FAQ: What Does a Business Director Do? (Plus Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 25, 2022

Business directors are professionals who manage employees in an organization and oversee the development of the organization's strategic goals, objectives and mission. Individuals in these high-level positions monitor and increase business revenue and supervise employees to ensure that they work to achieve important organizational goals and objectives. If you enjoy leading others, making important strategic decisions on behalf of the business and providing direct guidance to employees, you may want to advance into a business director role.

In this article, we discuss what a business director does, how you can become one and the skills necessary for the position.

What does a business director do?

Business directors have a variety of unique responsibilities in an organization, from supervising general business activities to communicating with many internal and external stakeholders who have an interest in the organization. A majority of their duties include the following areas:

Leadership

Business directors regularly coordinate staff and company resources while also implementing new policies and procedures. They help lead and empower employees to become more productive and complete their tasks efficiently. They advise managers to establish goals for their individual departments or divisions and may provide them with training to prepare them to implement new processes and technologies. Directors may also guide individual departments to ensure that they meet organizational expectations.

Management

Directors manage individual departments and ensure they continue to follow the organization's key objectives and goals. They meet frequently with employees to assess their performance and determine areas for improvement, provide them with constructive feedback and ask them questions about their position to ensure they have everything necessary to complete their tasks effectively. They also design new business strategies, set and track goals for different departments and manage subdepartments and resources to improve efficiency.

Marketing and sales

Directors are often responsible for a variety of marketing activities. These might include developing new marketing plans and advertising strategies, coordinating promotional programs and managing new marketing projects. They work closely with marketing and advertising departments to learn more about the organization's target market and develop product branding for individual products to help differentiate them. They engage in sales forecasting to estimate the organization's future revenue after the introduction of a new product. Directors also regularly help sales managers draft sales reports, meet their daily, weekly or monthly goals and estimate the profit from multiple product lines.

Operations

Director duties relating to the operations of the organization often include overseeing its overall growth, estimating and maintaining profitability and collaborating with management to create both short- and long-term operational plans and performance goals. They may help encourage interdepartmental collaboration, research how to increase productivity and efficiency and engage in resource planning to improve the allocation of resources. Directors might also make negotiations with vendors and sellers and oversee purchasing to make sure the organization has the required items to produce high-quality goods.

Finance

The financial aspects of a director's position often include developing departmental budgets, reporting on revenue, implementing financial policies and improving financial processes. They develop strategies to ensure the organization continues to be profitable and produce reports to give to shareholders that demonstrate different revenue sources and provide insight into how the organization plans to improve current practices to increase efficiency. Depending on the size of the organization, a director might also oversee accounting operations and collect, analyze and combine financial information to enhance decision-making.

Recruitment

Frequently, directors help manage recruitment activities and train hiring managers on how to interview candidates properly to ensure fair hiring practices. They provide leadership to recruiters in the organization and work with departments to determine the necessity of hiring new employees, help organize recruiting events, develop organizational recruiting strategies and maintain hiring databases. They may also assist the human resources department with making the onboarding process more efficient and help determine and administer employee benefits.

Public relations

As a high-level leader in the organization, a business director communicates regularly with shareholders, employees and the general public. They develop relationships and partnerships with media organizations, delegate tasks to the public relations department and attend press releases and conferences. They also closely monitor the results of a particular public relations campaign to determine its level of success. Depending on the organization, they might additionally participate in media interviews or release public statements.

Related: Director vs. Associate Director: Key Differences

How can you become a business director?

Here are a few steps you can take to become a business director:

1. Earn an advanced degree

Many organizations that hire business directors look for candidates who have a college degree. While in school, you can study subjects like business, marketing, finance and accounting. Most business directors also have an advanced degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA). An MBA can allow you to acquire a lot of the skills necessary to become a business director, like leadership skills. It can also help you demonstrate your commitment to applying the skills you were able to learn to help an organization become more successful.

Related: Top 10 Benefits of Getting an MBA

2. Gain relevant work experience

Many business directors have a broad background in corporate finance, marketing, operations or a related business field. Try to gain as much experience as you can in different areas of business and demonstrate your leadership potential by offering to lead individual projects. You can also consider enrolling in a professional training organization to acquire the more practical knowledge necessary to increase your chances of advancing into a director role.

3. Locate a mentor

Finding a mentor in the industry can be a great way to increase your confidence and enhance your professional development. A good mentor can help you create career goals for yourself and determine how to best achieve them. Finding a mentor with previous experience as a business director is also a great way to learn more about what the position entails and determine which skills to develop further. Consider joining a professional development organization to locate a potential mentor. After identifying someone who meets your criteria, arrange a time to meet with them about mentoring you professionally.

Related: How To Find a Mentor in 5 Steps

4. Develop your skills further

There are many important skills necessary to become a business director, and it's important to develop as many skills as possible before seeking the position. Consider observing current business directors, either in your organization or in a similar business to learn more about particular skills to develop further. Take some time to learn more about the industry by reading trade magazines or following industry-specific news. You can also try to seek feedback about your performance from your colleagues. This feedback can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and determine which skills to prioritize.

What are the required skills to become a business director?

Business directors use a variety of skills to make strategic decisions and improve the performance of an organization, including:

Decision-making skills

Decision-making skills enable individuals to choose the best option out of two or more alternatives. Business directors often use decision-making skills to make many important decisions, from deciding on the best marketing plan to implement to choosing an effective recruitment strategy. These skills help them identify goals, obtain important information and evaluate the alternatives to make more effective decisions.

Related: Decision-Making Skills: Definition and Examples

Leadership skills

Leadership skills are what professionals use to motivate, encourage and inspire others. Business directors use leadership skills to resolve conflicts between employees and provide guidance to ensure that the organization is able to achieve its goals and objectives and maintain productivity. Leadership skills help them manage employees more effectively and increase employee trust.

Related: Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

Communication skills

Communication skills help professionals communicate with a wide range of individuals. Business directors frequently communicate with employees, shareholders, customers and other stakeholders, and they use communication skills to listen to their concerns and address them properly. These skills help them communicate with many audiences, both verbally and in writing.

Business acumen

Business acumen is the ability to understand and handle business-related issues. Business directors use business acumen to understand relevant processes and procedures within the industry, use changing information to make decisions quickly and recognize the needs of different stakeholder groups. It enables them to adapt to new business trends, understand how different factors affect an organization's income and determine how to achieve a competitive advantage in the market.

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