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,
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.