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Director of Business Development

Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree preferred
Average Salary: $89,000
Job Outlook: Excellent

The director of business development, or director of development, identifies, analyzes, assesses, and develops new business opportunities for corporations and organizations. This can include research and approaching local, regional, national, or global markets. The position is an important one because it develops new business opportunities and helps organizations grow on schedule.

Most industries use development directors or directors of business development to seek out new opportunities. The position develops and coordinates marketing plans and implements new strategies to penetrate existing markets. The goal of the director of business development is to increase existing business and capture new opportunities.

The development director often works closely with the marketing and sales departments on forming strategic plans and figuring out how to make the plan work. They often interact with high-level managers and executives, and are constantly searching out new methods to increase business. The business development director will know a lot about the products and services of the organization that employs them. This is because they are aware of growth initiatives for the company, and how the products and services can meet the needs of potential customers in the markets they are working in.

Development directors often create requests for proposals to try and capture new business. This position can be in charge of bids for projects in certain industries, like defense contractors and other government jobs. If the contract is won, the director of business development will often work with other departments to ensure a smooth start-up to the project.

Education and Training Requirements

A bachelor’s degree is usually required for the director of business development position. Increasingly, candidates with master’s degrees are preferred for the position. Directors of business development candidates should study sales, marketing, management, economics, business, finance, and math classes. Typical majors include accounting, business administration, management, finance, and international business.

Getting the Job

An internship is recommended for students who hope to someday rise to a director of development position. Often, students can parlay an internship into an entry-level position at a company or organization, and then move up through progressively higher jobs with more responsibilities. Development directors are often longtime employees of a company, or have built a reputation as an excellent business generator.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

The director of development position will grow faster than the national average in the next decade. Growth is expected to occur as business becomes more complex. More development directors will be needed to capture business in existing and new markets to compete with competitors. Growth could be negatively affected by corporate cutbacks, downsizing initiatives, workforce reduction, or a slowdown in the economy.

Working Conditions and Environment

Directors of business development, development directors, and directors of development traditionally work in office settings, with 40-hour work weeks. They also deal with the pressure of quotas and constantly have to be seeking out new business, which can be stressful, along with the possibility of steady travel to potential clients and satellite offices. Interacting with other high-level executives on a routine basis could cause stress. They may also deliver sales presentations, seminars, and participate in meetings with clients, vendors or advisers.

Salary and Benefits

The director of business development earns about $126,000 per year, with salaries typically ranging from $89,000 to $165,000. These positions are also eligible for a number of corporate perks like bonuses, stock options, and expense accounts, along with a full benefits package.

Where to Go for More Information

American Business Development Group
2800 Shirlington Rd., Ste. 401
Arlington, VA 22206
(703) 824-0300

American Management Association
1601 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
(212) 586-8100

The American Marketing Association
311 S Wacker Dr., Ste. 5800
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 542-9000

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesBusiness