What Does a Business Director Do? (Skills, Salary and FAQs)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 18 September 2022 | Published 9 May 2022

Updated 18 September 2022

Published 9 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A business director is a key figure who manages the daily operations of a company. It's an attractive career path that offers a wide range of professional opportunities in many different industries. Learning how to become a successful business director can help you advance in your career. In this article, we examine the responsibilities of a business director, explore the steps to become a business director, discuss the skills required and review other frequently asked questions about this role.

What does a business director do?

One of the primary duties of a business director is to oversee the development of business goals and implement improvements to business processes. Business directors manage the company's finances, work to expand the brand and identify opportunities for growth. They're also responsible for negotiating contracts with clients and suppliers when necessary. A business director usually has oversight of various departments and may also supervise the hiring of senior staff.

As part of their duty, business directors also convene and hold general meetings and file statutory documents with the relevant regulatory authorities. Here's a list of the duties and responsibilities of a business director:

  • oversee the company and provide strategic direction

  • develop the company's culture, values and corporate policies

  • represent the company at events

  • supervise the hiring process by recruiting and interviewing new employees

  • plan the budget and monitor income and expenses

  • identify risks and opportunities

  • track business performance and report to shareholders

  • ensure company operations comply with corporate laws and regulations

  • call for annual shareholder meetings

  • maintain, prepare and file statutory documents with relevant government agencies

Related:

  • What Does a Director Do? (With Roles, Salary and Skills)

  • What Does an Assistant Director Do? Definition and Duties

How to become a business director

Becoming a business director requires a combination of academic qualifications and relevant work experience. Here are the steps for becoming a business director:

1. Obtain a degree

Try to earn a degree, as it can be beneficial in helping you to become a business director. Many business directors usually have a degree in business administration. Depending on the nature of the company's business activities, a business director may require a degree with the relevant industry specialisation. Due to the highly competitive nature of the position, it's advisable to acquire a Master of Business Administration (MBA) as it may help improve your profile to employers.

2. Gain industry experience

Business directors often possess deep managerial and industry experience. Many individuals start off at lower-level managerial positions and gain experience before moving up within the company to become a business director. Alternatively, you may also volunteer to lead projects to acquire leadership skills and management experience. These traits are essential in a business director role.

3. Get professional training

In addition to your academic qualifications and work experience, you may want to get professional training to boost your chances of becoming a business director. Professional organisations like the Singapore Institute of Directors (SID) offer a range of training courses in areas like directorship responsibilities, corporate governance and financial reporting. This professional training can better prepare you to meet the demands of a business director position.

4. Network with shareholders and investors

Take the opportunity to network with shareholders and investors at company functions or events. They may elect or nominate directors occasionally, and networking is a great way to build trust and create a good impression. Furthermore, keeping in contact with other senior board members helps you to remain updated on the latest developments in your industry. All of these actions can help bolster your standing and put you in consideration for a business director appointment.

5. Invest in further education

It's best to invest in further education if you want to excel as a business director and stay ahead in today's complex business environment. Continue to build on your knowledge and upgrade your skills as it may better equip you to tackle business challenges and identify opportunities that may benefit the company. Such experiences and insight can communicate your value as a business director and help with your career advancement.

What skills do business directors need?

Effective business directors often have excellent managerial skills. A business director with good management skills is more likely to lead the company successfully and direct operations to achieve results. Here are some of the most important skills that business directors need:

Leadership

Strong leadership is paramount to an organisation's success. Business directors are important leaders who oversee many aspects of the business, such as operations, finances and human resources. A business director with good leadership skills can guide business units and align teams to achieve common goals and objectives. Furthermore, if you can demonstrate strong and vocal leadership, it may help inspire employees to become more confident and productive at work.

Decision-making

Effective decision-making is a key part of being a successful business director. Top-performing business directors often manage several departments and their decisions can have a huge impact on organisational performance and morale. As a business director, you may make strategic decisions that might benefit the company or affect business performance. If you can stay objective and respond to unexpected changes, you may be more prepared to make effective decisions under pressure.

Strategic thinking

Good business directors are strategic thinkers with a clear vision. They also rely on their business acumen and experience to evaluate strategic initiatives aimed at long-term growth for the company. As a business director, you may require strategic thinking skills to formulate plans that can help the company stay ahead in a competitive business landscape.

Communication

As leaders, business directors may develop strong communication skills to manage different stakeholders, such as suppliers, customers and shareholders. A good business director articulates his vision for the company and communicates business goals clearly and persuasively. Good communication skills can also be useful when you present action plans or explain business strategies to the various stakeholders.

Business development

Business directors often work on ideas and explore business development initiatives to secure new revenue sources that can help the company grow. This can take the form of new product development, supply chain management, advertising and other innovative business operations and processes. An effective director usually has solid business development skills that can add value and new capabilities to the organisation.

Analytical skills

To navigate the current dynamic business environment, directors have an analytical mindset and are able to propose effective solutions that address any challenges or problems the company may face. Directors also use their analytical skills to identify operational inefficiencies and to streamline business processes. Having good analytical skills can help you to solve the complex business issues that business directors typically face in their roles.

What is the salary of a business director?

The national average salary of a business director is $11,981 per month. Keep in mind that the exact salary of a business director often depends on the seniority of the director, the role and responsibilities, the type of company and the industry they operate in. Apart from their annual salary, business directors may receive additional compensation in the form of bonus incentives or profit-sharing that's contingent upon company growth of financial performance for the year.

In lieu of their position and authority, business directors also enjoy various company benefits. Some of the most common benefits include:

  • extended annual leave

  • health and dental insurance

  • retirement or pension plans

  • business travel and entertainment allowances

Read more: Salary Guide for Singapore

FAQs about business directors

The following are answers to other frequently asked questions about a business director role:

What's the difference between a business director and a CEO?

Although a business director and CEO both hold leadership roles in the company, they each have different responsibilities. A CEO primarily serves as the public face of the company and formulates the strategic vision and goals. A business director is more focused on managing the day-to-day operations and works with employees to carry out the CEO's vision.

What's the difference between a business director and a director of the board?

An executive director is a business director who's involved in the daily management of a company. They have a commitment to the company and its shareholders to act in their best interests. In contrast, a non-executive director who sits on the board doesn't have any management authority or leadership role with the company.

Read more: Managing Director vs. CEO: Responsibilities and Differences

What's the work environment of a business director?

Business directors typically work in a corporate environment. They perform their duties full time in an office setting where they also attend meetings and manage employees. Depending on the nature of their work, some business directors may travel internationally to create new business alliances or to represent the organisation at industry conferences and events.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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