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Business Development

Find out how business development programs can help a business grow.

Business development programs offer financial and technical expertise. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
Business development programs offer financial and technical expertise.

Business development programs assist businesses by developing strategies to help the businesses grow. Sometimes they help prospective business owners develop effective plans for launching their businesses.

Business development programs generally link business development professionals and other experts with business owners. These development professionals teach business owners what they need to know to start or grow their companies. They might offer financial and technical expertise. Starting a successful business requires planning skills and expertise in areas that a business owner may not already have.

By conducting research online, business owners in need of a particular skill or a more cohesive plan will find a plethora of agencies and companies willing to provide advice.

Business Development from Private Companies

Many private businesses offer business development services both nationally and internationally. They can help clients develop relationships with other organizations and companies, as well as create public relations campaigns and marketing initiatives.

The services private companies provide can include:

  • Helping a business uncover larger markets
  • Conducting marketing and feasibility studies
  • Engaging in economic impact analysis
  • Assisting in business plan development

Government Business Development Programs

Governments offer business development services at many levels, often for free. Government business development programs are available for small businesses or start-ups and offer many different areas of specialized advice.
For example, the State of Minnesota has business development services available to help businesses that want to expand or relocate to the state. Among the services it provides are training employees and promoting international trade.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has small business development centers that provide management assistance for those looking to start small businesses and those who already run them. The centers provide the following:

  • Financial advice
  • Marketing assistance
  • Production advice and assistance
  • Organizational information
  • Engineering information
  • Assistance with technical problems
  • Feasibility studies

Many government programs also offer one-on-one counseling to assist business owners with training workshops and other expertise. Some business development centers and programs are geared toward specific industries or demographic groups, such as women or minorities. The goal of the Women's Business Development Center (WBDC) is to help women achieve economic independence by starting their own businesses. The organization helps women start and successfully sustain businesses. It also helps female business owners implement formal policies and move from being a regular worker to a manager.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations helps those interested in agricultural ventures. AECOM International Development encourages the growth of small and medium-sized businesses in developing countries.

Nonprofit Business Development Programs

Some business development programs are run by nonprofit agencies, which work with different levels of government and the business community to foster the growth of businesses. These groups may offer financial assistance, business counseling and seed capital programs that provide loans to prospective business owners.

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