New Year’s Resolutions

A Business Development Strategy for the new year

This is a New Year of questions. Big, significant questions-about values, goals, and long-term direction. Asked personally, professionally, and from a financial-service industry perspective; the questions are remarkable for both their breadth and depth. At the same time, the New Year is a time for resolutions, and for moving forward.

It now seems clear that business today requires a multi-faceted focus on people, long-term business sustainability, and short-term ROI. In keeping with these ideas and with the theme of the New Year, we’d like to contribute to the forward momentum by providing a suggested list of top priorities to add to your firm’s agenda for 2010—ideas that will translate directly to bottom line success for your firm.

Some Key Trends for 2010

  • Many people are feeling paralyzed and fearful. They are unsure of their jobs, roles and of the business climate in general.
  • Investor expectations have been shifted-dramatically. There is disappointment, relief, some elation (mostly related to stemming losses), and a host of other reactions on the emotional spectrum.
  • Marketing budgets have been slashed. At the same time, the benefits of marketing have become more important to business growth.
  • Reliance on PR as a core business development strategy has increased dramatically.

New Year’s Resolutions to Consider for 2010

  • Invest in training tools and programs that help employees to understand themselves, your business, and their core values.
  • Acknowledge recent investor experience of your products and services, and create materials (letters, presentations, seminars, etc.) or offer training programs that enable salespeople to interact with intermediaries and investors and constructively talk about performance issues, expectations, and other fundamentals.
  • Put marketing into the proper perspective-it is the creative driver of new business, new products and growth. If you keep slashing your creative center, what and who will create the programs and tools your business needs to succeed?
  • Couple your aggressive PR program with a deliberate and considered sales strategy. Create a plan for managing leads that come in as a result of PR, and develop a program to ensure that the story that’s being told to the media and investors is known and understood (and can be articulated) by everyone in the firm. Train your staff to consistently tell and extend the story.