In the software business, development is software engineering. In the nonprofit world, it’s fundraising. In real estate…well, it’s somthing else.

Then there’s “business development.” New business generation. Closing partnership deals. This is my concern as a consultant.

How will you know when you have enough new customers or partners to keep growing? “Partner” is a word thrown around too loosely, if you ask me. You attend a conference, or trade show, or dinner. You get to talking with someone, and you both conclude your companies or organizations should partner. There’s “synergy”; the two of you together is greater than the sum of the parts. Now what?

Unless each will add real value to the other, then exactly nothing will happen. Or worse, you’ll chase each other’s tails until the partnership idea peters out gradually, or your dreams implode because frustrations get too high.

True value. From both sides, to both sides. That’s what makes a real partnership. I can you help build strong, productive, long-term partnerships.


It’s really all about marketing. Problem is, most everyone seems to have an idea about what marketing is that’s way too narrow. Some think it’s synonymous with selling. Some focus on advertising and promotion. Many in the nonprofit world think marketing is irrelevant altogether.

If the enterprise only does two things, as Peter Drucker declares in Management – innovation and marketing – then marketing must encompass much more that any of these narrow definitions.

Sometimes I call that something that is the domain of marketing “relationing.”

Relationing says that if you want to exist in a vacuum, an innovation cave as it were, you are free to do it. But as soon as others get involved – customers, constituents, staff, vendors, strategic partners – you need to do some relationing, whatever that is, because you are now in relationship. Obvious once you consider it this way.

So, I think of marketing as everything that is “other facing”: selling, telling, advertising, training, communicating, publishing, benefiting, and the rest.

When I consult with you about growing and prospering your organization, it will be about marketing…relating your business or cause-based group to your relations.