What Is Business Development?
Defining business development can be difficult. According to Forbes magazine, people often lump business development under sales or partnership-building. However, business development is “the creation of long-term value for an organization from customers, markets, and relationships.” While that is a simple definition, it leaves a lot to the imagination.
At its core, business development is about long-term growth. The business developer’s job is to build relationships, “creating opportunities for that value to persist over the long-term” (Forbes). Rather than focusing on quick profits for a company, the business developer favors a long view, focusing on a company’s future growth.
Breaking Into Business Development
How to get into business development is another matter. There are many paths to becoming a business developer, but some are more certain than others. The first step is determining what type of business development you would like to pursue. B2B, B2C, B2D and B2B2C are all somewhat confusing acronyms for someone just getting started in the field. In actuality, these acronyms are just names for the types of relationships the business developer focuses on. B2B focuses on relationships between businesses, while B2C focuses on business-to-customer relationships. B2D throws developers into the mix.
Whatever your primary focus, the business development career track often begins with a solid education. Some business development professionals possess bachelor’s degrees, but more and more business developers are earning MBAs and PhDs to get a leg up on the competition. Most employers, however, are looking for both a solid education and proven work experience. While some business developers began their careers with either education or work experience, there is a relatively new option that delivers both simultaneously: working while earning an advanced degree.
Work and Education Balance
For many, earning a Master of Business Administration is the path to follow. Many MBA programs understand that their students are also working professionals. As such, these programs offer courses in the evenings and on weekends, and many project-based courses integrate the students’ valuable experience. The somewhat newer option along this path is earning an MBA online. Online MBA programs offer the rigor of traditional MBA programs with the flexibility of online formats. Rather than schedule courses around common schedules, many online MBA programs offer more flexible attendance via the internet. For those pursuing a career in business development, this online option presents the best of both worlds: students gain valuable instruction while also building their resumes and work experience.
Learn more about the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi online MBA program.