Has your business development multi-tasking generalist become a limiting factor?

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One of the differences between small and large companies is that larger companies have distinct departments for research, product development, production, marketing, sales, customer service, etc.  Which is “cause” and which is “effect”?   Do successful companies expand the number of departments once they’ve grown or do they expand the number of departments so they can grow?

Ask yourself if your company’s growth has been stifled by an assumption that you need lots of available resources to establish new departments. Sometimes, a misimpression about what constitutes a “department” is behind a reluctance to expand.  Don’t start by buying desks and recruiting! Remember that the first step is conceptual.

This idea is very relevant if your company still has a person with one of those fuzzy generalist titles like “Business Development.” Fearing loss of control, “Vice Presidents of Business Development” often resist drawing the distinctions between research, marketing, sales, and customer service.  But I’ve noticed that when these functions have become blurred into one role, those companies seem to only measure sales results and miss causal issues. What if there’s a hidden problem with the message (marketing)?  What if a problem stems from a misunderstanding of market trends (research)?

Even if you are inclined to retain a bright generalist over multiple departments, it is amazing what happens when the deliverables (results) for each functional area are spelled out. Each functional area (department) owes results to another department. For example, research owes objective reliable insights to guide product development. Marketing owes qualified leads and prospects to sales.  The process of spelling out deliverables for each functional area helps busy multi-tasker(s) see areas where they could outsource small pieces without losing control or hiring employees before they are ready to do so.  When the deliverables are spelled out, the multi-tasking generalist can also see which department should be staffed first to help drive growth.

Is it “BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT” or “Research, Product Development, Marketing, and Sales”?

About Aldonna Ambler:
Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna Ambler built and grew a suite of companies to help midsized B2B companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Ambler has addressed over 2000 audiences and hosted a syndicated online talk show about growth strategies for 9 years. As a growth financing intermediary, Ambler raised over $1 Bil dollars for midsized companies. The winner of over 2 dozen prestigious national and statewide "entrepreneur of the year" awards, Ambler is available to speak about “profitable growth during any economy” and/or serve on the board of a growth-oriented privately-held company.

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Aldonna Ambler played a key role in driving the rapid growth of MarketingWorks, Inc. [In addition to having] a strategic growth plan in place, we obtained appropriate growth financing, have a much stronger management team; we have expanded our services and are already profiting from our new marketing department.

Gerry Bogatz, President and Founder
MarketingWorks, Inc.

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