20 Essential Habits Business Development Leaders Yearn To See

The role of a business development leader is challenging and vital. These professionals foster growth, steer companies toward new opportunities and forge valuable partnerships. As the business landscape evolves, so too do the expectations placed upon these leaders and also on their teams.

Below, 20 Forbes Business Development Council members share the habits they wish more of their employees would cultivate. From the art of proactive networking to the discipline of strategic thinking, these habits not only enhance individual prowess but also foster a cohesive and forward-thinking team culture.

1. Go Above And Beyond

Do more than what’s asked. It can be challenging to separate yourself from the competition when it comes to successful business development. Doing more than what’s asked from coworkers, clients and prospects will immediately separate you from the pack and make you invaluable. Next time you’re crafting a response, think to yourself, “What’s one more thing I could add that this person might need?” – Daniel Biagini, American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company

2. Foster Trust With Managing Up

At any stage of one’s career, managing up is a skill that can benefit all employees. Managing up is a way for employees to foster better relationships and increase trust with managers, which then supports short-term success for the team and long-term career advancement. While developing these skills can take time, the benefits managing up can bring are worth the effort for employees to develop. – Javier Molina, Starburst

3. Develop A Sense Of Situational Awareness

To develop situational awareness. Too much of the work culture in the U.S. is framed around tasks, punch lists and blanket statements and approaches. Being so general and robotic in how we do our work—but more importantly in how we deal with others—is what causes poor consumer experiences,

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10 Essential Things to Do When Starting Your First Business

Your first business–heck, even your second and third–comes with challenges. Lots of challenges, all of which seem like they need to be addressed today, this minute, now, and planned for, of course, yesterday.

What’s your company’s mission? Who’s your first hire? How can you beat Big Widget to market? And trying to figure out everything yourself can make it nearly impossible to emerge with your sanity intact, your vision still relevant, and your bottom line strong.

So we’re here to help. Well, not just us, but other entrepreneurs–ones who’ve dealt with it all before. To bolster your bid to launch, we sought these founders’ hard-earned insights on the 10 categories we think are most important to VCs and always in the pitch deck requirements of venture firms like Sequoia Capital: Company Purpose, Problem, Solution, Why Now?, Market Potential, Competition, Business Model, Team, Financials, and Vision.

We solicited their picks for the most valuable tools for first-time startups and culled the best of their “if only I had known then what I know now” pieces of wisdom. Then we broke it all down into bite-size bits–so, you know, the reading wouldn’t take too long. Because if there’s one thing we know about first-time founders, it’s that you have work to do.

1. Define Your Purpose

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Donie Yamamoto Founder
“Begin by writing out a paragraph that is your brand story, authentic to only you. The who, what, where, and why of your purpose. This process is a great community-­building exercise–editing and wordsmithing your company’s ­essence. Take that paragraph and con­tinue to whittle it down until you’ve created a tag line synonymous with your mission.”
In 2021, just four years after its founding, Yamamoto’s pet care startup landed at No. 348 on the Inc. 5000 list.

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Erin Carpenter Founder

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