 Tips on How to Get More Clients
    Getting that Sales Growth!
    Got Structure? Need it?
    Marketing’s the Engine of a Growing Company
    Are you an Innovator, an Entrepreneur, or a Manager?
    The Data-Backed Secret to Sales Growth
    Gain Insight – Get a Board

    Getting Professional Help

    There are many sources of help, especially for small to medium-sized businesses.
    Many of these sources are the same as those for helping you to start a business.
    This link is to many free sources of help.
    Free
    Help to Start a Business

    If you hire a consultant, the following link may be useful.
    All About Consulting
    – Types, Skills and Approaches

    Lastly, you might need an account and lawyer, for example, to review contracts.
    Getting
    an Accountant
    Getting
    a Lawyer






    Planned Growth — Strategic and Business Planning

    One of the best ways to carefully think through how you want
    to grow your organization, product or service is through the use
    of business planning — many people might refer to this as business
    development planning to produce a Business Development Plan. Business
    planning applies to for-profits and nonprofits (in the case of
    nonprofits, business planning is sometimes associated with Social
    Enterprise
    .) (Many people believe that strategic planning
    should focused on the entire organization, while business planning
    should be focused on a particular product or service — thus,
    business planning is repeated in the section, below, about growing
    a product or service.)
    All About Strategic
    Planning

    All About Business
    Planning

    New Business Models in Emerging Markets
    Finding the Hidden Gems in Your Business Model

    Guidelines, Methods and Resources for Organizational Change Agents

    Significantly developing an organization involves significant organizational
    change. Organizations are changing today like never before. Over the last ten
    years or so, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of literature
    about accomplishing long-lasting successful organizational change.
    Guidelines, Methods and Resources for Organizational Change Agents

    Ways to Grow — Organizational Alliances

    Another way to grow your organization is to merge with another
    organization or form a joint venture.
    Organizational
    Alliances (collaborations, joint ventures, acquisitions, mergers)

    Ways to Grow — Buying a Franchise

    In some cases, you may be better off to buy a franchise, that
    is, a business strategy and structure that has been proven to
    work in other markets and your challenge is to set up your franchise
    in your locale. Many people might assert that this is not a form
    of business development; rather, it’s entrepreneurship in starting
    a new organization.
    All
    About Franchising

    Ways to Grow — Buying a Business

    You can also grow your organization by buying another organization,
    or one or more of its product lines. Note that a nonprofit typically
    cannot be “bought,” as it is owned by the public, not
    by individuals or stockholders. Similar to buying a franchise,
    many people might assert that this is not a form of business development;
    rather, it’s entrepreneurship in starting a new organization.

    Buying
    a Business

    Ways to Grow — Product and/or Market Development

    Quite often, the best way to grow an organization is to grow
    your markets. For example, organizations can generate revenue
    from understanding the Product/Market Grid:

    1. Selling more of the current products to more of the current
      customers (customer maximization)
    2. Selling more of the current products to new customers (customer
      development)
    3. Selling new products to current customers (product development)
    4. And/to selling new products to new customers (diversification).

    Product and
    Service Development

    You May Need to Increase Staff

    The following link is to a collection of well-organized articles
    in regard to staffing planning, recruiting, screening applicants,
    hiring applicants, training them and managing their performance.
    Staffing

    Leading and Supervising Staff,
    and Managing Resources

    Development won’t be successful unless the people in the organization
    are successfully led and supervised, and the organization’s resources
    are successfully managed.
    Leadership
    Management
    Supervision

    Financing Growth

    It’s very likely that you’ll need some form of financial assistance from investors
    or funders to help fund the growth. Many of the sources of funding to start
    a business are those that might fund expansion of a business.
    How
    to Get Money to Start a Business
    Financing and Managing Growth
    Fundraising
    in For-Profits

    Fundraising
    in Nonprofits


    Learn More in the Library’s Blogs Related to Business Development

    In addition to the links on this current page, also see the following blogs
    that have posts related to Business Development — Building a Business. Scan
    down the blog’s page to see various posts. Also see the section “Recent
    Blog Posts” in the sidebar of the blog or click on “next” near
    the bottom of a post in the blog. The blog also links to numerous free related
    resources.

    Library’s
    Business Planning Blog

    Library’s
    Building a Business Blog

    Library’s
    Consulting and Organizational Development Blog

    Library’s
    Strategic Planning Blog


    For the Category of Business Development

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