New for Small Businesses: 360 Degrees of Business Development

By Jennifer Reiser, IOM
Chief Operating Officer

If you were to ask someone “What is business development?” you’re likely to get many answers.  Some will say it is sales, others will say it’s partnerships, and still others will say it’s focused on start-ups. According to Forbes Contributor Scott Pollack, Business Development is “the creation of long-term value for an organization from customers, markets, and relationships. Business development entails tasks and processes to develop and implement growth opportunities within and between organizations.”

Chamber Ambassadors Rob Lowe (Pierce Flooring), Brandon Scala (Valley Federal Credit Union), and Leif Welhaven (EEC) all have “Business Development” in their titles or job descriptions, but they don’t operate exactly the same. Business development activities extend across different departments, including sales, marketing, project management, product management and vendor management. In some cases, business development specialists work with these separate departments and sometimes they wear multiple hats. Ultimately all use business development to work with customers, generate business, increase company visibility, and generate new sources to support their business.

The Billings Chamber offers many opportunities for our members to grow their business through advertising, marketing, relationship-building and networking events. In a direct effort to assist our small business members in creating long-term value for their businesses, we are pleased to announce the creation of a Business Development Resource Group, “360 Degrees of Business Development.” Even the smallest businesses can adopt the concept of development to work with customers, generate business, increase company visibility and generate new sources to support their business.

Lowe, Scala, and Welhaven have been instrumental in the formation of this group. Through presentations, research, and conversations this group will work together to support ideas, initiatives and activities aimed toward making your business better. In the end creating relationships outside of the business to benefit the business in new ways.

Thinking about business development as a means to creating long-term value is the only true way to succeed in consistently growing an organization. At its core, business development is all about figuring out how the interactions of all forces combine together to create opportunities for growth. This group will come together for the first time on Tuesday, October 10th from noon – 1:30 p.m. at the Billings Chamber. All Chamber members are welcome to attend. If you are interested in learning more or want to RSVP to attend, please contact Jennifer Reiser,

Additional upcoming sessions:

  • November 14: 12-1:30 p.m. at the Valley Building, 207 N. Broadway.
  • December 12: 12-1:30 p.m. at Pierce Flooring & Design Center, 2950 King Ave. W.