The development of the business development process

We have been planning the future of 7connections over the last few weeks (not that we don’t do that every day) – meetings with my business partners and with the team to talk about where we see the business going over the next 10 years.

It has been interesting to reflect on the process by which the development of a business takes place and, inevitably, I have found myself in conversation with some clients on the same subject.

One of the questions I get from clients is “how on earth do you keep track of everything?”, especially when EVERYTHING gets more complex?

In the graphic above I have attempted to show how our conversations turn into action and also some of the cloud-based applications we use.

Overall Goal

Why are we doing this?

The overall goal is preferably quantitive – numbers and dates – sales of £X and profit of £Y by Z date.

The overall objective might be qualitative – build a business that is ready to sell – become the best in the world, delight customers, innovate.

Qualitative outcomes should be gathered together in your mission and vision statements – around your core values, as they can seldom be developed into daily tasks.


What organisational structure will we need to make this business work effectively – how many people and what will be their roles?

Protocols & Documents

What written evidence are we going to need for training, governance and compliance?


What exactly has to be done and in what order?


How does each item of workflow break out into individual action areas?


Who needs to do what, by when?

You can see from the graphic the applications that 7connections use at each step in the process. There are other applications out there – some for Mac and Windows, some best suited to the needs of niche markets.

Finding a cloud-based application suite that your whole team will buy into and use is a useful attribute of the successful development process.

Planning quality (undisturbed) meeting time with your management team to agree the above is the sign of a mature and evolving business.

The whole process is driven by good conversation but conversation without an execution process is just imagination.


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.