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How to Become a Business Development Officer

Career News February 26, 2014

Business development is a somewhat vague term, but it essentially means the measure that companies takes to generate new leads and stimulate new opportunities in the market. A Business Development Officer (BDO) understands the building blocks of a successful campaign; namely in sales, marketing and strategic approach. The idea is to grow the company by reaching out to customers and by forming profitable partnerships.

Responsibilities of a BDO in the Office

This takes an officer with more education and experience than an entry-level dreamer. The first step is identifying new business opportunities, as well as innovative ways to reach existing markets. Products are evaluated, as are services, and the competition is scouted. Many tools are at your company’s disposal, including hosting events, networking, exhibitions, telemarketing, sales calls, and so on. Your job as a business development officer is to report to the CEO, or the board of directors, with your findings. You also work with other members of management, identifying directions the company should go.

One of the most important tasks such a professional must handle is communicating new projects and directions to other employees in the company. You are the one who sets goals and guides others who work under you, helping them to remain focused. Naturally, preparing reports and recommending steps for the company to take is not guesswork. Much of your findings will be based on facts, statistics, economic information, and focus group research. This job requires you be reasonably sure on how a product or service will be received before offering it, and taking a huge financial risk. Once you have come to an educated decision, you present your prototype to your superiors, typically the development manager.

Skills, Experience and Education

This job is a demanding one, since you are on limited time and will be asked to develop new business strategies on short notice. A worker must have the ability to communicate well with others and to delegate authority, since he or she cannot personally tackle all issues. People skills are a must, and the ability to reason with management personnel, co-workers and subordinate workers.

Creative thinking is an asset in this field, but strategy is even more important, since the organization is what ultimately gets support in the business community. You inspire others with your confidence and your knowledge. Even though this is not a managerial title, the job of the business development officer is a leadership role.

When it comes to getting hired, it always helps to list a college degree on your resume, as well as a few years of industry-related work experience. Since this is a prominent role, many applicants go a few years beyond the bachelor’s degree and earn their master’s degree. An MBA can certainly enhance a resume, though business experience in banking or finance is equally important. The most successful officers have over ten years of experience.

Corporations tend to promote from within; the simple reason being, all of that work time gives officers the chance to learn the company’s established protocols and policies. When you choose this career path, you’re not just taking a job—you are marching towards the goal of management in an industry that drives business. As recession looms, business development is essential to survival. Align yourself with a winner in business, by becoming a winner in college graduation.

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