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Why do some companies succeed at Business Development while others under-perform?

Posted by Martin Harshberger

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Aug 14, 2017 5:20:42 PM

sustained business development
Why is developing sustained value so tough to achieve for so many organizations?

High growth firms have been studied by the SBA, academia, and business leaders.

There are clear answers to the questions of why some companies grow at accelerated levels and sustain their value over time,  while the majority don't.

The information is available to anyone that's interested. 
So why aren't more of us putting the information to use?

Several reasons:

My experience with companies runs from Fortune 500 organizations, to mid-tier and small business. What I've seen and learned is that regardless of size, industry, market, or demographics, they all share at least some of the same issues relative to sustained growth and viability.
  1. Lack of a clear vision
  2. Lack of a compelling value proposition
  3. Lack of a documented plan
  4. Inability to execute

Are these really a barrier to sustained growth and business development?

Don't take my word for it, look at the studies  The SBA did a study in the 1980's where they identified  "Gazelles". They repeated the study in 2008 again identifying high growth companies. Both studies agree they these companies make up about 4% of total firms. 

While the SBA studied who they are, the Blueprint Growth Institute went further. They identified what they did differently. Their 2010 study concluded of all the companies that went public since 1980, only 387 reached $1B in sales. 

The Identified 7 Essentials

Their research found that all of these 387 companies shared at least 5 of 7 traits.

1.Clear Vision, Resulting in “Way Better Value to Customers.”

2.Identify High Growth Market Segments.

3.Marquee Customers.

4.Big Brother Alliances.

5.Exponential Returns.

6.Inside - Outside Leadership.

7.Board with Experts.

In his book, "Blueprint to a Billion", David Thompson goes into much more detail on the 7 essentials, and it's a good read if you want to do further research.
An image from his book provides a great overview of how to achieve sustained business growth.


We don't want to be a Billion dollar company!

Not everyone is capable or even wants to realize growth to a billion dollars, however the same principals apply to small and mid-tier businesses. In fact they may even be more critical for firms with more limited resources. 
The fact is every business is either growing or dying. It's just a question of time. Having a clear vision, a well developed strategy, and the ability to execute are crucial to growth and longevity.
While there are always external reasons that make developing sustained growth and value, we should all begin by looking internally for solutions. for a copy of our free eBook, "11 barriers to Repeatable Business Development" click on the image below.
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Topics: Strategic planning, Business development

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  • How strategic planning focuses your organization

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