In researching business development, I ran across this article by the Lawyerist. I particularly like the gardening analogy to building business. The tips from the article - in a nutshell - are below. It's not rocket science, but it does remind us of the dedication, care and patience required to make our business grow.
(1) DON'T EXPECT IMMEDIATE CROPS, THEY TAKE TIME TO GERMINATE. It is never too early or late to plant networking seeds. Join groups and meet new people for the joy of building your network and contacts. But you can't expect immediate referrals from people you just met. It takes time to meet people and build trust.
(2) PLANT EXTRA SEEDS, THIN THE CROP. Business development is a personal and evolving process. What works for you may not work for someone else, and vice versa. Regularly assess what is working, and get rid of what doesn't. Test new initiatives by adding them in the mix.
(3) DON'T DIG UP CARROTS TO SEE IF THEY ARE GROWING. Have faith in the process. Be patient. Don't be pushy about receiving business.
(4) PRAY FOR RAIN AND SUN, BUT MAKE YOUR OWN LUCK WEEDING AND WATERING. Don't sit around twiddling your thumbs expecting to get a call with a referral. Be helpful and useful to others without expecting anything in return. Get rid of clients or practice areas that are not a good fit to make room for those that are. Of course, take care of existing clients.
(5) A GARDEN NEEDS CONSTANT NURTURING. Don't check out after the initial meeting. Follow-up is key to building relationships.
(6) BE FRUGAL LIKE A FARMER. When you are out of cash, you are out of business. Invest your time and energy wisely.
(7) MAKE SURE YOUR INVESTORS GET A RETURN. Your biggest backers are your family, friends, and best clients (including former clients). Make sure they are recognized in helping to build your firm to success.
Hope your business is fruitful this year. For more information about how I can assist you and your business growth, please contact me.