Give yourself a ghost of a chance

Like Back to the Future, another of our childhood favourites will soon be celebrating its 30th anniversary. Last week an all-woman reboot of Ghostbusters was announced. Even more excitingly, Ray Parker, Jr.’s classic theme is due to be rereleased in a marshmallow-scented sleeve!

Dan Aykroyd’s original story featured the titular heroes traveling through time and space, but Director Ivan Reitman suggested (after realising the budgetary implications) setting it in New York. Ultimately it was the story of a group of eccentric friends starting a business that made the film so relatable. The group face challenges familiar to many business owners, with Ray taking out a mortgage on his childhood home to raise the startup capital for containment units and proton packs and finding a dilapidated fire station to serve as their headquarters.

They filmed a television commercial and created a memorable (and uniquely diagetic) logo, but their customers were always easily identifiable – literally screaming out for their help. Other businesses tend to have to look a little harder for new clients, but are left with one question:

Who ya gonna call?

There are always many ways you can tell a story. As in film, the resonance of any story depends on how relatable it is to the target audience. A target sector could be one in which you have a strong heritage, or it could be one you want to break into using your team’s previous experience to broaden your portfolio. Target companies don’t necessarily have to be defined by sector. Depending on the story, they could be diverse business types in a particular geographic area or facing similar challenges.

There are many ways to populate a list. Several companies sell marketing lists, but these can be expensive and invariably contain contacts who are inundated with cold calls. As people are changing roles more often than ever, LinkedIn can provide the most up-to-date information. Of course, if multiple people are prospecting for new business, they must be clear on who is targeting who. In other words, don’t cross the streams!

When you’re speaking to the right people, business development doesn’t have to be scary.


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