9 business development questions, part 1

Here are some business development questions that you, as a business owner, need to ask over and over as your market evolves and your strategic plan changes. Very often, the answers will change in response to evolving conditions. It is important that you change as well, when it is necessary.

1. What business are you in? What business are you really in? A typical business owner will answer this question by explaining the product or service he sells. But this is not the business that you are in. The business you are in is customer satisfaction. As a business owner, you must always define your business in terms of what your product or service does to improve the lives of your customers.

You don’t sell life insurance, you sell peace of mind. You don’t sell cars, you sell safe, dependable transportation. You don’t sell houses, you sell comfortable family homes.

In order to implement successful business development for your company, you must realize that customers’ needs, desires, hopes and expectations are constantly changing, and you must change with them or your sales, cash flow and profitability will suffer.

2. What business will you be in the future, based on current trends? In business, trends are everything. Which way is the market going for you today, and what changes do you need to make in your strategic plan to move with the market? What business could you be in if you were to change your product or service offerings in some way? What business should you be in if you want to be among the most successful and profitable in your industry?2

Imagine that you could wave a magic wand and make your business perfect in every way. What would it look like? Especially, how would it differ from today? These are questions that you must answer time and again. If you are wrong in any of these answers, your business could go sideways and your plan for business development could fail.

3. Who is your customer? Your ideal customer? Your perfect customer for what you sell? You can’t hit a target that you can’t see. As the market changes, your ideal customer profile will change as well. You can tell if you have properly identified the ideal customer for what you sell if you have high sales, cash flow and profitability. If you do not, you need to revisit this question.

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Brian Tracy is the CEO of Brian Tracy International, which specializes in business training, and the author of the best-selling

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