Situation: The CEO of a software company needs to increase revenue to cover expenses. He doesn’t want to cut salaries because if employees leave it will be hard to find replacements with the required skills. The better solution is to increase revenue. How do you expand business development efforts?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Look at the markets which are growing rapidly:
- Gaming. This is currently a good investment area. Large casinos are spending heavily on high end projects, and people just keep gambling!
- Medical imaging. Potential targets include:
- Pharma and Biotech R&D and Marketing/Sales – the ability to show how a drug binds with the cell receptors and how this impacts the cell is interesting to both groups. Also look at Medical schools. This is where you find the top researchers and they love teaching and presentation aids.
- Military markets, particularly simulation spaces and unmanned vehicles. They value realistic simulated environments. Also look at training programs that value visually intensive simulations including marine and naval applications, aircraft, and battlefield simulations.
- Consider the company’s business focus and strategy. How can it move from a “next project” model to a recurring revenue model? Is it possible to write client agreements to include a piece of the recurring revenue stream from client products?
- Look at what the company does and package this as a product/service vs.an hourly problem-solving model. Focus on where the market is going. For example, iPhone apps – cheap to the customer, so millions buy them People now interact differently using electronic media. This opens new options.
- What is the company’s key focus – Product Leadership, Operational Excellence or Customer Intimacy? How is the company’s differentiating strength presented consistently to client audiences?
- It is important to clearly define the company’s niche – what makes it truly different. The communication must be clearly understood both by the engineers, and the business development and marketing people.
- Invest additional funds in business development – with payments highly weighted on success.