Business Development is a task within a business that crosses many different functions within a company.  There is a need for understanding needs and capabilities of the company.  It starts with understanding the core competencies of the company and a realistic assessment of what else they can do that extends or builds upon those competencies.  For instance, a company with liquid filling capabilities using potable water will have differing opportunities that a liquid filling company with USP water capacity.   So too do the capabilities in manufacturing, packaging, and even utilities impact the opportunities available. 

Businesses also tend to develop around some initial competencies brought by the founder, and with the growth and development of the business comes experience.  That cumulative experience is another major determinant factor in the opportunities that are available.  A food manufacturer is not likely to be successful in developing a drug business due to the significantly different requirements from both regulatory and process perspectives. 

The next area of business development is the assessment of the market place to determine what unmet needs or areas of low competition provide significant enough opportunity to develop and utilize the competencies of the company.  The challenge is that there are going to be a lot of appealing opportunities that a company is either weak in or totally lack the capabilities needed to compete.  Sometimes those opportunities are really close and yet far away.  A good example of that would be a company that has HTST (high temperature short time) pasteurization capability, but the product opportunity requires UHT (ultra high temperature) pasteurization.  The difference is significant and the investment for UHT is high.  The institutional experience with pasteurization helps, but the decision boils down to whether the opportunity provides a satisfactory payback on the equipment investment.

The most significant hurdle in new business development is finding the customer that is willing to buy what you can make.  All too often development and investment in capabilities and products fails because there is no willing buyer for the product.  Innovation does not automatically translate to sales.

CategoryMaster can walk you through the Business Development process in an assessment of competencies, market opportunities and investment required.