Business Development, A Path To Scale

Business development can simply be summarized as the ideas, initiatives, and activities that help make a business better.I would also add that it is the foundation of your business and it needs to be as strong as possible to support the growth of your business.

Over the last decade we’ve seen a lot of brands decline as a result of scaling too quickly.  This move is typical with private ownership. When speaking about business development or just about any aspect of a business technology is spoken about ad nauseam as the be all solution.  While technology plays an important role in the success of a business it’s not that cut and dry.

We need to take a few steps back and get back to basics before technology can be implemented. Leading a business requires juggling many moving parts across multiple groups — with limited time and resources. While the solution looks slightly different depending on the business it’s a mix of people & systems. You need effective systems in place along with the right people. 

Execution without strategy is chaos! Here are 3 things to keep in mind as you build and fortify the foundation of your business.

Have a Business Plan– visit it often and remember this is a living document that will evolve with your business. It is a roadmap that brings comfort and security especially since there’s so much uncertainty when starting or scaling a business. Most importantly it helps you focus on specific steps to achieve short and long term objectives.

Document, document, document! Extract and document founder, legacy and institutional knowledge – this feels like a critical step given there is a changing of the guards happening in textile manufacturing with a generation that’s preparing for retirement.  There is a tremendous amount of knowledge here that is key to reshoring and the innovation necessary to stabilize apparel manufacturing in the USA.

Process, process, process! Establish standard operating procedures (SOP’s) for all of your processes. Having a clear process will allow one to collect data, identify where the challenges and opportunities are with their business.  It’s a critical step to adopting new technology and will allow you to proceed with ease to implement automation. A benefit of automation is that it allows for flexibility to respond to the eb and flow of manufacturing needs without having to rely on layoffs which is dangerous because it’s a skill lost that will be very difficult to replace.

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