How to Make and Execute Business Development Plans

By Mo Bunnell


Hi, this is Mo Bunnell, your business development expert and author of "The Snowball System". Have you ever felt like you didn't quite have the momentum you wanted or your execution isn't quite the way it should be around business development activities? Well in this video, I'm gonna tell you the key elements of planning, how to do them well, and also how to execute on your plan. Now stay stay around to the end because I'm gonna finish with the most important thing to remember when it comes to these things.

So first of all, planning then execution. Planning. There's two time periods, I think, that are the most important to plan. Number one is annually. The second, quarterly. These are time periods where you can take a look a little farther out, be a bit more aspirational, try to figure out the themes or the things that you wanna focus on in the upcoming time frame, whether that's annually or quarterly. From an annual perspective, I recommend starting with our 100 point scorecard. If you've read "The Snowball System", you found that right in the beginning, in that first chapter where there's a 100 point scorecard.

And you fill it out, takes five or six minutes. And you get a score somewhere between zero and a hundred, and it tells you exactly where you're at. And you can not help but come up with things to focus on out of that. Because the scorecard is comprehensive, it makes you think with your whole brain, and it'll tell you what you're over emphasizing and what you're under emphasizing so that you can create themes for the upcoming year. Really important.

On a quarterly basis, that's where you can actually start to say, "I'm going to do these things on the way to executing on my annual plan." If you had to choose one of the two, I'd actually say to start with quarterly. That, in my mind, is just the perfect level where you can figure out what to focus on and you can start to develop really tactical things that you're gonna do over the next three months to get that done.

So I like both and I like them paired, but if you don't have much time, start with quarterly, I can't tell you how many people have an annual plan they do at work. There's an annual growth plan to hit your quota. There's an annual partner plan. If you're in a professional service firm, there's an annual account management plan if you lead a big account. So a lot of people already have that, but then they haven't broken it down to the quarterly basis. Quarterly is where the action is. It's where you gain a lot of focus. Okay. That's the planning.

Now let's go to execution. There is just nothing like weekly and daily. Now notice I skipped over monthly. I don't think the brain really thinks in months. You ever been on a weekend, and you think, "Oh my gosh, I can't believe it's September or July or whatever" because the the first day of the month happened to be on the weekend? Your brain just isn't wired to think in months. Yeah, you get all kinds of reports on a monthly basis, quarterly billable hours, quota I met, or whatever. But those things are things that are given to you. But your brain doesn't naturally think in terms of months. Months are different. Number of days, they sneak up on you. All of a sudden it's a new month. But your brain thinks in terms of weeks. Have you ever forgotten when Monday is? There's a feeling of a Wednesday, there's a feeling of a Friday, there's a feeling of a Sunday, and it's in that weekly planning that you can really get super focused. Think about the amount of time that you've got coming up in the next week and dedicate to business development activities, hopefully aligned with quarterly or annual goals, but that's where you pick actual tactical things that you are gonna hold yourself accountable to do.

And we recommend doing those in threes. Sure. You might do 15 things in a week around business development. But pick three that you're gonna measure. This was really important because a lot of times people get aspirational and think, "Oh my gosh, I got these eight things I wanna do. I'm really excited." But what we find is if you do eight or 10 or 15, then you'll choose the things that are easier or smaller or that you can check on the list. But they may not be the most important. So each week pick a time when you're gonna pick three things you're gonna do. We call those MITs, or most important things, that you're gonna commit to doing those over the next week. That's the weekly cycle.

From a daily perspective, super simple. Just do the most important one of those things you've got pegged on a certain day. Do it first. If you say I'm gonna do that at four o'clock or when I've got that opening after lunch or whatever. Things can get in the way, so tackle the most important thing first. It starts your day off right. You're feeling a sense of momentum. Go look yourself in a mirror and say, "I did the hard thing." Get your extra little extra cup of coffee, get the good kind, whatever it is, but celebrate that. The super easy way to get tactical about that is pick your most important thing the night before, write it on a three by five card, write it on a post-it note, stick it on your computer, stick it where you see it, put it at the top of your electronic to-do list. Do whatever you need to, but pick that the night before. Then your brains pre-wired to get that done the next morning. First thing. All right, so there you go. Annually, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily.

So what's the most important thing I promised? The most important thing is this. The busier you are, the more you need this. The busier you are, the more you need this. The more out of control things feel, the more you need planning time. If nothing else do the weekly one. If you do nothing else, do the weekly one. Here's why. If you're busy, that means you have insights. It means you have data. It means you have access to the people you're working with and like to do more work with. Simply take a look at your calendar over the upcoming week and pick those three things you're gonna commit to doing. And sometimes it's no more than five minutes during a meeting you've already got on the delivery side of your work. And it's five minutes to say, "Hey, we should grab lunch after this is over. Just do a debrief of this project and think about how that other line of business would benefit from this. Looks like we're gonna have great results."

Well, that little five minute conversation and the 'yes' that you'd get on the other side. "Hey, let's pick a date. You know, even if it's in two months, let's schedule it now because if we wait till then it'll be another two months." And then you just take the five minutes and help your future self by scheduling that date.

Why that is so important is the busier you are, the more tools you have at your disposal, the more insights, the more access, so that you can just do a few little things that helps your future self. And you get out of the idea of the roller coaster effect. No BD, lots of BD, no BD, lots of BD. And that does not work. So that's the most important thing. So think about planning. You don't have to do all those things at once. Pick the one thing that makes sense for you. What's your missing link? Do that. And then start to add the others over time. If you do nothing else, do the weekly. The busier you are, the more you need it.

So I hope this is helpful. Please share this with others. It's how people find out. And as always, we hope these videos help you help your clients succeed. Well, that's it for today. Thank you so much for watching. For more content like this, check out my most recent video and be sure to like them so other people can find out about us, but make sure you subscribe.

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