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What is a Business Manager?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Jan 30, 2024
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Business managers exist in a variety of industries, and often have training or education, such as Master’s degrees in Business Administration (MBAs), which help them do their jobs more effectively. They can work in highly specialized ways, managing a single department, or they may work as managers or owners of smaller companies, doing just about everything needed to ensure that all aspects of the business and all its requirements are met. Sometimes the business manager is defined as the person who must facilitate the work without actually doing the work that is required. This isn’t meant as a negative statement; it merely means that the business manager is responsible for making sure employees are functioning at optimum levels, and that the manager effectively oversees, plans, and delegates.

Under the job title of business manager, you’ll note these folks doing a variety of things. They may supervise employees responsible for things like production and sales, plan work schedules, make decisions about employee rewards, reviews or reprimands, and help to determine when the company might not be operating at its financial peak. When such is the case, they may create business plans to increase profitability.

Some business managers primarily oversee supervisors and don’t have quite as much contact with employees that produce the majority of products or sell things. In this sense they could be called the supervisor of supervisors. Others are directly responsible for employee reviews, training, and motivation.

Some business managers who work in a single department might be responsible for things like managing human resources, payroll, sales, advertisement, production, advertisement, or a variety of other things. Business managers tend to be needed in many fields, not just typical “business fields” but also in medical facilities, science-oriented companies, the food and hotel industry, and in the performing arts. For all intents and purposes the manager of a theater is a business manager, who helps to employ others, evaluates revenue, hires or fires employees, and makes sure the theater runs smoothly.

The goal of the business manager at any level is to make sure that anything he or she oversees works as well as it can. In order to achieve this, the business manager may implement various business models learned in school, or may create methods, teams, employee incentives or a variety of other things to achieve the most successful department, company or corporation. Large companies normally have numerous business managers, whose job it may be to help the supervisors with their work and to report to upper level management or owners of a corporation. Sometimes a business manager is upper level management or an owner.

If you’re interested in the field of business management, there are many skills you will need. You should have an excellent understanding of business models, economy, and finance. You also need to have great people skills, since part of your job may be to motivate or inspire at least some, if not all employees. There are business management degrees at community colleges, four-year universities, and at the Master’s level. In most cases, MBA degrees assure you a greater amount of choice and a chance to work at top levels of a corporation.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon246354 — On Feb 09, 2012

A business manager seems fun. Any advice on if it's a good career?

By anon219926 — On Oct 04, 2011

The best job that I ever had started out to be the craziest job in the world. We had two employees (me and the guy off the street) and we had no experience, and no plan, and just made things up as they came along. It was dirty and lot of manual labor.

Thirty years later, the business is quite large and very successful, but I still have to leave the beautiful digs just to go back to my old office, which is now sort of a shrine, to pause and remember where I came from.

By anon139238 — On Jan 04, 2011

I'm 17 i want to be a be a business manager of a small company. I'm a do it by the book person so i think this will be a great career for me. one thing I'm not sure of is how much schooling i would have to go through.

By anon80598 — On Apr 28, 2010

i am a first year student at college. i know i have a business mind but i need help someone to show me around the business environment, give me assignments on business actions. i know i can do it. i am asking for experience free of charge.

By anon69071 — On Mar 06, 2010

i'm in my first year of high school. one of my dreams is to be business manager to hold a small company, because i know that it will be an experience for me and it will a big career for me!

By anon68652 — On Mar 03, 2010

Make sure you know what you are getting into as a small business owner. It is not as easy to keep afloat as many may think.

By anon67237 — On Feb 23, 2010

I'm 53 years of age and I am going to school online. I am majoring in business management. My goal is to open up a business when I finish my class and graduate. I have always said that when ever I got the chance and the education, and the money that I was going to open up a small business.

By anon55550 — On Dec 08, 2009

My name is Pame and i really want to know more about motivation at work, some keys to help my employees in their jobs. if you can provide to me some information i am going to be so thankful!

By anon46877 — On Sep 29, 2009

Hi my name is Arielle. I want to get a business degree. It makes me feel in charge or on top of the world to be in control of a project seems exciting to me. You have to have the power to do it. The only problem is that its not a calm career because there is competition in need of energy. I'm also a poet/playwright and an author. Yes writing was my first passion and I'm well experienced in it.

By anon45868 — On Sep 21, 2009

i'm 17 i want to be a be a business manager of a small company. i'm a do it by the book person so i think this will be a great career for me. one thing i'm not sure of is how much schooling i would have to go through.

By anon40997 — On Aug 12, 2009

hi i'm 18, going to be going into a mathematics and business management degree. i don't know exactly what i can do with my degree. to be a business manager do you have to have an only business degree? i don't know what career i want to go in but business manager sounds pretty cool. help.

By anon16201 — On Jul 31, 2008

Excellent overview of the profession. The Certified Business Manager (CBM) designation, offered by the Association of Professionals in Business Management (APBM), is a master's level professional credential that covers virtually every aspect of business management as discussed in this article.

By anon15569 — On Jul 15, 2008

what is the manager's role in organizing?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
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