Every business has a manager. Even the smallest gas station or convenience store has a manager, and larger organizations can have several or even dozens of specialized managers. The term business manager typically describes one who has overall management authority over an organization. Given that larger organizations typically hire a number of specialized managers, generally only small to medium-sized enterprises hire a business manager. Business managers typically have a college degree and at least a few years experience in the industry.
Education and Experience
Most business manager jobs require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in business or business administration. Business managers are expected to have good written and verbal communication skills, as well as knowledge of accounting, tax law, financial management and human resources. Employers generally prefer business managers to have several years of management experience, ideally industry-specific experience.
Although specific responsibilities vary significantly by organization, business managers almost always have significant responsibility for managing operations. Supervising operations typically includes direct oversight of production or service personnel, facility maintenance, workplace safety and generally making sure workers have the resources they need to get the job done. Business managers are typically hired by and report to owners or executive management.
Human Resource and Administrative Duties
Business managers in larger organizations often supervise a staff of human resources and administrative specialists, but business managers in smaller organizations are frequently called on to assume a number of HR and administrative duties as well. These duties often include hiring, training and evaluating new employees, evaluating and promoting current employees, developing and implementing budgets and overseeing accounting, including taxes and accounts receivable.
Pay and Prospects
The closest Bureau of Labor Statistics job category to business manager is business office manager or administrative services manager. The BLS reports that business office managers earned a median salary of $79,540 in 2011. Job prospects for business office managers are reasonably good, with regionally variable 10 to 19 percent employment growth expected through 2020.