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Business Development

Developing a business means identifying growth opportunities and getting your sales strategy right. Here we bring together some of the best business writing on a range of topics, including hiring talent, managing client relationships and winning new business.

The foundations of freelance success

There are popular images of entrepreneurs – such as a startup founder, someone running a franchise or a veteran business owner.

However, one type of entrepreneur not often considered is a freelancer, observes Jon Salm, writing for Entrepreneur.com.

The author shares some tips for entrepreneurs looking to build a freelance career:

How to grow without spending more

There is an expectation of everyone in business to do more with less these days, observes Gregory Kennedy, writing for Entrepreneur.com.

With that in mind, Kennedy offers five tips for growing your business without adding more overhead:

Five ways consultants get it wrong for your business

Every business leader needs help at some time in their career. A view from an outsider can throw a new light on a tricky problem, and the right consultant can mean the difference between success and failure.

How to get results from your leadership development initiatives

Despite the time and money organisations devote to improving the capabilities of managers and nurturing new leaders, a survey by a UK business school reveals that only 7% of senior managers believe their companies develop global leaders effectively.

Using creativity to help your business stand out from the crowd

Creativity can be the key to catching customers, according to Daigo Smith, co-founder of UK online dating website Loveflutter, writing for The Guardian.

Smith summarises the company’s key learnings from the creative process that brought the site to life and “helped generate the industry buzz seen on both sides of the Atlantic”:

Existing customers versus new prospects: who should get the reward?

Should you reward your existing customers for their loyalty, or spend your marketing budget on attracting new business? This is the dilemma explored by Jiwoong Shin and K. Sudhir, writing for MIT Sloan Management Review.

The authors observe that expert opinions differ on the relative merits of the two strategies.

You want big data? Maybe you have enough data already

Big data has been hyped to such an extent that companies now expect it to deliver more than it actually can, according to Jeanne W. Ross, Cynthia M. Beath and Anne Quaadgras, writing for Harvard Business Review.

Why you need to learn the art of self-promotion

Writing for Entrepreneur.com, Martin Zwilling observes that many entrepreneurs believe their business idea will carry their startup, while most investors think that the idea is worthless without the right execution. This, he insists, means that selling yourself is more important than selling your idea.

How to use digital technology to improve the value of your business

Most of the talk regarding the potential of digital technology for business has been centred around online sales, social networking and mobile applications.

Does what you produce matter less than the way you produce it?

Michael Kidner, Grey Column, Flowers Gallery

According to an Economist.com 'Management Idea' article, because companies such as Wal-Mart, Dell and Toyota have managed to achieve extraordinary success while doing fairly ordinary things, many managers have realised that what they produce can be less important than the way they prod

The lessons of mission-driven companies

Trevor Sutton, Butterfly, Flowers Gallery

Mission-driven companies come under the spotlight in an entry for Harvard Business Review's Blog Network by Michael V. Russo.

How to improve your company's customer service in the post-recession environment

William Crozier, Flowers Gallery

Providing good customer service is the subject under discussion in an article by Dave Dougherty and Ajay Murthy in Harvard Business Review.

A.G. Lafley's four leadership lessons for chief executive officers

Terry Frost, Newlyn Blue Q, Flowers Gallery

In Harvard Business Review, Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley highlights the things that only a company's chief executive officer can do.

Unlocking value with social technologies

Noel Forster, Untitled, Flowers Gallery

Social technologies are a modern phenomenon. They have found favour with consumers at a faster rate than any previous technologies.

So you need to cut costs? Here's how...

Derek Hirst, Flowers Gallery

You're heading a department and have been ordered in no uncertain terms to cut administrative costs by 10%, 20% or 30%. That's the hypothetical – but not uncommon – scenario discussed by Kevin P. Coyne, Shawn T. Coyne, and Edward J. Coyne, Sr in Harvard Business Review.   The Coynes offer some guidelines:  

Why your business plan needs flexibility

On HBR.org's 'Best Practices' blog, Amy Gallo emphasises the importance of keeping your business plan flexible.

Setting goals: how to map the road ahead

Peter Vanden Bos explores the subject of business goals and how to set them on Inc.com, pointing out that smart CEOs might well understand the value of drawing a clear road map, but working out which direction to take is not easy task.

Business plans: ten essential ingredients

On Forbes.com, Martin Zwilling outlines a recipe for a great business plan, revealing the ten essential ingredients.

According to the author, investment-grade business plans usually consist of around 20 pages, which should also contain these ten key elements that matter most to business owners and investors…

Is it time to reinvent your business?

Carolyn M. Brown of Inc.com offers advice on how to successfully rebrand your business, pointing out that you can't run your company the same way forever.

Reinvent your business or run out of room to grow

Paul Nunes and Tim Breene urge you to "reinvent your business before it's too late" in Harvard Business Review.

Five tips for part-time entrepreneurs

Starting a part-time business can be a low-risk entry into entrepreneurship, says Eric Markowitz of Inc.com. He offers some advice on getting your business idea off the ground in your spare time.

How internal social media could transform your company

Why are so many companies avoiding the use of social media internally, or failing to make it work effectively within their organisation?

This is a question addressed by Quy Huy and Andrew Shipilov, writing for MIT Sloan Management Review.

How to plan for the tough times like a family business

Although the term “family business” often suggests a small to mid-sized company, family-controlled enterprises play a powerful role in the world economy.

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