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How to create a business development strategy – Free template included

A business development strategy will help to make sure you achieve your business goals, which normally centre around growth and profitability. If you're wondering how to write a business development strategy, you've come to the right place.

What is a business development strategy?

The business development process helps to identify, nurture, and acquire new customers and business opportunities to help grow your organisation and ensure its profitability.

This may seem quite broad, but this is where your business development strategy comes in. By creating a business development strategy, you’ll outline a detailed plan for how you’ll achieve your organisational goals.

You can either write all of the sections out yourself or use a business development strategy template. We have a free template available to download below.


How to write a business development plan

Whether you have an established firm, or you’re looking for help writing a business development strategy for startups, our guide will provide all the detail you’ll need.

A business development plan should include six sections.

1. Executive summary

The executive summary is normally 1-2 pages long. It provides a condensed account of all the finer details contained within the rest of the document.

The executive summary should provide an overview as to why you’ve created the business development plan and concisely explain the desired outcome.

You might include:

  • Your mission and vision statements (what your business is about and what you’re trying to achieve)
  • Your company values (the principles that guide your business decisions)
  • A brief description of your company
  • An outline of your core goals
  • An overview of your plans to achieve those goals
  • A timeline to achieve your goals
  • How the plans will be evaluated (to measure their success/failure)
  • How the plans will be funded/ financial needs
  • A conclusion, explaining the expected outcome

2. Rationale

The rationale section should detail why you’re developing your business in this way. It’ll include:


The background section will provide context, i.e. how and why this idea came about.


For you to realise the potential of your business development idea, you will have researched it. For example, you may have done market research, conducted competitor analysis, or reviewed financial data. Note down what you discovered in this section.


Your hypothesis outlines your expected outcome. That is, “If we follow this strategy, we anticipate these results”.

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3. Targets

Your targets will be specific to your particular business and your development plans. Some example targets include:

  • To expand the geographical area that your business covers
  • To develop new services
  • To increase the number of new leads your business receives
  • To increase your revenue and/or profit
  • To grow your team
  • To acquire new premises

Make sure your targets are measurable with clear goals and objectives. For example, if your target is to increase revenue, state by how much and by when.

It’s fairly typical to have a primary target and a secondary and perhaps tertiary target that occur as a result of the primary goal.

4. Action plan

This section outlines the actions that need to be taken in order to meet the targets outlined above, i.e. how you’ll achieve your goals. You’ll need to include:

  • Deadlines, to make the actions measurable
  • Detail, to clarify what the task involves
  • Roles, to specify responsibilities
  • Resources, to outline anything else required to make that action happen

You may also find it useful to prioritise actions.

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Marketing strategy development

Marketing strategy development is a way of growing your business based on expanding your current services (or products) into new markets. There are a number of ways this can be done:

If you’ve not yet downloaded a free copy of our guide: 4 ways to grow your business, click on the link below to get yours now.

How to grow your trade business in 2023 – Free guide included

5. Requirements

Rarely do plans magically spring into action without a little input.

This could be in the form of financial investment, tools and equipment, external services or support.

Perhaps you need the services of a designer to create some new branding, or an accountant to help crunch the numbers. Maybe you want to brush up on your business development skills and need to find a business development strategy course.

Whatever your requirements might be, list them in this section to make sure you’ve got everything lined up to support your plans.

6. Results

Hopefully, this will be the exciting part; tracking the results of your business development strategies.

The simplest way to do this is to draw up a chart that outlines:

  • The target
  • The starting point, e.g. the current figure
  • The figure you’re aiming for
  • The % increase

If you need to create any additional documentation to support your business development strategy, for example, spreadsheets or financial projections, list these in an appendix at the end of the document.

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Business development strategy template

Business development -free template download

For help to get started on your business development plans, download our business development strategy template below.

*Claims are sourced from a survey conducted by Deep Blue Thinking on a nationally representative UK sample in October 2021.

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