Business managers are responsible for setting the objectives of the business unit of a company, creating a plan for the operations, and facilitating the achievement of the objectives and implementation of the plan together with employees of the segment and stakeholders. They keep an overview of the business, understand detailed information of the business unit and support the department, and make decisions based on the information at hand.
The following job titles also refer to business manager:
corporate service manager
business unit manager
chief executive officer
Bachelor’s degree is generally required to work as business manager. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Business manager is a Skill level 4 occupation.
Business manager career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to business manager.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of business manager. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of business manager with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of business manager.
Business management principles: Principles governing business management methods such as strategy planning, methods of efficient production, people and resources coordination.
Business law: The field of law concerned with the trade and commerce activities of businesses and private persons and their legal interactions. This relates to numerous legal disciplines, including tax and employment law.
Financial forecasting: The tool used in performing fiscal financial management to identify revenue trends and estimated financial conditions.
Corporate social responsibility: The handling or managing of business processes in a responsible and ethical manner considering the economic responsibility towards shareholders as equally important as the responsibility towards environmental and social stakeholders.
Cost management: The process of planning, monitoring and adjusting the expenses and revenues of a business in order to achieve cost efficiency and capability.
Strategic planning: The elements defining the foundation and core of an organisation such as its mission, vision, values, and objectives.
Company policies: The set of rules that govern the activity of a company.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of business manager.
Integrate strategic foundation in daily performance: Reflect on the strategic foundation of companies, meaning their mission, vision, and values in order to integrate this foundation in the performance of the job position.
Conclude business agreements: Negotiate, revise, and sign mercantile and business documents such as contracts, business agreements, deeds, purchases and wills, and bills of exchange.
Exercise stewardship: Exercise stewardship to ensure the efficient and responsible planning and management of resources.
Ensure lawful business operations: Comply with legislation in the daily operations of a company
Strive for company growth: Develop strategies and plans aiming at achieving a sustained company growth, be the company self-owned or somebody else’s. Strive with actions to increase revenues and positive cash flows.
Control financial resources: Monitor and control budgets and financial resources providing capable stewardship in company management.
Manage staff: Manage employees and subordinates, working in a team or individually, to maximise their performance and contribution. Schedule their work and activities, give instructions, motivate and direct the workers to meet the company objectives. Monitor and measure how an employee undertakes their responsibilities and how well these activities are executed. Identify areas for improvement and make suggestions to achieve this. Lead a group of people to help them achieve goals and maintain an effective working relationship among staff.
Analyse business objectives: Study data according to business strategies and objectives and make both short-term and long-term strategic plans.
Apply business acumen: Take appropriate actions in a business environment in order to maximise possible outcome from each situation.
Analyse business processes: Study the contribution of the work processes to the business goals and monitor their efficiency and productivity.
Create a financial plan: Develop a financial plan according to financial and client regulations, including an investor profile, financial advice, and negotiation and transaction plans.
Abide by business ethical code of conducts: Conform and follow the ethical code of conducts promoted by companies and businesses at large. Ensure that operations and activities do comply with the code of conduct and ethical operations the supply chain throughout.
Develop an organisational structure: Create and develop the organisational structure of a group of people working together to realise the goals of the organisation.
Negotiate with stakeholders: Negotiate compromises with stakeholders and strive to reach the most beneficial agreements for the company. May involve building relationships with suppliers and customers, as well as ensuring products are profitable.
Track key performance indicators: Identify the quantifiable measures that a company or industry uses to gauge or compare performance in terms of meeting their operational and strategic goals, using preset performance indicators.
Hire new personnel: Hire new personnel for a company or organisation payroll via a prepared set of procedures. Make staffing decisions and direct selection co-workers.
Create a work atmosphere of continuous improvement: Work with management practices such as continuous improvement, preventive maintenance. Pay attention to problem solving and teamwork principles.
Develop revenue generation strategies: Elaborate methodologies through which a company markets and sells a product or service to generate income.
Develop company strategies: Envision, plan, and develop strategies for companies and organisations aimed at achieving different purposes such as establishing new markets, refurbishing the equipment and machinery of a company, implementing pricing strategies, etc.
Plan health and safety procedures: Set up procedures for maintaining and improving health and safety in the workplace.
Plan medium to long term objectives: Schedule long term objectives and immediate to short term objectives through effective medium-term planning and reconciliation processes.
Get involved in the day-to-day operation of the company: Collaborate and perform hands-on work with other departments, managers, supervisors, and workers in different aspects of the business from preparing accounting reports, envisioning the marketing campaigns up to having contact with clients.
Build business relationships: Establish a positive, long-term relationship between organisations and interested third parties such as suppliers, distributors, shareholders and other stakeholders in order to inform them of the organisation and its objectives.
Assume responsibility for the management of a business: Adopt and assume the responsibility that entails running a business, prioritising the interest of its owners, the societal expectation, and the welfare of employees.
Develop business plans: Plan, write and collaborate in the implement business plans. Include and foresee in the business plan the market strategy, the competitive analysis of the company, the design and the development of the plan, the operations and the management aspects and the financial forecast of the business plan.
Liaise with managers: Liaise with managers of other departments ensuring effective service and communication, i.e. sales, planning, purchasing, trading, distribution and technical.
Follow company standards: Lead and manage according to the organisation’s code of conduct.
Make strategic business decisions: Analyse business information and consult directors for decision making purposes in a varied array of aspects affecting the prospect, productivity and sustainable operation of a company. Consider the options and alternatives to a challenge and make sound rational decisions based on analysis and experience.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of business manager. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
International trade: The economic practise and study field that address the exchange of goods and services across geographic borders. The general theories and schools of thought around the implications of international trade in terms of exports, imports, competitivity, GDP, and role of multinational companies.
Banking activities: The broad and continuously growing banking activities and financial products managed by banks ranging from personal banking, corporate banking, investment banking, private banking, up to insurance, foreign exchange trading, commodity trading, trading in equities, futures and options trading.
Financial statements: The set of financial records disclosing the financial position of a company at the end of a set period or of the accounting year. The financial statements consisting of five parts which are the statement of financial position, the statement of comprehensive income, the statement of changes in equity (SOCE), the statement of cash flows and notes.
Financial management: The field of finance that concerns the practical process analysis and tools for designating financial resources. It encompasses the structure of businesses, the investment sources, and the value increase of corporations due to managerial decision-making.
Marketing management: The academic discipline and function in an organisation which focuses on the market research, market development, and the creation of marketing campaigns to raise awareness on the company’s services and products.
Project management: Understand project management and the activities which comprise this area. Know the variables implied in project management such as time, resources, requirements, deadlines, and responding to unexpected events.
Subsidiary operations: The coordination, processes, and operations revolving around the management of subsidiaries either nationally or internationally. The integration of strategic guidelines coming from the headquarters, consolidation of financial reporting, and abidance by the regulatory mandates of the jurisdiction where the subsidiary operates.
Business process modelling: The tools, methods and notations such as Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) and Business Process Execution Language (BPEL), used to describe and analyse the characteristics of a business process and model its further development.
Business loans: Loans which are intended for business purposes and which can either be secured or unsecured depending on whether a collatoral is involved. The different types of business loans such as bank loans, mezzanine finance, asset-based finance, and invoice finance.
Corporate law: The legal rules that govern how corporate stakeholders (such as shareholders, employees, directors, consumers, etc) interact with one another, and the responsibilities corporations have to their stakeholders.
Marketing principles: The principles of managing the relationship between consumers and products or services for the purpose of increasing sales and improving advertising techniques.
Human resource management: The function in an organisation concerned with the recruitment of employees and the optimisation of employee performance.
Financial jurisdiction: Financial rules and procedures applicable to a certain location, whose regulatory bodies decide on its jurisdiction
Accounting: The documentation and processing of data regarding financial activities.
Market entry planning: The processes contained in the pursuit of entering a new market such as researching the market, segmentation, defining the target groups, and developing a viable financial business model to approach the market.
Supply chain management: The flow of goods in the supply chain, movement and storage of raw materials, work-in-process inventory, and finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of business manager. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
Integrate headquarter’s guidelines into local operations: Understand and implement the guidelines and objectives provided by the headquarters of a company into the local management of a company or subsidiary. Adapt guidelines to the regional reality.
Manage budgets: Plan, monitor and report on the budget.
Maintain relationship with customers: Build a lasting and meaningful relationship with customers in order to ensure satisfaction and fidelity by providing accurate and friendly advice and support, by delivering quality products and services and by supplying after-sales information and service.
Liaise with local authorities: Maintain the liaison and exchange of information with regional or local authorities.
Interact with the board of directors: Present the results of the company, answer questions in regards to the organisation, and receive guidelines on the future perspectives and plans for the company.
Analyse market financial trends: Monitor and forecast the tendencies of a financial market to move in a particular direction over time.
Speak different languages: Master foreign languages to be able to communicate in one or more foreign languages.
Report on overall management of a business: Prepare and present periodic reports on the operations, achievements, and results obtained during certain period to higher level managers and directors.
Develop organisational policies: Develop and supervise the implementation of policies aimed at documenting and detailing the procedures for the operations of the organisation in the lights of its strategic planning.
Share good practices across subsidiaries: Investigate and document good practices and knowledge rendering a superior productivity in order to spread it in other departments or subsidiaries of the organisation.
Describe the financial situation of a region: Consider a number of variables such as political, social, and economic in order to analyse and describe a region or country from a financial standpoint.
Show an exemplary leading role in an organisation: Perform, act, and behave in a manner that inspires collaborators to follow the example given by their managers.
Synthesise financial information: Collect, revise and put together financial information coming from different sources or departments in order to create a document with unified financial accounts or plans.
Evaluate performance of organisational collaborators: Evaluate the performance and results of managers and employees considering their efficiency and effectivity at work. Consider personal and professional elements.
Oversee quality control: Monitor and assure the quality of the provided goods or services by overseeing that all the factors of the production meet quality requirements. Supervise product inspection and testing.
Analyse business plans: Analyse the formal statements from businesses which outline their business goals and the strategies they set in place to meet them, in order to assess the feasibility of the plan and verify the business’ ability to meet external requirements such as the repayment of a loan or return of investments.
Prepare financial statements: Collect, entry, and prepare the set of financial records disclosing the financial position of a company at the end of a certain period or accounting year. The financial statements consisting of five parts which are the statement of financial position, the statement of comprehensive income, the statement of changes in equity (SOCE), the statement of cash flows and notes.
Manage office facility systems: Keep management and service ability of the various office systems needed for the smooth and daily operation of the office facilities such as internal communication systems, softwares of common use inside the company, and office networks.
Manage financial risk: Predict and manage financial risks, and identify procedures to avoid or minimise their impact.
Keep updated on the political landscape: Read, search, and analyse the political situation of a region as a source of information applicable for different purposes such as information, decision-making, and management, and investments.
Follow the statutory obligations: Understand, abide by, and apply the statutory obligations of the company in the daily performance of the job.
Manage contracts: Negotiate the terms, conditions, costs and other specifications of a contract while making sure they comply with legal requirements and are legally enforceable. Oversee the execution of the contract, agree on and document any changes.
Shape corporate culture: Observe and define the elements in the corporate culture of a company in order to reinforce, integrate and shape further the codes, values, beliefs and behaviours aligned with the company’s aims.
Impart business plans to collaborators: Diffuse, present, and communicate business plans and strategies to managers, employees making sure that objectives, actions, and important messages are properly conveyed.
Delegate activities: Delegate activities and tasks to others according to the ability, level of preparation, competence and legal scope of practice. Make sure that people understand what they should do and when they should do it.
Develop professional network: Reach out to and meet up with people in a professional context. Find common ground and use your contacts for mutual benefit. Keep track of the people in your personal professional network and stay up to date on their activities.
Establish communication with foreign cultures: Strive to understand the cultural codes of the society where the company operates and to establish a solid communication and mutual understanding with its members.
Execute marketing plan: Carry out all the activities involved in achieving specific marketing objectives within a given timeframe.
Create a financial report: Finalise project accounting. Prepare an actual budget, compare the discrepancy between the planned and actual budget, and draw final conclusions.
Analyse financial risk: Identify and analyse risks that could impact an organisation or individual financially, such as credit and market risks, and propose solutions to cover against those risks.
Align efforts towards business development: Synchronise the efforts, plans, strategies, and actions carried out in departments of companies towards the growth of business and its turnover. Keep business development as the ultimate outcome of any effort of the company.
Shape organisational teams based on competencies: Study the profiles of collaborators and decide the best place for directors and collaborators following an strategic mindset and serving to the goals of the company.
Prospect new regional contracts: Identify and win regional contracts/tenders for expanding stores.
ISCO group and title
1120 – Managing directors and chief executives
- Business manager – ESCO