This is the age old question, almost like a, "Chicken and Egg" situation.
What exactly is a "business development" program per *your* definition?
When I start mentoring people with new ideas to start a business, I tell them that if they still have a day job -- keep it!
Life on your own -- without a "safety net" can be a different way to go (and I don't recommend it).
Talk to other entrepreneurs in your space. Look for someone to possibly mentor you.
Read. And keep reading.
One of the "old" books I love to start conversations with people I mentor is from Michael Gerber -- "The E-Myth" which talks about the different personas we must play (as ONE person) -- the technician, the manager, and the entrepreneur.
Take a look at the concept of "The Lean Startup and learning about failing fast. Getting customer number one.
That's my beginning recommendation. Let's see what others here tell you.
If you'd like to have a conversation, please let me know.
- michael vizdos
what I did was to get some information beforehand starting my businesses. It helps avoiding the most common errors. you also want to have a good plan what and how to start your business. so there may be information and study neccessary. you also want make sure to have data on if there is a niche market and customers for your business and how to find them. if you want to quit your current job, this step is crucial. best would be if you build up your business on the side whilst working another 40-60%.
another great way to learn is to help a fellow founder to start his company. so you will gain insight into the whole process but are not responsible.
hope this helps
Your question popped up on my radar because it was filed under Entrepreneurship > Startups. Are you wondering if you should enter your startup into an accelerator? If so, then I'd say yes, especially if the accelerator will immerse you in lean startup methodology and hook you up with one or two mentors. The accelerator we did with Closeup.fm almost killed us—with regards to the amount of work—but it also saved us. But if you're talking about another kind of business development program, it's hard for me to give blanket advice. I would say that one-on-one coaching has proven to be more beneficial than being a part of a business mastermind. Regardless, you start with a simple question: what do I want to see happen? Then, you do your best to figure out whether or not the biz dev program will move you closer to your desired outcome. Then, jump in with both feet. That you're taking risks with your business is more important than the particular program. Hope this helps, Austin
I think the question underlying this one is "How can you make biz dev programs work?" - maybe that is the more useful question.
Identify clearly what your end game is and identify the milestones that will help you track if your strategy and plan and team are working - and what needs to be fine tuned fast.
The review of these milestones need to be done very frequently and with rigor - i.e. don't postpone the reviews and don't ignore the numbers nor the reality or veracity of these numbers. Notice what you would like to believe about your progress versus looking into what you are likely to be avoiding dealing with in your milestone reviews.
Your team: You must be very clear that your team has these milestones clear in their heads - these are priorities to hit and ONLY under the scrutiny of harsh reality should they be modified. This behooves you to make sure that these milestones are win-nable - not ridiculous, over ambitious milestones that are going to burn your team out before they can get going. Rome was not built in one day: nor were Olympic athletes - your team must be groomed to win in the long run .. not bash themselves against the rocks in the first few months.
Practice effective communications: requests, promises and proper expressions of discord or concord. Up the ante in your own training of handling conflicts - conflicts may be good - they identify the areas to work on - they should not be avoided.