Sophie Willcock is one of the newest team members to join the Red7Marine team. Focusing on our business’ development, Sophie uses her vast skill set to help grow the business, our client base and the number of projects we work on.

Sophie’s days are incredibly varied as she works with the rest of our business development and work-winning teams to secure upcoming project opportunities. From attending networking events to liaising with clients directly, Sophie’s career as a business development professional allows her to travel the country as she spreads word of the business.

Bringing her unique background and a passion for business development to our team, Sophie is the ideal candidate for this career path. To clearly explain what business development really entails, for those who may be interested in this sector and how we develop long-lasting client relationships, Sophie has discussed what her role encompasses and why she felt inspired to pursue a profession in business development:

‘Roles in business development are extremely varied. I have always loved meeting new people and developing relationships, which is what my role with Red7Marine is all about.

Marine construction is an extremely friendly industry and people are always willing to share advice, news and information on various projects. If I’m not in the office speaking to different clients, I am out and about on the road meeting people, visiting networking events or attending trade shows.

Having a background in PR and marketing has been incredibly beneficial to my role. Communication is key to success in business development. In my previous role, I was responsible for lots of reporting and evaluating, something which aids my new role as I can never be too organised. As soon as a new project or lead comes through, I will report it to ensure this is followed up and the opportunity is secured.

My responsibilities are diverse; I search for information on new projects, liaise and meet with new and existing clients, look for relevant networking opportunities and cover several aspects of marketing, for example trade show visits and creating the collateral associated with these.

Being relatively new to the business development industry, I have thoroughly enjoyed my first few weeks in the role. I have felt valued from the outset and trusted in my abilities. We have a really strong team and everyone is friendly; it’s lovely to see people from every arm of the business pulling together to find solutions and no one is ever too busy to answer questions, helping me on my journey.

Business development is a crucial department. My position is the bridge between clients and our work-winning team. I speak with clients at an early stage to try and find project opportunities for our kit and team, if this then comes in as a tender or job it then moves on to our estimating departments.

This responsibility is significant, I therefore feel that every business development candidate needs to be organised. It’s also important to be diligent and forward-thinking, understanding your business and its long-term plans. I think the best people in the industry are those who are personable. An ability to get on with people and earn their trust is key, you need to be able to develop strong relationships.

Finally, I feel that every candidate needs to be transparent. This is key in any role but it’s so important to just be yourself and have fun with it. It’s exciting to play such a pivotal role in the business, you can really make it your own.

Opportunities for career development in this sector are vast. For example, I am currently looking into chartership options, whether that’s in leadership or management. If you are career driven, business development could be the perfect fit for you.

I am really enjoying my position and look forward to seeing what the future holds. Here at Red7Marine, it’s a great department to be a part of.