some of our clients:
  • Johnson and Johnson
  • YPO
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • US Army
  • Air New Zealand
  • WB
  • Red Bull
  • Frito Lay
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Delta Airlines
  • bp

Business Development Plan to Optimize Expansion


business development planBusiness plans are recognized decision-making tools which contain a formal statement of goals, an action plan and a road map to success.  A business development plan is necessary to move key initiatives from strategy to performance. The plan can and should be utilized in all types of companies, circumstances, and functions.

Business expansion can be optimized by crafting an actionable optimum business development plan.

Optimize Business Expansion

Congratulations! Your business has attained the goals that you initially strove to achieve and is considered a success.  As an entrepreneur, small or midsize business, you have proven your ability to meet challenges and find solutions. Pursuing business growth is your next most exciting challenge.

Growth makes business sense for:

  • Better brand recognition
  • Building value in the business
  • Offering a wider range of products and services to a larger geographical market
  • Creating “economies of scale”

Setting a course for business expansion is seldom easy.  Developing a professional business development plan with an actionable expansion strategy is an essential tool to optimize business success. Business expansions typically fall under two categories:  Intensive Growth Strategies and Integrative Growth Strategies.

Deploy Intensive Growth Strategies

  • Market Penetration

The least risky growth strategy for any business is to simply sell more of its current products to its current customers. This strategy is perfected by consumer goods companies.  Think 6-pack, 12-pack, 24-pack boxes and different size bottles of Coke or Pepsi.

  • Market Development

This growth strategy is based on selling more of your current product to an adjacent market. Offering your product or service to customers in another city or state are key examples.  Franchising is a recognized tool for market development.

  • Alternative Channels

This growth strategy involves pursuing customers in a different way, such as selling your products online. When Apple added its retail division, it adopted an alternative channel strategy.

  • Product Development

Growth is also achieved by developing new products to sell to your existing and potential customers.  Nike mastered product development with products like its Air Jordan basketball shoes.

  • New Products for New Customers

Sometimes, market conditions dictate that you must create new products for new customers, as Polaris, the recreational vehicle manufacturer discovered. For years, the company produced only snowmobiles. Then, after several mild winters, the company was in dire straits. Fortunately, it developed a wildly successful series of four-wheel all-terrain vehicles, opening up an entirely new market.

Integrative Growth Strategies

These acquisition strategies can run parallel to intensive growth strategies or as a sole focus of business expansion. There are three key forms of acquisitions:

  • Horizontal

This growth strategy involves buying a competing business. Employing this strategy adds to your company’s growth and eliminates another barrier to future growth—namely, a real or potential competitor.  Many breakthrough companies such as Paychex, the payroll processing company, and Intuit, the maker of personal and small business tax and accounting software, acquired key competitors over the years. These acquisitions served as both a shortcut to product development and a way to increase their market share.

  • Backward

A backward integrative growth strategy involves buying a supplier in order to better control your supply chain. This strategy can help you to develop new products faster and potentially, at a lower cost. Fastenal, a company that sells nuts and bolts, made the decision to acquire several tool and die makers as a way to introduce custom-part manufacturing capabilities to its clients.

  • Forward

Acquisitions can also be focused on buying component companies that are part of your distribution chain.  For instance, if you were a garment manufacturer, you could begin buying retail stores to push your product at the expense of your competition.

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Gain Optimum Advantage from Business Expansion

Numerous advantages are garnered through business expansion:

  • Build Business Value by Dominating a Market Niche

Business growth can give your business the advantage it needs to be a leader in a market niche. You can move into new geographic markets, acquire more customers, or provide additional service to your present customers – perhaps, a service they have been asking you for. Growing your brand brings value to your business and quality to your customers. Both are important in creating goodwill in the marketplace.

  • Attract and Retain the Best Employees

Attracting and retaining top-notch human talent is a key tenet of business success. The excitement of growth offers the potential for career challenges that inspire skilled employees. Growing businesses offer change and the need to acquire new knowledge – something that younger employees seek and the global economy demands.

  • Land the Major Clients

Landing a major client or contract can give your business the prestige to compel prospective clients to follow. As you expand your presence, financiers will take you more seriously and you will increase your marketplace strength.

  • Achieve Economies of Scale

The age-old concept in business is economies of scale. This means that bigger businesses achieve lower costs per unit and stretch administration dollars over a larger product line: marketing, professional fees, insurance and banking charges, to name a few. Economy of scale contributes to securing more money for R&D, branding, capacity expansion, employee training and education, investment in new technology and more productivity from employees.

Optimize Growth

Growing your business also presents business owners with a myriad of issues to address. Growth generates a variety of changes, all of which present different managerial, legal, and financial challenges.

Applying a SWOT analysis is a useful tool to determine where gaps need to be addressed as you prepare to expand.  The management team should use the SWOT analysis to evaluate each area of the company.  A typical SWOT analysis looks like this:

  • Strengths (Internal to Organization)
  • Weaknesses (Internal to Organization)
  • Opportunities (External Environment)
  • Threats (External Environment)

Understand and Manage Risk

By acknowledging the risks inherent in business expansions, you can seek out solutions, learn from others who have faced the same challenges, and gain confidence to best move forward with your business expansion strategies.  Remember that your employees, suppliers, partners and customers are key constituents who can support and champion your initiative.

  • Business Partner Risk

Choose your business partners wisely. Bringing on business partners and signing covenants can make an entrepreneur feel like they are losing control and independence. If you can’t grow without taking on a new partner, then the three questions to ask yourself when evaluating a potential partnership’s worth are:

  1. Does this fit strategically?
  2. Does this fit operationally?
  3. Will this business partner be reliable and supportive?
  • Business Infrastructure Risks

Business growth brings pressures to a system that may not have had the time/experience to gear up for increased production or services. New timings of payables/receivables may create financial strain. Customers may feel underserved. Employees may be uneasy about the changes. The owner(s) and management may not have the right skills. A list of organizational strengths and weaknesses will determine gaps that need to be addressed. As an example, you may need to consider outsourcing, bringing in executive(s) savvy in expansions, or utilizing consultants skilled at leading functional areas through business expansions.

  • Competitive Risks

Pushing your existing product into new markets, or new products into existing markets will be unfamiliar and may have unexpected results. Also as you push up against larger competitors, don’t be surprised if they fight back!

  • Global Expansion Risks

Use market research, beta testing and new marketing strategies for global expansions. This tactic may require a superior location, additional sales staffing, different pricing strategies and new/optimized marketing techniques, among others.

There are several factors to consider with global expansion including the following:

  • Respect for cultural differences
  • Bricks and mortar footprint
  • Plan for long lead times
  • Be patient
  • Partner early in the process
  • Types of financing you may need for expansion and/or export
  • Increased line of credit
  • Use of export/import letters of credit
  • Political risk insurance

Maximize Due Diligence

A business expansion will involve a significant amount of due diligence by the executive team, legal counsel, finance, and other functional areas. Being prepared with a comprehensive due diligence list, the business expansion process can go smoothly and quickly, serving the best interests of all parties.

Following is a list of key due diligence items to optimize your business development plan:

  • Disclosure Schedule
  • Financial Matters
  • Return on Investment Scenarios
  • Cash and Liquidity Forecasts
  • Information Technology
  • Intellectual Property
  • Customers/Sales. Need to fully understand the customer base, including the level of concentration of the largest customers and the sales pipeline.
  • Strategic Fit
  • Material Contracts. One of the most time-consuming (but critical) components of a due diligence inquiry
  • Employee/Management Concerns
  • Legal/Litigation
  • Tax Matters
  • Antitrust and Regulatory Issues
  • Insurance
  • General Corporate Matters
  • Environmental Issues
  • Related Party Transactions
  • Governmental Regulations, Filings, and Compliance with Laws
  • Property
  • Production-Related
  • Supply Chain
  • Marketing Arrangements
  • Competitive Landscape
  • Physical Assets
  • Real Estate
  • Licenses and Permits
  • Articles and Publicity

Your Business Development Plan

A business development plan is best prepared by professional business plan writers. This critical document will be prepared for the board, potential partners, bankers and potential investors and the plan design will encompass:

  • An executive summary that outlines the company’s history, including its successes and accomplishments. This summary also covers the business’ goals, current facilities, equipment, and employees. The summary also contains information on the proposed business expansion.
  • A description of your target market by demographics, such as age, gender and socioeconomic status. Include an explanation of your current marketing tactics and how they are implemented. If you’ll be changing your marketing plan with the expansion, outline these changes.
  • Details about your competition, including differences and similarities in services, target market, and marketing tactics. Focus on how your business is superior to others that offer the same type of service or products. Elaborate on how your expansion will set your business apart from the competition.
  • Information about your management team. Provide their names, duties performed for the business, and information about their skills or training related to the business. If you’ll be taking on new partners or managers in the expansion, provide details of the duties and attributes to the business.
  • An outline of the daily operations of the business. Describe the day-to-day activities, such as providing services and marketing, as well as who is responsible for assuring these activities are completed. If the daily activities will change with the proposed expansion, provide information on what will be different.
  • Financial details about the business, including current statements that display expenses, income, and net worth. Outline the costs related to the expansion as well as projected profits over the next year.
  • Needs for additional capital, if required, describing how much and potential sources.
  • An appendix for supplemental materials that don’t fit in the other sections. For example, if your business development plan involves expanding or building a facility, include blueprints of the proposed project. Use this section for other documents, such as permits.


A professional business development plan not only provides a valuable finished product in hand, it provides additional value during the process of research and thinking about your business in a systematic way. The act of professional planning helps you to think through issues thoroughly, study and research when you are unsure of the facts, and look at your ideas critically. It takes time, but avoids costly, perhaps disastrous future mistakes.

If your business has attained success in meeting the goals that were initially sought and you are now considering pursuing business expansion, a top-notch business development plan created by seasoned business plan writers will place you on the right path for future success.

A first-rate business plan can’t guarantee success, but it can go a very long way toward reducing the odds of failure. Professional business expansion plans are essential tools for transitioning key initiatives from strategy to optimum results.

As a distinguished member of the business plan writing team, Brian J. Bertaux, CPA, MBA is a business executive and CPA whose accomplished 25+ year career includes serving private and public companies ranging from $20 million to $2 billion in annual revenue. Brian brings proven experience in moving businesses forward by developing and communicating results oriented business plans. He makes recommendations to best grow revenue and reduce costs, fund initiatives, optimize cash flow and liquidity, turnaround businesses, and maximize shareholder wealth.

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18 Responses to “Business Development Plan to Optimize Expansion”

  1. Pam U says:

    This business development plan gave us more insight into what information we need to put together the right plan to move forward. Thank you.

  2. Jim Gaines says:

    Excellent article. Thanks for the examples you gave to support each pointer. I’ve learned that trying to do a business plan without professional help is a waste of time and does not save money in the short or long run. I plan to use your business plan writing service to secure additional funding for our startup.

  3. Maham Z says:

    I like this post, appreciate the informatiom. Thank you for posting it.

  4. Paul J says:

    Great article to help get thoughts together for business expansion. We are thrilled with the professionalism of your team. You nailed solutions to many issues that we hadn’t thought of. Your business plan team is undoubtedly fantastic value relative to price.

  5. Ernest E. Felton says:

    This is a great post. Thank You for sharing this informative post with us.

  6. Janice H says:

    This is a great well-scripted article with engaging content that is original and sensible. I very much appreciate all the information you provide on this site.

  7. David W says:

    Thanks. It’s great that this article recommended the importance of a business development plan to optimize expansion. This is an outstanding post that’s filled with so many useful nuggets. Thank you for being so detailed on this topic.

  8. Derek Samm says:

    Great article that covers all my concerns. When is it right to use a business plan writing service like yours?

  9. Ellen Sayack says:

    This article lays out all the aspects to put together a great business plan. Thanks.

  10. Thanks Stan. We’re dedicated to helping businesses best succeed.

  11. Stan Jones says:

    Great article on putting together an expansion business development plan. You get it. Many business plan consulting companies don’t understand the subtleties of business expansion. When more than 90% of small businesses fail, every bit of solid information counts. Thanks.

  12. Jack Harvey says:

    Hi all,

    Thank you for sharing this valuable information. I have incorporated the ideas into my plans for expansion. How long would it take you to write a 3 year business expansion plan for our 10 year old midsize transportation company?

  13. Mark says:

    Thanks guys for this very important guide. It will be an important reference for us.

  14. Susan Smith says:

    Excellent informative article. Keep them coming.

  15. Paul Angles says:

    Superbly written article. Covers all the major points that we’re considering in our expansion plans and many that we hadn’t.

  16. Jack Walsh says:

    Thank you for posting this informative article. It has inspired me to have our business plan reviewed and updated. We had a business plan written by business plan writers 2 years ago that helped but wasn’t nearly as complete as your approach. Your article inspired me to consider some great new options to grow our business.

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