Business Development and Marketing

What Is Business Development?

Business development is neither marketing nor sales. Business development is the process – largely market-facing, but not entirely – of finding and creating better business.

Better means business that makes a better use of our expertise and resources, is more sustainable, more resilient, more profitable, more effective, more fun. It is business that serves our customers better and in the process grows market share.

Marketing is the act of communicating our products, services, and value proposition to the market. Sales is the process of a human bringing the business development – marketing cycle to a close by selling something to another human being.

Why Business Development Matters

Without business development, all marketing eventually becomes ineffective, and sales dry up. This is because the market, and the world, is constantly evolving. The needs of our customers change, competitors create more effective ways to serve customers, technology, politics… all of it changes. And we change. Our interests, experience, expertise, all create new opportunities.

Business Development is the process of identifying new markets, new relationships, and new capacities within our businesses. It is the only way to create long-term sustainable value for a growing organization.

Business Development Consulting

Working with the team at The Great Performances Group provides opportunities for business development that are difficult to leverage on your own. Our outside perspective and depth of experience across different industries, means together we can identify new opportunities in the market and new capacities within your organization.

Many raindrops make an ocean. That Asian saying sums up our approach to business development: working with your customers, your suppliers, and your employees to co-create fresh perspectives. We look at your human capacity, your operational capacity, and the trends and emerging shifts in technology, in customers, and in the market.

We use a structured approach to give a business development engagement structure, but we acknowledge at the beginning that unexpected opportunities may arise. When they do we follow them. The structure we use includes 4 elements.

A Values and Capacities Review

What are you good at? What matters to you? Almost all businesses acquire talent and experience, and operational capacity, that could be used for a lot more than it currently is. Sometimes our operations have ‘spare cycles’ not being used. Facilities that are closed at night. Equipment that can be used for things other than we bought it for. These represent possible opportunities. As we grow our team, some members come aboard with a lot more talent and experience, sometimes far beyond what we hired them for. More opportunities.

Regarding your values, are there other ways they can be served? Your business has a mission. Can you find more ways to serve that mission? Would that mean creating new verticals? Would it mean vertical integration? Does it mean seeking out new partnerships in the world?

A Trends Review

What is going on in the world that will impact your business and possibly create opportunities? Changes in technology, consumer taste, demographics, event politics and climate change, all demand a response from us. We can’t stand still while the world changes around us.

This is an opportunity for us to work with your whole team.


We connect your marketing to the rest of your business strategies and objectives.

Most marketing in small to medium-sized businesses is treated as a separate function from the rest of the business. Websites are created, vehicle signage applied, social media campaigns launched… a lot of activity, often with disappointing results.

This is because like all other areas of business, your marketing strategy must be tightly connected with your financial goals and realities, your team and your people management values, and your operational capacities.

When we work with business owners to maximize the return on their marketing investments, we first identify all of the conditions, opportunities, and constraints within the business that would have an impact on the success of any marketing efforts. Then we work with the owners and their marketing team (internal or contract) to roll out a marketing plan and execution, consistent with everything else going on in the business.

The areas we look at before handing over the tactical and execution parts include:

  • Business Development drivers. What are the opportunities and influences in the marketplace? With whom can we do better business? Where are there opportunities for expansion, vertical integration, or entirely new verticals?
  • Operational drivers. What are the constraints on growth, including demands on the time of the team members responsible for growing market share? Could we fulfil all of the promises we would like to make through our marketing? Do we have the operational capacity to fulfil an increase in volume? Do we have the operational capacity we aren’t using?
  • Team and talent. Do we have the best people as our suppliers or employees to roll out our marketing plan? Are sales and marketing one smooth continuous machine? Have we maximized our marketing and sales talent through training and by providing that team with the best tools?
  • Financial models. If we wanted to double sales or double market share, what would that look like financially? What are the cost inputs to that effort? What are the returns? Are we working within a growth cycle or a profit-maximizing cycle? What are the expectations for margins? Are we confident that an increase in sales volume will also yield an increase in profits?
  • Values and brand. In some ways, this may be the most important part of our review. We look at your marketing plans and ensure they are consistent with your brand and your values. The failure to do this can create confusion in the marketplace, confusion and disruption on your team, and ultimately a drop in sales and long-term sustainable growth.

We can answer many of these questions and more, in a day or 1/2-day Market Strategy Review. Contact us for more information:

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Doug was a joy to work with, as I pressed the reset button on our business after our main product’s market turned commodity. Though we design custom embedded systems and are challenged to explain what we do (other than “we specialize in the weird”) Doug came up to speed on our markets and talents and capabilities very quickly. He provided valuable guidance both on the process of evaluating business/product ideas (from a selection of over a dozen) to specific recommendations on some of the details of implementing the “go forward plan”. He is extremely bright, yet easy to work with, and communications were crystal clear at all times. We will continue to employ the benefits of his grey-matter in the future.

Brian Empey

Doug’s coaching and mentoring were of great value to my company as we entered and proceeded through an international business competition. With Doug’s help, our company placed in the top ten. Doug’s help was especially important in the final round when we made our pitch to an elite group of investors.

Thanks to Doug’s experience, he had the ability to intuitively understand and analyze our strengths and weaknesses and quickly provide a clear, effective plan of action for us.

Phil Bailey

I began working with Doug in 2016, following a difficult year where we faced many of the regular challenges new start-ups meet. Doug rapidly helped me take a step back from my business and implement simple yet highly valuable tools to clarify our vision, focus and address issues at a steady pace, quarter after quarter. I would recommend other small business owners to work with Doug and implement the EOS tools.

Olivier Lessard