A better way to win new business?

Sarah Bradley, Managing Director of Acquire New Business and Founder of the not-for-profit Northern Soho organisation reveals her latest venture and aims to inspire a new way of business development for creative businesses.

The Art of New BusinessNovember 27th will see the first Manchester event for The Art of New Business, a support and development network for new business professionals working in the creative and marketing industries. I co-founded The Art of New Business (or TAONB ) with Karla Morales-Lee, a London based new business consultant after we met on twitter 18 months ago.
After meeting Karla it quickly became apparent that we were both fixated by the same question – Why is it that new business practices are largely the same today as they were thirty years ago?
We decided to set up The Art of New Business to facilitate a discussion on a ‘better way’ to do new business, because winning new business is a lot harder than it used to be – there are more agencies than ever before, saying the same things to the same people in the same way.
In fact, a programme of research we carried out recently with client side marketers showed that the vast majority of approaches from agencies failed to show any understanding of their businesses and left the recipients with a very poor impression. 60% of those we interviewed said that they get approached so frequently by agencies that it is an impediment to their daily work.
The problem is that for too many companies, their new business people work in isolation, managed by people who have little understanding of new business themselves, pursuing a strategy focused on securing meetings rather than opportunities. What’s more, there is nothing in the way of an existing support network and no formal training programme for creative industry business developers – taken together, it’s little wonder that some people are still advocating outdated methods.
Our vision is to create a UK network of Business Development professionals and people responsible for new business within creative and marketing agencies, who can share their challenges, concerns, build friendships, provide support to one another and share best practice. We want to lead the search for ‘a better way’ to go about winning new business. That means better people, better processes, better tools and better results.
Our first event in London on 10th October received a fantastic review in Campaign, and the Manchester event promises to be just as good.
We’ll be celebrating the ’Manchester Mavericks’ – inspirational entrepreneurs who have approached business development in a different way and have achieved success.
In the words of the great late Tony Wilson “This is Manchester, we do things differently here..”
We have a great group of speakers including Brian Child, ex-CEO of McCann and non-exec director of a number of other agencies, Adrian Lomas, Managing Director of Blue Leaf, Chris Marsh, Head of all the things nobody else will do at Melbourne Server Hosting and Simon Calderbank, Business Development Director at Studio North.
Our panelists include Trevor Cairns, CMO of Umbro and Tony Spong of the AAR.
If you are a new business executive, manager or director, or are responsible for your company’s new business activity, we’d love to see you there.
For more information and for tickets, visit here and follow @theartofnewbiz on twitter.

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