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What is a business manager and how to become one

At a glance

Not shockingly, business managers tend to manage all aspects of a business. The industries and specific responsibilities vary significantly and are often dictated by the industry and level of specialization.

Employees want clear directives for their roles and the business at large, and a successful business manager provides that level of direct and specific direction.

A business manager at a larger company might only manage operations for a single department. In smaller organizations, a business manager is often in charge of all departments.

As one of the several jobs you can obtain with a business degree, the role of a business manager allows you to make high-level business decisions that encourage corporate growth.

What does a business manager do?

As a business manager, you handle several responsibilities that directly influence your company’s success. You’ll implement strategies that help your company meet monthly performance benchmarks and pursue success. High-quality business managers also keep a close eye on their competition, modifying their business model to adapt to new or existing competition.

After you obtain your business degree and become a business manager, you’ll have a variety of tasks to complete. Each day, your responsibilities as a business manager might include:

  • Supervising employees — Maintaining objective-driven relationships with employees that allow you to appropriately monitor their work performance.
  • Implementing business strategies — Creating specific action plans that drive your organization toward success while navigating supply chain issues, market setbacks or other challenges.
  • Resolving company issues — Solving issues between employees, vendors or customers that could compromise success.
  • Streamlining sales and marketing processes — Developing processes that help your business find and connect with customers.
  • Recruiting employees — Finding and onboarding talent that can help your company quickly fulfill objectives.
  • Monitoring company finances — Constructing budgets, monitoring spending and establishing realistic short- and long-term financial goals.
  • Tailoring regular reports — Designing and exporting reports for directors, stakeholders and other executives that report on recent company performance.

These and other responsibilities keep a business manager busy each day. You’ll work with employees, fellow business managers and company executives to satisfy your company’s needs.

Where do business managers work?

Many businesses can benefit from a business manager, regardless of location or market. This means business managers can work in a variety of locations, depending on the nature of their employer.

Some of the primary fields you might work in as a business manager are:

  • Management
  • International management
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Operations

However, there are roles in nearly every industry that someone with a business management degree could apply for. 

Skills needed for business management

Business managers rely on several key skills to help companies cultivate success. These skills will help you make decisions, overcome hurdles and promote clear communication between all team members.

The skills you might need as a business manager might include:

  • Interpersonal communication — The ability to correspond effectively with employees, fellow business managers, executives, vendors and customers.
  • Financial management — The ability to handle your organization’s budget, investments, savings and spending habits to generate ongoing profits.
  • Problem-solving — The ability to mitigate disputes in ways that promote workplace efficiency and ongoing compliance.
  • Project management — The ability to manage team members, delegate tasks, evaluate talent and complete assignments before deadlines arrive.
  • Mentorship — The ability to teach, motivate and nurture employees in ways that help them develop skills and grow into leaders at your company.
  • Decision-making — The ability to evaluate a company’s progress and make decisions that drive your organization toward continued success.
  • Public speaking — The ability to deliver information in front of potentially large groups of people.

These and other skills create efficient, effective business managers. Many of these abilities — including financial management and team motivation — can be improved over time. With practice and evaluation from company leaders, business managers can grow along with the companies they help change. 

How to become a business manager

Before you can inspire employees, implement goals and integrate forward-thinking business strategies, you’ll need to complete a few steps.


First, you’ll likely want to earn a Bachelor of Science in Management or a degree in a closely related field. Your bachelor’s degree will familiarize you with many of the basic skills you’ll need as a business manager, such as leadership, marketing, finance and strategic planning.

Certifications and licensure

Business students also might want to look into passing a major field test — a standardized exam that measures critical knowledge. The 120-question test assesses ability to analyze business theories, use data tables and apply analytical methods to solve problems that business managers face.

You also might want to obtain one or more certifications before you begin work as a business manager. Some companies hire employees contingent on certification, while others may pay for the certification. These certifications help deepen your knowledge of specific business fields, further equipping you to succeed as a business manager.

Here are just a couple of certifications or licensures you may want to consider, depending on your field:

Some states also require that you obtain one or more additional certifications, in addition to any listed above. To save time and money, some students choose to pursue business degree options that combine education and operations management certification courses.

Business manager salaries

Employment for business managers is expected to remain favorable over the next decade. From 2020 to 2030, management occupations are projected to grow an estimated 9%, according to data from BLS.

Many of the anticipated new business manager positions will be created by workforce shifts. As current business managers retire or change careers, opportunities for younger business managers will become available.

Over the next 10 years, business managers will likely maintain a large focus on efficiency, facility improvements and environmental standards. In addition to other business duties, business managers will need to ensure that company facilities use energy-saving methods to conserve output.

Is becoming a business manager right for you?

Finding the right career path is sometimes difficult. Becoming a business manager is a rewarding career option for many individuals. You’ll have the opportunity to impact corporate performance at a high level while helping employees grow their careers.

After deciding on a career as a business manager, you’ll need to identify a college program that can help you realize your goals. Prioritize college programs that are flexible and goal-oriented, and don’t be afraid to conduct informational interviews during your search.

If you’re interested in helping a business navigate challenges, please customers and find success, the role of a business manager is an ideal career option.

Want to learn more about business degree from University of Phoenix? Read more here!

Interested in what you can do with a business administration degree? We covered the topic on our blog!

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