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As a kid you probably visited Walt Disney World in Florida and had a great time cheese-ing with Mickey and his friends. The carefully crafted experience you had then has now been expanded to include not only other locations like Paris and California, but also new rides and different characters. Many of these changes and additions have come about because of people working in business development for Disney. These folks concentrate solely on business strategy and research to recommend ways to help grow businesses.
A career in business development involves developing various aspects of a business to take it to the next level. To do this, a business development associate researches new types of business, products, and services with an emphasis on identifying gaps in the needs of potential clients. While you’ll often focus on growth, sometimes you’ll find that the optimal strategy might mean downsizing an activity in a certain market. In many cases you’d work with the marketing and sales departments within a company to attract new customers or penetrate existing markets.
During a typical day, some tasks of a business development associate would include:
These tasks involve a lot of reading, talking with people, and math. To make decisions you’d work across teams discussing options with executives. You might also be responsible for contacting potential new customers, which could involve a bit of travel.
A Business Development Associate makes about $29,000-$90,000 per year and earns $46,500 on average. Beyond that you can go on to become a Business Development Manager ($41,000-$144,000), a Vice President of Business Development ($80,000-$279,000), or a Business Development Director ($57,000-$202,000).
Here are some hot spots for business development:
To be in business development you’ll need a bachelor’s degree. You’d also need an MBA to secure the best positions. Beyond that, you’ll need great interpersonal skills, the ability to communicate effectively, and the ability to think strategically.
If business development still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.
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