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The Ruby Group | Akron and Columbus, OH

Business Development

When you’re growing a small business, it’s important to put an emphasis on best utilizing the tools at your disposal. Regardless of your industry or experience, one of those tools should be social media. While there are endless uses for social media and I have previously discussed social selling tactics, below I have identified five tips that you can bring back to your business and begin to implement today for social media marketing.

Most people who spend a little time searching on the Internet or in a bookstore can quickly find a guide on how to write a business plan. However, just following these templates doesn’t guarantee that the business plan produce will be successful or even good. A successful business plan needs quite a bit more to actually be useful and even more to be functional and successful. As the elements come together, if done correctly, the most important component of success will come from the business owner and leadership versus the company itself.

The business world is not immune to change. Companies grow, and they shrink in size. They expand their market reach, sometimes, and contract it at other times. They introduce new products and services and discontinue products and services. And, they change the ways in which they create, promote, price, and deliver their products and services.

As organizations grow, they realize that there are numerous different ways to define success. A new business, for example, will be immensely satisfied the first year the operation returns a profit. On the other hand, a more established company may expect to see a specified rate of growth year over year. Defining what success means to you and establishing goals based upon these criteria can be an important step in monitoring your business’s development and making productive decisions based on the criteria that matter the most to you.

Like any new generation, there are differences in how Millennials interact with those around them, and what their expectations are in the workplace. What intuitive business leaders are noticing, however, is that there are tremendous benefits that members of this generation bring to the workforce. Their unique generational experiences and the skills they have gained can help them, and the organizations that hire them, excel.

The traditional corporate structure in the workplace is ready for a change. With Millennials entering the workforce, there is a resounding call for a structural shakeup. These young professionals have a lot to say and they want to have their voices heard. Successful companies are noticing this. Instead of paying attention to only GPA's, they are looking for critical thinking and problem-solving skills in new hires.

It's a fact: most organizations need a killer sales force. Business development, marketing, must-have products or services – these are all essential to meaningful revenue growth. But your sales team is the heart of production. Your salespeople are the ones championing your offer and driving precious profit. Your team should be the best it can. Period. But how do you build a successful sales team? Buckle up, because it's no easy task. As long as you follow these seven essential steps, however, you'll have a team of sales all-stars under your belt.

Are lawyers also salespeople? If you asked one of them directly, they'd likely scrunch up their face as if they'd just heard an awful verdict from the bench. But the truth is in this day and age the legal profession is as competitive as any other (if not more so) for new business. Why do you think that every non-profit board contains at least one lawyer. It's likely just not out of the goodness of their collective hearts

Quick poll: When was the last time you stepped foot in your bank? From drive-through bank windows to more recent banking amenities like online banking and mobile apps, banks have practically been encouraging customers to stay away for years. Along with the conveniences for the customers, banks benefitted from less overhead and an increased focus on compliance. So after years of being told there's no need to come inside, it was as if everyone saw the light and stopped entering their bricks-and-mortar bank. Problem solved, right? Not so fast

The most common complaint we hear from the heads of professional services firms (lawyers, accountants, engineers, marketing or PR agencies) is that their people are technically brilliant, but have a serious aversion to business development. Totally understandable considering the training the majority of professionals receive relates directly to delivering services they provide (e.g. how to conduct a better audit or how to create a crisis communications plan)

People from all walks of life can be technically brilliant and do a great job if someone would "just give them the project." Many consultants become consultants because they believe they can provide a better product or service and make more money than if they stayed working for a company.  It's great to dream big and recognize your aspirations however I run into more and more of these "technically brilliant" people who look me in the face and tell me they do not sell, so why would they need sales training? This leads to an interesting discussion as to where they get their business from.