When I ask about business development, what comes to your mind first? Most often it is growth. More customers, more turnover, more employees, more profits. Greater prestige. A recognizable brand. These are very good, ambitious goals. But not the only one. And that’s what I want to talk to you about today.
What is business development?
Did you know that business development and growth are two completely different concepts in a dictionary?
Growth is simply increasing the quantity. Money, customers, employees. This is undoubtedly an increase. Many small entrepreneurs dream about it. And it sets itself the goal of growth.
Business Development is transformation. It’s a change. It’s a process by which something simpler becomes more mature and more perfect.
Business development means your business starts operating at a new level. It’s an often used term. Not always clear.
Imagine your business is evolving. Like a human who develops from an embryo. In the first phases (there are several of them), it develops mainly physically, its brain is shaped, the body, senses, and feelings grow and develop. Self-awareness appears at the same time. Gradually, the little person goes out to others and begins to develop socially. He learns that the world doesn’t just revolve around him. He learns to play with others, gain sympathies, make alliances, and take care of his own boundaries. That’s a lot of brand new skills. And a complete change of behavior. Then there are stages when psychological development is more dominant. We begin to define our identity, express our personality. We begin to have our desires and aspirations.
Of course, human development is much more complicated. But imagine that your company, your business, is also developing similarly to this simplified scheme.
Business development and owner development
Before we go any further, I want to draw your attention to one very important thing. When you own your business, not only does your business grow (if you choose to do so), but you also develop as a human being (this is the way things are).
Your needs, preferences, and tastes are changing. You become more and more aware. Sometimes your views or priorities change. You start to expect something different from life than before.
Think that you are the main person setting the tone for your entire business.
In this situation, two basic scenarios are possible:
Business development: You pursue the growth and/or development of the company as the most important
When you put your business first and forget that people naturally change over time, you’ll treat yourself to a lot of frustration. You will try to subordinate yourself to the needs of the company (maybe the same as before, maybe changing).
It may even happen that your business will prosper. It can grow impressively and employees can feel satisfied with what is happening.
However, when you forget about yourself and your changing needs, you will start to feel increasingly discouraged from work and this company. Health problems may arise. Finally – you can burn out. This is an uninteresting prospect. Because at some point you only have to quit what you have been building so hard for so many years.
Usually, at this point, entrepreneurs come to me with the idea of selling the company. They just want to get rid of what was once their cherished child and has now become a burden.
Business development: You put your development and needs first
This is definitely a different approach. When you look at your company as an organization made for you. Not only to generate money (obviously), but above all to meet your needs. As your way to creating the life you want. Perhaps you want prestige and splendor. Maybe the freedom to choose how and with whom you work. Perhaps you want to be free in time with the income provided. Or the possibility of frequent travel. Or maybe the most important thing for you is the mission and satisfaction with what you create and how does it help people?
In fact, here we come to the chase. When you understand that your needs can evolve, it’s completely natural. This is your development as a human being. And you have the right to expect your company to continue to support you in this.
You don’t have to close/sell/get rid of an old company and build a new one every time you enter a new chapter of your life as a human being. All you need to do then is to modify the goals you set for your business and develop this business accordingly.
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