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Business Strategy

Where Businesses Go to Die: How to Escape the Biz Dev Trap to Quickly Create Significant Income and Growth in Your Business

Think of the last time you had an awesome new idea for your business.

Now, zoom in on the moment it happened — that ‘a-ha’ moment.

Magical, wasn’t it?

When that shiny, new idea hits you, it feels a bit like falling in love.

You’ve got stars in your eyes and wings on your feet and it’s all you can think about and talk about.

This is why so many entrepreneurs lose themselves in what’s commonly called “biz dev” — where they get to dream, scheme and fall in love again and again with lots of awesome ideas.

The Biz Dev Trap

Business development is super important, especially when you’re starting to build your business.

It’s the honeymoon phase of your business where all the thinking, dreaming, planning, strategizing and preparing happens.

But if you want growth, if you want to reach more people and quickly create significant income and impact, then devoting all your time and energy to biz dev just isn’t going to cut it.

You need to start marketing and selling your products and services — right away. 

Here’s the thing…

As the CEO of your business, your job is to keep the lights on.

You’ve got to have income consistently flowing in — especially when you’re just starting out.

But that’s not going to happen when you spend pretty much every last minute dreaming up ideas and doing behind-the-scenes planning, strategizing and creative work.

The worst part?  Your ideas could be world-changing, beyond brilliant, but no one will ever know because you’re stuck in what I like to call the Biz Dev Trap.

Where Businesses Go to Die

When you’re in the Trap you don’t get past the ideation phase.

It feels like you’re doing a lot but the reality is you’re not making real progress.

You’re basically spinning your wheels in biz dev activities such as market research, website optimization and building strategic partnerships without ever actually launching yourself into action.

On a deeper emotional and psychological level, the Biz Dev Trap lets you stay in your comfort zone.

You feel safe because you’re playing small.

But the Trap isn’t safe… it’s dangerous because nothing happens when you’re in it.

There’s no growth, no sales and no income.

It’s where game-changing ideas and world-changing businesses go to die.

Dreaming vs. Doing

So, how do you free yourself? How do you escape the Biz Dev Trap?

First thing you need to do is look at your calendar.

How much time can you dedicate to your business?

10 hours a week? 20? Maybe 30 or more?

Once you have that number down, prioritize and allocate your time.

The point is to maintain a healthy balance between business development and sales and marketing activities so you can get out of dreaming up ideas and start doing what you need to do to get those ideas out into the world.

And if you’re wondering, “So how do I know how much time to allocate to get that balance right?” Well, you’re in luck!

I’ve worked with countless new business owners and I’ve helped them prioritize and allocate their time — I know what works and what doesn’t.

And I’ve done the math for you 🙂

Nailing the Numbers

When you’re starting to build your business you need to think, plan and prepare as you work to define your niche, identify your target audience and develop your first few products and services.

A significant chunk of time needs to be dedicated to these business development activities and so I recommend that you aim to spend no more than 40% of your time here.

Next, it’s about balancing things out and keeping those dollars coming in with sales and marketing.

Sales bring in immediate revenue.

So, things like reaching out to a potential client, having an enrollment conversation, tracking and following up with clients count as sales activities.

Marketing is about future revenue.

Running Facebook Live challenges related to your program, product or service, sharing a freebie that gets people on your email list, guest blogging to attract an audience… all of these types of things count as marketing activities.

A good rule of thumb is to dedicate about 40% of your time to sales and marketing activities and 40% to business development.

The rest can go to other areas such as fulfillment and administrative tasks.

Then, once you start to make consistent sales in your business, you can adjust to spend more time on fulfillment (up to 40%) and less on biz dev (just 5-10%).

Allocating your time will help you prioritize so you know you’re giving equal emphasis to developing an idea and doing the work to market and sell your product.

The 40-40 allocation will also get you out of your head and out of assuming your idea is what people are looking for.

Instead, you get to validate your idea through sales and marketing activities so you know for sure people are actually looking for what you want to offer and they’re willing to pay for it.

WORD OF WARNING: it’s way too easy to slip back into the Biz Dev Trap so hold yourself accountable — commit to allocating and prioritizing your time no matter what.

The future of your business depends on it.

What True Freedom Looks Like

Entrepreneurs are highly creative and they love their freedom so prioritizing and allocating time for specific business activities can feel restrictive.

If this is you I want you to reflect on this…

True freedom comes from living and working with intention.

It’s about consciously using your time and focusing your energy, money and other resources on the things that matter to you.

It’s about building a profitable business that continues to grow and thrive so you can finally have it all…

The lifestyle you want and the deep satisfaction and joy that come from knowing you’re living your purpose doing what you love and making a real difference in the world.

If this sounds good to you and if it resonates here’s what I want you to do…

Pick ONE revenue-generating sales or marketing activity to focus on this week.

You could…

  • Call 3-5 potential clients and offer them a free strategy session where you can pitch your offers at the end.
  • Email your tribe, inviting them to a 45-minute live training on Facebook Live, Zoom or another live video conferencing platform or your choice — again, sharing your programs, products or services at the end.
  • Send an email to everyone in your tribe who hasn’t bought a specific program, product or service yet — invite them to buy this week and they’ll also receive a free strategy session or other juicy bonus. Create urgency for them to buy now rather than later!

Which sales and marketing activity will you choose to laser focus on this week? Let me know in the comments below…

I want to cheer you on! 🙂

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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

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