Business Development · Operations

What to look for in a biz dev admin or biz dev assistant

Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

July 9th, 2013

Any suggestions from others on finding business office/operations support? 

We are a design and technology company and looking to add that next person who has more biz dev admin skills (filing tax forms & hiring an accountant, figuring out and implementing a strategy for licensing products, organizing and implementing office operations and procedures) 

We are small and want someone to grow with us, but we really can only afford one person to wear these many hats. 

We  find it a challenge to attract this type of person. My assumption is that we are are not asking the right questions or putting this position in the right light. Who else has gone before us? I know there are many of you out there that have gone through something similar. 

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Sean Power Co-founder at Repable

July 9th, 2013

IMO, "business development" is misleading here.  

Someone in biz dev thinks of strategies that grow your business, via things like partnerships, channel acquisition, M&A, etc.  

What you're describing is an office operations manager - someone who can handle the day-in/day-out of biz ops like you described above.  

You're also looking for someone at the assistant level when that really just sounds like you're saying "we dont have a lot of money".  I'd suggest a change of title (business operations manager), and it'd be nice to see the JD you're using so we can help you refine it.  

Todd Ellermann Experienced I.T. Leader, CTO, and Creative Entrepreneur

July 9th, 2013

Years ago I started a software development company to do Java and XML web application development. I figured I would write code that I loved, and grow a team of like minded folk, maybe someday we would make enough that I could even squeeze in a project that I cared about. Ran profitably for a few years prior to 2001 dot-bomb impolosion... never wrote a line of code during that 3 years. Good Luck! On the upside I did learn how to manage a sales funnel. Best wishes! -T

Jessica Alter Entrepreneur & Advisor

July 9th, 2013

I'd agree. Biz dev doesn't mean "filing tax forms & hiring an accountant." Sure, someone can do that because everyone picks up slack, but that's not their main job.

Salar Salahshoor

July 9th, 2013

Can you share your job description?  Including the title for the role?  What is the problem?  Are you having trouble even getting people applying?

To the extent possible, you might look to outsource these efforts instead of bringing on a full-time employee.  Implementing strategy for licensing products, etc. sounds a lot like the CEO's job at a startup.  The back office stuff is not something that attracts the most ambitious people.   You might find it difficult to attract someone unless you are willing to hire someone with no experience, but who is smart, and spend time training them.  I think it will be difficult to find a person with experience and good judgement that wants to do all the administrative work.  

Again, your job description would be helpful to see. 

Salar

Todd Ellermann Experienced I.T. Leader, CTO, and Creative Entrepreneur

July 9th, 2013

Sorry you lost me. Biz Dev and admin in same job title screams out that you are trying to hire two radically different people, then you added a few more on top of that with the description. Biz Dev for me, means someone who is going to be on the phone 24x7 finding business partnerships, and new ways to sell or package your product. Admin means inexpensive "get non-critical stuff" done to keep the business running and the all stars focused on what they do best. Biz Dev means small base salary + bonus based on sales. Admin might even be a temp worker, family member et al... I suggest you stop and think about what is the ONE or TWO things that would really allow the business to grow and hire someone to do JUST that thing and be awesome at it. You will know quickly if you had them tackle the right thing / hired the right person, because you will suddenly have resources to hire another person that you don't have today. My .005 << with inflation and globalization ******************************************************************* Todd R. Ellermann VP of Engineering VirtualTourist.com Founder Webagogy.com Researcher Betterwebapp.com Personal: toddecus@yahoo.com 805-850-8044 cell ******************************************************************* Does getting an ASU MBA with existing UofA BSCE make me a SunCat? or a WildDevil? Go Cats! ...said with a Devilish grin ;)

Jonathan Vanasco

July 9th, 2013

I read 3 jobs: BizDev - revenue , partnerships, licensing COO / CFO - operations , finance , accounting Office Manager / admin assistant - all the office work Sent from my iPhone

Mitchell Portnoy Healthcare Information Executive

July 9th, 2013

You seem to be looking for more than one hat wearer. Admin and admin support person is one thing. Real business development is quite another. I suggest hiring an experienced Entreprenuer first and let them find the admin support themselves. Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Bill Kelley

July 9th, 2013

I'm going to echo Sean here.

You are asking someone to be clerical/administrative as well as creative. Chances are, you'll find someone good at one and not the other.

You might think about your hire being the operations person (title per Sean) and finding an outside resource for the creative strategic thinking.

Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

July 9th, 2013

Thanks. This is all so helpful. What I've learned is that all the different job descriptions and skills started to mush together. This is b/c right now it's me doing all three. 

Good news is: 
I can get a part-time admin, no worries. 
I've got someone in mind for COO position, this will help make their description more clear. I'd like to see some good job descriptions though to help make this more clarified. 

Bad news is: 
Biz Dev will have to continue to be alone as I desperately miss out on the things I love (design and creative direction).

Fahad Siddiqui

July 9th, 2013

The biggest issue I see is you want to hire an "admin" or "assistant", and expect them to be versatile. Any person who is even remotely versatile enough to wear different hats will be turned off by the title.

Biz dev by definition is expected to grow the business. From the looks of it, you are looking for someone who is more of an office manager. Hire young, someone with maybe a year or two of operational experience, who has the aptitude to learn is motivated to do a lot of things and expect that there will be growing pains.