A business manager is a person who drives the work of others in order to run a major business efficiently and make a large profit. He or she should have working knowledge of the following areas, and may be a specialist in one or more: sales, marketing, and public relations; research, operations analysis, data processing, mathematics, statistics, and economics; production; finance; accounting, auditing, tax, and budgeting; purchasing; and personnel. Other technical areas in which a business manager may have expertise are law, science, and computer programming.
In many businesses, the role of business manager may grow out of a small business-owner's desire to shed some of the multiple roles mentioned above to focus on specific aspects of company expansion or market penetration. The business manager for a time may share duties with the owner, as the owner gains trust in the business manager. Ideally, the business manager and the owner work synergistically to ensure that the business of running a successful business is attended to. This can often be a process of the owner relinquishing the functions for which there is a comparative disadvantage for his or her continued involvement.
In the context of the music industry, a business manager is a representative of musicians and/or recording artists, whose main job is to supervise their business affairs, and the proper handling of their financial matters. The role as it is understood today was largely originated (and the term coined) by Allen Klein, who represented numerous performers through the years, helping them to both invest their incomes wisely and to recover unpaid (or underpaid) royalties and fees.
Business managers commonly have an overlapping presence in both the entertainment and sports industries, as illustrated by business manager Barry Klarberg, who represents entertainers Justin Timberlake and Charlie Sheen, as well professional athletes C.J. Wilson, Mark Messier and Anna Kournikova.
K. Blanchard writes that a good manager does not necessarily need to spend a lot of time with his or her employees. Good managers make every minute count, and do their best to make sure everyone at the company is successful.
- Sports Business Journal. "Athlete advisors Klarberg, Furst Close to Deal", April 9, 2012.
- Blanchard, K. (1982). The One Minute Manager. New York: William Morrow.
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