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, taxes 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 in order 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.
It is true that having a specialization in a particular field such as the above-mentioned (sales, marketing, public relations, finance, etc.), a manager will be able to perform his or her work more efficiently but, despite all the academic qualities that a business manager should have, a business manager should also develop personal qualities that will be helpful in performing his or her work in a more efficient manner. For example, a business manager should be willing to accept constructive criticism from the employees, develop social skills, be organized, be honest, be able to take good decisions and develop intimate relationships with his or her employees. Also, business managers should be good listeners and listen to the needs of the employees and customers. If the business manager injects positive attitudes to the employees, the employees will be more efficient. In other words, a good business manager should be willing to work along his or her employees in order to create a better work environment and a prosperous company.
Every business has to count on the services of a good business manager. For example, 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.
We can find business managers in any industry or type of business you can think of. Nowadays, business managers commonly have an overlapping presence in both the entertainment and sports industries, as illustrated by business manager Barry Klarberg, who represents entertainer Justin Timberlake 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.