At the head of any successful business, whether it is a restaurant, department store, or a Fortune 500 company dealing with millions of dollars each year, every company needs a strong, well trained, and competent leader to keep things in order and on track. This person is most often referred to as a business manager.
With employees to oversee, schedules to make and keep, marketing and promotional strategies to devise, and tough decisions that will affect the entire company being made each day, the average business manager must have confidence, intelligence, and a knack for being able to think quickly on their feet. Dealing with this wide variety of issues on a daily basis requires patience and dedication; qualities no business manager should ever be without.
While the responsibilities of any business manager can vary wildly depending on the business type, the quality of the supporting workforce, and the particular issues an individual operation faces in the course of a normal day, there are a few general things every business manager can expect to deal with each day.
Most employers will look for a potential manager to show a certain degree of proficiency in one or more of several different fields that relate to the business they operate. The applicants’ chances for securing the position they desire tend to increase if they show themselves to be more than simply proficient in a few of these.
Although not a complete list and certainly subject to the sort of business being managed, a few of the more common responsibilities of a business manager include dealing with sales, research and development, statistical analysis, accounting, personnel, marketing, time management, business law, data entry and processing.
Training and Education
As with most careers, a certain amount of specialized training is most often something any potential employer looks for on every resume they receive. However, this does not necessarily mean that anyone who desires to become a business manager must first obtain a bachelors degree or more to be considered qualified for a business manager position.
Depending on the business being applied to, applicants may find that a high school diploma or the equivalent of one, along with the successful completion of some sort of concentrated secondary educational courses, can often be enough to get the attention of employers.
In some cases though, a more thorough and comprehensive educational background is a requirement for serious consideration. In these instances, a two year Associates Degree or a four year Bachelors Degree are most likely the keys needed to open these doors of opportunity. Almost any college will have a degree program designed to prepare students for careers as business managers, and in many cases, an eclectic mix of courses that cater to the needs of any student, such as business communications, administration, and business accounting.
Salary and Wages
In much the same way as trying to define the responsibilities of and educational requirements for a business manager, the question of salary and wages poses many of the same problems. With literally millions of individual companies and corporations operating around the globe, trying to pinpoint an “average” salary figure can be a recipe for frustration.
Nevertheless, a starting base salary is usually where most contract negotiations begin. Most companies offer business managers healthcare benefits, sales and performance based monetary incentives, stock options, profit sharing programs, paid vacation and sick leave time, and a variety of different sorts of bonuses that are given for any number of reasons throughout the year.
Altogether, the average yearly income for a business manager can range from around $50,000.00 to upwards of more than $100,000.00 per year, with many of the larger, more profitable corporations paying far more than this. Again, it all really depends on the business and the prospective manager.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
The list of professional certifications and the organizations governing them is as diverse in nature as the profession itself. For every different facet of business management out there, there are several certifications available for those willing to prepare and be tested.
Some of the better known and well respected of these are the National Contract Management Association, the Human Resources Certification Institute, and the Project Management Institute. All of these associations offer several different types of certifications as well as classes designed to prepare examinees for certification exams. Depending on the person and their needs, there are more than enough options to choose from.
When it comes to finding a professional organization or association that is centered on fulfilling the need for continuing education and updated training for the business managers of today, luckily there is no shortage of available options. These organizations are often the very best way for younger, less experienced mangers to learn the ins and outs of the business world as well as sometimes providing benefits, such as group healthcare insurance and travelling discounts, for their members.
While many of these organizations do try to cater to a certain group of professionals, there are several that are more general in nature and are a great place for any business manager to start learning more about what is available in this respect as well as the chance to do some invaluable networking; yet another item on their long and imposing list of responsibilities.
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