What Is A Business Manager? (Types, Duties And Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 3 September 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.

Business managers coordinate and organise all aspects of a business, including product development, production and administration. Depending on their job title, they can have several responsibilities, such as planning resources or managing schedules. If you are considering a career as a business manager, understanding the different types of managers and their varied responsibilities could help you decide whether this is a suitable career for you. In this article, we answer, 'What is a business manager?', define the different managers, describe their duties, how to become one and highlight the skills that could help you succeed in the role.

What Is A Business Manager?

The answer to the question 'What is a business manager?' is that they are the professionals who lead all departments and branches of a business. They oversee all company operations, including budgets, communication between upper management and employees and employee performance. Business managers devise and implement production strategies and monitor a business's performance over time.

Main Duties Of A Business Manager

As business managers can be responsible for a department or an entire company, their duties can vary. Primarily, they supervise an organisation's daily operations and implement operational strategies to help ensure productivity and efficiency. Their responsibilities may also include identifying growth opportunities, for example, by researching a new market for the company's product.

Here are some of their other main responsibilities:

  • Collating and analysing financial and employment reports

  • Creating and implementing business strategies and plans

  • Giving feedback and suggestions to clients

  • Observing production and addressing problems

  • Interviewing, recruiting, training and assessing new and existing employees

  • Reporting to the board

Related: What Does A Business Development Manager Do? (With Salary)

Types Of Business Manager

Depending on the department they manage, business managers can hold different titles. Below are some common types of business managers:

Office managers

Office managers organise and supervise a company's administrative department. They may also be responsible for the scheduling and budgeting of a project. Office managers use their organisational skills to ensure that all administrative employees work as a team, keeping the office running smoothly.

Marketing managers

Marketing managers are responsible for directing the organisation's promotional campaigns. They often determine the target audience, analyse market trends and manage the marketing budget. Additionally, they develop marketing techniques and advertising strategies to improve a campaign's chances of success. Marketing managers may also report on promotional activities and collaborate closely with sales managers.

Related: What Is A Marketing Manager? Definition, Roles And Skills

Sales managers

Sales managers supervise the development and performance of a company's sales department. They often set sales goals and devise strategies for improving customer retention. They may also be responsible for sales strategies and techniques, strategies for converting prospects into customers and the training of new employees.

Related: Sales Manager Resume Skills: Definitions And Examples

Operations managers

Operations managers develop business plans, create budgets for resources, and analyse production processes to find ways to increase efficiency. Operations managers monitor economic data and plan a company's response to any new trends. They are also responsible for negotiating with contractors and suppliers to get the best deal possible for the company.

Related: Contract Manager Vs Project Manager (With Definitions)

How To Become A Business Manager

The following steps could help you become a business manager:

1. Complete a degree

Completing a bachelor's degree in business administration or management could help you gain a position as a business manager. A higher degree could qualify you for many management positions. Completing a business degree can equip you with the theory and methods necessary for a successful career in management. It can also demonstrate to potential employers that you are committed to a career in this role.

Related: What Is Management? Definition, Functions And Levels

2. Gain experience

Experience in supervisory or managerial positions is beneficial, as business management involves leadership. Consider the department or organisation you wish to manage and try to find a position that could give you relevant experience. For example, if you plan on becoming a sales manager, you could work as a sales associate or representative to gain experience. Seeking positions that could give you new skills and experience can help you advance your career.

Related: How To Become An HR Manager (Duties, Salary And Skills)

3. Further your education

Research what certifications are relevant to the type of business management you are considering. For example, if you want to work as a sales or office manager, many management institutes offer courses in these specialities. Gaining certifications could make you more likely to succeed when applying for a position.

4. Prepare a resume

Once you have experience and qualifications, prepare a strong resume showcasing your skills. Read the job description closely before applying and customise your resume accordingly. After preparing your resume, apply for any positions that interest you.

Related: 13 Types Of Business Needs To Improve Business Operations

Important Business Management Skills

Here are some of the skills of a successful business manager:

Communication skills

Many business managers spend much time communicating with customers, business owners, administrators, suppliers, employees and other stakeholders. Good communication skills are helpful in various settings, including meetings, presentations, online and during phone calls. Good communication can help you establish a good rapport with all stakeholders, making them comfortable sharing any information with you. Be patient and truthful when communicating with people, smile, maintain eye contact and listen attentively.

Related: Communication Skills In Leadership: Importance And Benefits

Motivational skills

Motivated employees are more likely to perform better, increasing the likelihood of a business succeeding. Business managers may be responsible for encouraging employees and ensuring they are content. You can try to motivate your team by interacting with them and getting to know them, offering them opportunities for career development and making yourself accessible.

Budgeting skills

Business managers may be responsible for setting budgets and ensuring projects keep within budgetary constraints. They try to ensure that employees keep to the budget and may require a basic understanding of financial software. Business managers may also approve any additional expenditure, such as for external consultants.

Related: 20 Business Skills You Need And How To Improve Them

People management skills

Management roles primarily involve managing people. Business managers often interact with a wide range of people, so the ability to establish positive and trustworthy relationships can be helpful. You may sometimes face conflicts of opinion between employees and require a solution that could resolve the conflict peacefully.

Organisational skills

Successful managers can prioritise, schedule and delegate tasks effectively. It is important that you know your team and understand their strengths, capabilities and skills before delegating tasks. Good organisation and delegation can help employees complete their tasks productively and efficiently. It is better to avoid micromanaging employees when monitoring them.

Strategic skills

Although business managers oversee the day-to-day operations of a company, it is also important to have a broader perspective. This involves liaising with upper management to create and implement new policies and business strategies to help the company achieve its production goals. Business managers require good strategic skills to predict how decisions may impact the company's future performance. You may be responsible for encouraging innovation and steering the company in a new direction.

Decision-making skills

Good decision-making skills are important for business managers as they can significantly impact the organisation's future. Making the correct decisions requires problem-solving and critical thinking skills and the ability to think deeply and logically. It is also necessary to be able to maintain your composure under pressure, as some situations may demand you make decisions under pressure and to calculate the pros and cons quickly.

Commerce skills

An understanding of commerce is important in business management. Business managers may require a good knowledge of their market, including how the company works in the market and where they stand with their competitors. It is important to be aware of any political, economic or legal issues in the industry that could impact the business. Understanding these issues could help you make better decisions and lead to a successful outcome for the organisation.

Explore more articles