The term “business development” is broad and has different meanings to different people. There’s no use in trying to pinpoint a single definition. It is my belief that business development is basically any effort made to advance the business by ways that aren’t part of the trivial, ongoing, “organic” daily tasks. As opposed to organic business growth, which derives from marketing and sales efforts, business development aims to advance the company through non-organic methods, for example partnerships, acquisitions, mergers and entrepreneurship.
Business development has various levels, starting from a small partnership surrounding a single product to a large scale acquisition of strategic and transformational significance to the business. Accordingly, and dependent on the company’s size, business development executives work throughout the corporate hierarchy. In small companies, business development is often handled by sales, marketing or finance employees.
All about the business development team at Strauss Group.
A correct business development process aims to implement the company’s strategy. However, business development executives are not there just to execute company policy. In order to succeed in the implementation stage, business development executives must be involved from early on in the planning stages, even in the market research itself, and throughout the competitive analysis and general strategic thinking process. The business development process is not a one-off operation but rather a series of ongoing activities; a constant study of the marketplace to achieve a higher understanding of consumer needs, difficulties, gaps, competitors and opportunities.
“The term “business development” is broad and has different meanings to different people.”
As a company that constantly strives to move forward, and break through boundaries, we at Strauss devote much attention to business development. At Strauss, many take part in business development, either within the subsidiaries (Strauss Israel, Strauss Water, Strauss Coffee…) or at the corporate group level. Our business development executives work closely with the ‘hands on’ crew at different business units, making sure we spend quality time together while researching the diverse market characteristics, leading trends in the food industry, exploring unprovided consumer needs and business opportunities. After we recognize a promising business opportunity, we try to define the best way to begin – be it internal development, acquisition, or partnership. The moment we define our strategy, we act fast and efficiently towards its implementation.
The sky is the limit
Strauss’ business development activities exist on two levels: the first involves Strauss’ Israeli operations, and the second involves Strauss’ global expansion. Each process, whether at home or abroad, involves many people who all bring their own knowledge and professional experience to the table. Product managers, innovation managers, marketing and finance executives, food engineers and many others – all of them adding great value, and igniting and creating new developments at Strauss.
Strauss is a company that constantly strives to break out of familiar boundaries. Since starting out as a local Israeli company for dairy products, with two cows in the family’s backyard, Strauss has never stopped reinventing itself and is currently involved in many diverse areas: dairy, sweets, coffee, snacks, water, salads and more. Some of these activities were built from the ground up by Strauss, while others were created through partnerships, such as PepsiCo and Danone, or acquisition, such as our coffee and water subsidiaries.
Please tune in to my future posts where I will further discuss the topic of business development, the different directions it can take, and methodologies towards opportunity recognition.