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The Biz Dev Big One that Got Away – Business Development 301

When it comes to business development, one never really knows if a relationship is going to solidify to the point of transaction and possible long-term contractual obligation until the contract is signed and the check clears ye ole bank.

In all my years of developing new business it never ceases to amaze me how many people are out there with the hottest idea since electricity was invented.

More times than not new business development having to do with new ventures and projects have fallen through than come to fruition and developed into healthy repeat business. Yet, we as business development professionals continue onward an upward to the next project, whether it be large, small or somewhere in between.

Recently I was courting a venture that if it actually turned into a reality could have been one heck of a whopper or should I say really bigga macca.

This relationship was at the very early stages and I instinctively knew we needed a lot more information and research in order to make the right decisions, but I decided to share a few ideas to feed the fire. The only thing is that the ideas were like a few pieces of kindling and I didn’t share enough of them to get the fire started.

Then my gut kicked in several times before one of the meetings.  And then low and behold a curve ball was thrown and the entire development process was halted and terminated.

A sad, yet happy day this was for the publisher. Yes, I was literally jumping for joy.

Why, you ask?

Because this project freed the mind of yours truly to work on an internal ‘biz dev’ project that was already warmed up and ready to be put on the hot front burner.

And put it on the hot front burner we did!

My loyal reader, larger scale projects/ventures are often lofty dreams that have yet to become reality. And the small-scaled versions can be even worse because there’s usually less or no money. Today I look at them like looking at long-term investments, with cautious and conservative eyes and ears.

So when I’m approached to discuss and review either a small or large grandiose project (with no up front fundage), I usually decline, never to set foot in the requestors place of business or favorite beverage establishment.

Now even with all this said, I recently had one project that was so appealing, yet the project owner was only willing to pay us commissions versus any kind of retainer.

Almost every time I’ve come across these kind of offers, it really means that the prospective business or organization doesn’t have the necessary fundage to bring us on board, is uncertain about specific details or could be on his or her way out of business. Thus they desire to throw most of the advance work and risk on our shoulders.

Yes, this is almost always the case and rarely have I seen it otherwise and to our favor. So when the prospective owner or partner of the venture that is going to bring in gazillions to your coffers comes across your threshold, Here are Five Tips that you should consider:

1. Proceed with caution.  Big Yellow Sign. 😐

2. Turn on your note-taking device and open both thy ears. Remember, discover early and you’ll save yourself lots of wasted time and resources.

3. Close thy mouth and only open it when absolutely necessary to ask questions.

4. Protect thy time (your calendar) like a bank vault.

And finally number five…

If you, my reader, are going to take your precious time, energy and resources to develop business for any organization or business (whatever size it may be), then make sure that you have a secured agreement before ever stepping into action.

Because it has been my experience that people without fundage, very limited resources, or just desire to take as much as they can, are always looking for information and ideas to further their cause. And they especially love these ideas and information, when they are offered up on a plate without a fee attached.

So proceed with caution and a conservative stance as you walk through the streets of offers and prospective projects. Guard your time and resources and only part with these precious gems with those that pass the tests that you put before them.

To your success,

Dave Krygier

PS – Should ever the time come that you require some business development assistance or just need a good ole sounding board, the Small Biz Mechanic may be a good fit for you. But he’s not always available, so don’t be bummed out if you have to keep looking.


The Road to Successful Business Development 301A

Ever been in a situation where a prospective business owner or member of an organization paints such an awesome picture that you just know that it’s meant to be. It’s a business development dream. You know the picture I am referring to…

The one that is painted in such a way that makes it look like your share will be worth a gazillion trinkets, that you’d be a fool not to take on this endeavor. The road signs all pointed to this destination, yet you still feel like you’re at the wrong place and yet the picture is lit up like a Christmas tree!

In this follow up to my previous article, I want to point out that you need to be more cautious than ever when it comes to developing business for others.

Taking on projects or ventures that are only going to pay on the back end can be very risky and time consuming, especially if you are a sole-practitioner or have existing time constraints. Business development projects that are all back end based usually mean lots and lots of work and very little or no return.

Now this is not always the case, but more times than I can count on both hands I’ve seen these projects or ventures come our way only to leave after they don’t get what they want; usually one of the following:

A. The keys to unlock the revenue stream or some missing information that will help them put it all together.

B. Someone to work for FREE on the front end. You know, that someone to bring forth the JV partners, strategic alliances, primary revenue sources or new customers or clients.

It’s almost like a special radar alert that goes off now when a calling party brings forth their new venture, project or idea and just wants to get together to throw some ideas around and discuss the possibilities.

Yep…been there an done that more times than I want to admit.

Why – because I’m a believer in entrepreneurism. Call it a good sickness. I just want to help the new person live his or her dream and be able to get the venture off the ground or expand into new and uncharted territory.

The bottom line here is that your time is your most precious asset, and the amount of energy you put into any project can suck the life right out of your business if you’re not careful.

How do I know this? Because after 27 years of small business ventures including six startups, I’ve seen, been involved with and declined more than my fair share of “next big thing” projects and ventures. Enough so that I could write a book on the subject and have material left over for a second edition.

So with all that said…

Here are a few of Your Most Valuable Assets when it comes to your small business and the topic of business development:

A. Your Resources ( people, money, information, devices, machines, software)

B. Your Energy – (mind space – thoughts). This is also another subject for discussion as we only have so much energy in any given day.

C. Your Time – The 8 to 10 hours a day you have to work on and/or in your business.

D. Your Character – What you develop and take with you when you leave this Earth.

E. Your Salvation – What you take with you into eternity. (This is a whole other article series)

These assets married with the right biz dev project can possibly bring forth a lot of fulfilling times, experiences and revenue.

And so the next time you are approached with “The Next Big Trinket” or “Next Big Idea”, put up your guard, proceed with caution, and look at all the angles before taking any big steps.

Until next time…

Dave Krygier

Direct Sales & The Return of the Milkman

Whether you’re lactose intolerant or love a mug of milk, this is a story you have to hear.

Recently I attended a local chamber of commerce function and one of the first people I ran into was the local milkman. Boy was this a surprise and more so that he was just getting started and had hundreds of customers who received their dairy products on a daily and weekly basis.

The most interesting part of this is that he was utilizing a method that most small business owners would look down on. But with this method he did in two months what most businesses do in a year or two. And with this said, I tip my hat off to him.

So maybe you’re not old enough or never met the milkman when you were growing up? Well I did and we even had a milkman back in the late 1990’s in the Central Washington Community of Wenatchee. This service was one my wife and I really liked but we ended up moving and didn’t find a milkman in our next community.

Fast forward to today and the milkman shows up on your doorstep offering you a variety of items and service to boot. And this kind of service fits hand in glove for the busy mom and dad who almost always forget to pickup milk on their way home from work or soccer practice.

Now with all this talk of the milkman how do you think this pertains to your small business or organization?

Here’s my Take…

Think outside the box and you might find the simplest method for marketing your business and increasing sales to be one that is time tested and still works, even though the techno folk will say you’re an old fart for doing it!

Direct Sales is still Alive and can be a very lucrative channel for certain businesses. Maybe your business is one of the ones that could still be utilizing direct sales.

Maybe your business or organization could increase or even double sales with direct response marketing and direct sales combined?

You know – you test some mailers with phone follow up or a little pay per click, video and a real person to answer the phone when the searcher clicks or calls.

So do not write off direct sales until you’ve sat down and put the pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard…

Because your next big client, customer or patient could be right around the corner when your mailer shows up or ad appears on his mobile device.

Think outside the box this next year and consider direct sales and direct response marketing if your business or organization needs additional revenue to keep the doors open.

To your success,

Dave Krygier

PS – As of this post The SmallBizMechanic is still working in this arena and might be able to help you uncover a few new clients or patients.

PPS – If you come across this post and he’s swamped or no longer working taking on new clients, let us know and we’ll see who we can refer you to.










Youth Sports Marketing – Capture a Captive Audience

Youth Sports Marketing and Your Small Business

Soccer has been to our family like so many youth sports have been to other families throughout the world.

My wife and I have had hours and hours of discussions about the sport that has dominated our household for over three years. Sometimes I feel like a sports agent having to work the phones and be out at the games, except with youth sports like soccer we parents(or financiers) have to pay to play. Fortunately for me, years ago I co-owned a management company that specialized in musicians and bands. Yeh, I know, call me a little off kilter, but having worked in that industry and been a musician myself, it made for a small business venture or so it seemed at that time.

And with the amount of time and money that we’ve invested in the sport of ‘futbol’ the last five years has accumulated into the thousands of dollars, and it looks like there’s no end in sight. But the overall experience has been great for the kids as we progress with them in the land of soccer.

If we compare our experience to that of my friend there’s a bit of a contrast…

On the one foot (no pun intended), you have my friend who played little league years ago and his Dad owned a furniture business in the town they lived in. When approached to sponsor his baseball team, his Dad refused and thought it would be a conflict of interest.

Personally, I think this was short sighted on his part and showed a lack of understanding and support for the boys.

On the other foot, you have our present day condition where club soccer and the associated travel have increased to the point where it’s not uncommon to pay over $300 a month in gas, club fees, tournaments, coaching fees and related travel expenses.

Now there is a way that you can possibly recoup some of your outgo – especially if you are a small business owner and have an interest in youth sports marketing.

As a small business owner who is looking to increase sales and revenue, youth sports might be the answer you are looking for. After all, you have a captive audience that you can continually put your name and message in front of. From logos on physical merchandise like uniforms and bags to signage, brochures, websites and emails.

When you are looking at marketing to the youth sports niche, here are a few tips:

1. Get to know and network with all the people that have to do with the sport your kids are playing. This includes the Owners, Directors, Managers, and Coaches of the local organization or club.

2. Offer to help at games, tournaments, and special events. This promotes good will and shows that you are looking to be involved.

3. Advertise your business and make sure to put testing mechanisms in place. This means tracking with URL’s, emails, phone numbers and separate landing pages.

4. Sponsor players, a team or teams or special event and make sure to get as much exposure as possible.

To reach this target niche audience and possibly recoup some of the expenses, I believe it’s important to think outside the box and really look at all the angles. So get your biz dev cap on, your rump-a-roney in gear and look for opportunities that you can take advantage of and expand your horizons in this ever popular and growing niche.

Need a little push or possibly a tip or two in addition to the ones above? Check out Small Biz Mechanix and get yourself moving in the right direction.

Dave Krygier

Secrets of The Tiny Store