A business developer - also called a business development manager - can take on several different roles in a single project that affects the long-term future of a company. Some positions require business development duties even though the term "business developer" never appears in the title. Overall, a business developer looks for new ways for the company to earn money, which sometimes means going out and generating leads personally.
In general, a business developer looks for ways to bring in more revenue to a company. This can mean anything from looking for new markets, partnering with other companies, selling new products to existing markets, or developing new products or services for a global market. The business developer must keep abreast of competitor's strategies, such as their marketing plans and new products. In addition, the developer must have an in-depth knowledge of his company's own products, marketing strategies and key demographics.
The company may give a business developer responsibilities that come close to marketing and advertising. For example, the company may ask the developer to help the business create new products and market them as well. A business developer might also have to find new clients, negotiate with them and close those deals.
Related Reading: Business Development Team Leader Responsibilities
Variation in Responsibilities
The actual job responsibilities of a business developer depend on the needs of the company. In a large company, for instance, a developer may focus mostly on acquiring smaller companies that could take away market share. At a smaller company, the business development manager may spend most of his time obtaining corporate accounts and heading up product development projects.
Anyone planning to enter into business should obtain some business development training. For instance, law firms often expect their associate lawyers to find new clients and generate six to eight billable hours each day. Business development training also prepares a worker for several other industries, such as sales and engineering. A successful developer needs strong analytical and research skills, people skills, and to know when to close a deal.