Is business development a good career? Yes, you’ll have high salaries, enjoyable activities, and growth opportunities even without a degree.
Business development is a good career choice even if it comes with a diverse set of challenges. It can take time to see positive results. But, it can still be one of the most exciting career choices for you. And you don’t need a degree to succeed in the field.
If you’re passionate about business development, you can be great at it. And if you have skills such as creativity, curiosity, and adaptability, you’ll already be a step ahead.
The future of business development looks very promising. So, keep on reading to find out whether business development is a good career for you.
What is business development?
There are many definitions of business development. However, to keep it simple we define business development as:
Tasks and processes meant to develop and implement growth opportunities in a profitable and sustainable way.
Many times, people perceive business development as sales or marketing. But, it’s much broader than that. Some business development activities can overlap with these departments.
Business development varies a lot from one company to another and yes, many companies interchange business development and sales.
However, this is not 100% accurate as sales is a function that works primarily on providing a specific product or service to a specific type of client. On the other hand, business development is about creating awareness, exploring market segments, ideating new products and services, and educating the market.
Some common business development activities are research, ecosystem mapping, and experimentation.
Others include partnership management, lead generation, prospecting, and spotting growth opportunities.
The goal of business development is to set financial and non-financial targets. This includes setting an annual revenue target or generating brand awareness.
An important aspect of business development is learning. It’s essential for success because learning will allow you to spot opportunities and create innovation for your company.
You can consume free content, watch videos, read books, talk to other professionals, and if you’re really committed to your personal growth, join a personalized course.
Business Development Roles
If you want to enter business development you’ll find a wide range of job titles.
Some titles include business developer and business development representative. These are typically entry-level and often are sales roles disguised as business development.
The second role is business development manager which implies you will manage the business development process and be responsible for the entire BD lifecycle. Pay attention, manager here doesn’t mean that you will manage a team, but the process.
When you move up the ladder you can become Head of Business Development, where you will be responsible to set up strategies and manage a team. You can achieve great career results and get promotions up to business development director or VP of Business Development.
Because of its nature, business development opens opportunities to become CEOs, CCO, or founders of your own company. But of course, you will need patience and dedication before reaching such goals.
We created a salary report in collaboration with TalentUp showing that in cities like Amsterdam, business developers can earn up to €44,000 per year.
In Amsterdam, business development representatives can earn up to €33,900.
While business development managers can earn up to €76,200 and business development directors up to €97,371.
So, all in all, a career in business development is financially very rewarding.
There are many skills you need to succeed in business development. An essential skill to have is understanding the customer’s buying pattern.
Business developers need to understand their target audience. You need to gather data in order to create value propositions, build trust and eventually move conversations forward.
Other important skills to have are organizational skills. You have to know how to manage time and prioritize your tasks. Also, set goals, plan, use resources and learn task delegation.
Having organization skills helps you reduce the time it takes you to complete a task. Further, you’ll be able to work through your schedule in a better way.
Another important skill for success in business development is communication skills. Business development is highly dependent on personal relationships so you need to be a good communicator.
You’re often in contact with leads, clients, partners, and stakeholders. So, you need to share your ideas and opinions.
Another required skill is business intelligence. This will help you increase profit, spot market trends, discover issues, and analyze customer behavior.
This helps you build the knowledge you need to surpass them. In this way, you learn how to create a competitive advantage over your competition.
Advantages of working in business development
Now you’re more familiar with business development activities. But, let’s assess the advantages of working in the field.
One advantage is that you don’t need a university degree to succeed. To start, you need genuine passion. If you have this, you can then continue to develop your career.
Also, if you have a sense of curiosity, adaptability, and creativity, you can make it work. And if you are an effective communicator, you can help your business meet its objectives.
There are many other advantages to working in business development.
For example, the high salaries. As mentioned, business development professionals can earn from €33,000 to €97,000 in The Netherlands. Although some of your tasks may be repetitive, you can manage to earn yourself a high standard of living.
Another main advantage is that business development is never boring. Yes, there is uncertainty. But, don’t take that as a negative thing. If you’re adaptable, business development tasks are fun to do.
One day you may be doing cold outreach. The next day, you’re meeting with stakeholders. It’s a dynamic world of work that offers you the opportunity to learn. Also, it lets others see the value of your expertise.
Disadvantages of working in business development
There are some disadvantages of working in business development.
A high level of pressure and stress is a disadvantage. Because you take important business decisions, there can be times when you feel under stress or pressured.
But, despite this fact, you still need to take care of yourself. Go for a bike ride, do yoga, or meditate daily. This will help you feel relaxed and energized.
Another disadvantage is the diversity of skills and tasks you need to do. So, it can be challenging to be a business developer, marketer, and salesperson all at the same time.
But, as you build more experience, you’ll learn how to navigate through the difficulties.
Results take time and patience. And business development is a long-term game.
The future of business development
The future of business development looks very promising.
The fundamentals of business development are unlikely to change. That is relationship building and meeting customers’ needs.
What’s more likely to change are the tools that we use to connect with others.
Social media platforms play a very important role in forming strong relationships.
The next 10 to 20 years in business development will include better ways to connect with buyers.
Over 4 billion people use social media. They spend about 95 minutes per day on social media platforms. This trend will likely increase.
As a business developer, you can leverage this. You can use it to gain new customers and generate more revenue.
This also points out that technology is important in business development. You can use tools to automate your daily tasks.
Another important trend includes mobile optimization. Over half of the emails are opened on mobile devices. The number is likely to increase.
These are some important facts to know about a business development career.
Does a career in business development sound attractive to you?
To launch your business development career, choose a personalized learning journey. This will teach you the skills and tips you need to succeed.
You can choose to take a university course. But, remember that personalized training is more specific. Also, it will help you stay competitive in your role.
So, join our certification program and become a business development professional!