Business developers are responsible for identifying new business opportunities for their employers through a combination of marketing, sales and strategic analysis. The focus is on finding new customers or getting more value from current ones, studying demographics and buying habits to market products efficiently and developing relationships with other businesses to help streamline operations.
Daily tasks for business development jobs include:
Cultivating long-term, trustworthy relationships with business partners
Searching for new business opportunities in the market and formulating a plan to acquire more customers
Monitoring customer satisfaction through surveys and follow-up work
Coordinating proposals and contracts
Aggressively pursuing awareness of the traits and activities of competitors
Those that excel in the area of business development may see a promotion to a job with more responsibility and salary, such as a marketing director.
Business Development Job Education Requirements
Almost all business development jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in a business-related field such as management, business administration, finance, marketing or advertising. Certificate programs in areas such as risk management, strategic management and business development are also available from many four-year degree programs and are valuable and complimentary to an undergraduate degree.
For those without a bachelor's degree, becoming a business development representative, or a business developer assistant is another career option. These positions provide administrative support to the business developer, so experience in word processing software is a definitely a highly sought after attribute.
Depending on the size of the company and the competition for the position, many business development professionals also obtain a master's degree in business administration.
Business Development Job Market
The job market for business development professionals, including assistants, is expected to grow by 11 percent over the next 10 years, which is comparable to the national average for all other occupations. However, as social media continues to be a leading form of product promotion, new jobs will emerge for those that also have a more technical or IT background.
Business Development Job Salary Information
Salaries for business development professionals vary widely based on the amount of responsibility. Assistant business developers receive an annual average salary of $54,590, or $26.25 an hour. Business development managers' salaries have a wide variance based on hours worked and geography. The top 10 percent of these professionals make an average of $143,802, while the bottom 10 percent makes $68,074. The median salary for the job is $103,690.