Those who work in business development are responsible for formulating and implementing plans to help their companies grow quickly and sustainably. As a result, they work closely with the marketing and sales teams, undertaking extensive research to spot potential business opportunities and new markets that are ripe for exploitation.

This article will give an insight into the skills, experience and values needed to successfully work in business development jobs.

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What is expected?

A large element of a business development worker’s job is to identify trends and opportunities early enough to allow the business they work for to take advantage of them, preferably before competitors do.

This requires excellent data analysis skills, and the ability to communicate these ideas and possibilities as clearly as possible, so that plans can be formulated and implemented without time being wasted. As a result, workers in this area are often required to formally present their findings and explain the practical impact the proposals will have on each department, through presentations and meetings. 

Business development roles are unique, because they focus solely on identifying opportunities and on growing the business. While those in sales and marketing are responsible for bringing in new customers, it is the business development workers who often identify the target markets, and decide whether the figures for entering new markets stack up or not.

Required skills

Business development workers need to be able to assess their research objectively, and confidently take decisions that will impact the entire company. If they make mistakes, the results can be incredibly damaging.

On a day-to-day basis, a business development officer is likely to spend time researching the ins and outs of the financial markets, and exploring emerging trends and patterns for their specific industry.

As an example, if a company’s major competitor is considering tapping into a potential new market in Japan, the business development workers may be required to analyse the situation and see whether a similar move is viable for their own company.

Varying responsibilities

Business development jobs can vary hugely, depending on the company offering the positions. Some businesses want their business development teams to work on specific projects, such as whether or not they should consolidate their current marketing spend into one niche, or expand into a new one.

Larger companies, on the other hand, are likely to have the resources to ask the team to focus on boosting every area of their business. Naturally, larger companies have larger business development teams, while smaller companies may have to make do with only a single business development worker who will then be solely responsible for providing direction for the company’s business growth.

Growth potential

The career growth potential is relatively high for business development workers. One thing that most companies have in common is a desire to expand, meaning these types of workers are always in demand.

Having a sharp strategic mind, and excellent analytical skills, means these workers are well suited to a variety of high-level strategy positions in many industries.

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