While there are a wide variety of management styles that can be effective for a business manager, there are a handful of skills that are essential for any business manager (or for almost any leader).
Cultivating these skills is essential in ensuring that you are the best leader that you can be. Growing your business management skills can also allow you to steer your business to profitability and a brighter future.
Here are some of the skills needed for business management.
As a leader, most of what you do is communicate with people. In the business world, that means talking to your employees and your clients, and being able to get the point across quickly and effectively is very important.
Communicating is a skill, and mastery can allow you to get your point across in a succinct manner, with your objectives being clear.
Business managers also need to be able to receive feedback. Oftentimes, business managers are great at communicating what they need from others but don’t always respond to feedback from their employees as clearly.
You need to be receptive to what employees are telling you. The employees are the ones actually on the ground and in the field so their communication about issues is critical to addressing the problem, which helps your business succeed.
Different Types of Communication
Since communication is one of the most important skills for business management, it’s essential to know the different facets of communication.
Afterall, not all forms of communication are the same. According to Indeed, there are four types of communication that happen in a typical business setting:
- Verbal—the use of spoken language;
- Nonverbal—the use of body language or expressions;
- Visual—the use of art, images, drawings, charts, or other aids; and
- Written—the use of written symbols, numbers, and words.
To be a great business manager, it isn’t enough to be proficient in just one type of communication.
Instead, you must demonstrate proficiency in all of these different areas. This helps you not only clarify your business goals, but also foster respect within the workplace.
It’s famously said, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Over the course of decades, a small business was established in a garage which later became Apple computers.
One of the most important business management skills is patience. Success does not happen overnight for any business, nor does failure.
You need to have the patience to know that you are on the right track. Eventually, results from your hard work and patience will pay off in the form of a growing business.
Patience plays an important role in leading a business through that building process. Patience also helps with knowing when to act and when to wait.
Ways for Developing Patience
Being patient is easier said than done. Sometimes, there are situations beyond our control, which can make us feel frustrated.
When it comes to business management, these situations happen frequently. For this reason, it’s important to understand how to manage them. That being said, here are some things that may help you develop more patience over time.
There are just some problems or tasks that you can’t resolve immediately. In these situations, it’s best to temporarily separate yourself from the cause of your frustration.
When it comes to business management, this may arise if you’re trying to brainstorm operational solutions or address a financial issue. Whatever the case may be, taking some time away to refocus and recharge is a great practice.
Evaluate the issue
Out of all skills for business management, patience is one of the most difficult to master. This is because it sometimes requires you to evaluate your situation and determine if the frustration is worth the trouble.
It’s common for business managers to run into obstacles, but they can be overwhelming. In this situation, keep an eye on potential solutions. If you feel stressed about a project, give yourself more time to complete or do some more research.
Focus on basic needs
When aiming for a business management position, some people begin to neglect other parts of their life. Sometimes, these may be basic needs like enough food or sleep.
While you may be tempted to achieve whatever you’re aiming for as fast as possible, remember to take care of yourself. Engage in enjoyable activities to keep yourself engaged and ease your stress. This part of patience is key to realizing long-term goals.
3. Time Management
Accomplishing objectives on a deadline requires time management skills, and running a business will prove that to anyone. Managing a business is not something where you can put the work you need to do on the backburner until the day before the deadline.
When it comes to being a manager, not only are you managing your own schedule, you are also managing the schedules of employees. For example, it’s important to make sure you have enough employees on hand to complete work and to deal with the workload you expect.
Having too many people on hand means you’re paying people to do less work; having too few means that the work you need to be done isn’t getting done. Time management skills are essential to leadership of any sort.
Everyone has had that boss who wouldn’t let anyone else do anything. They micromanage horribly, they never really let you learn your job, and their employees hate them.
A good leader needs to understand how to delegate authority and responsibility to people. This is especially true in instances where the business is growing, and a manager who was once out in the field is now in the office directing others.
If there are too many people trying to delegate tasks, nothing will ever get done. This makes delegation one of the most important skills for business management.
You don’t want your employees to continually be told what to do; you need them to get to work and do it. The proper delegation of tasks allows a business to run smoothly.
5. Common Sense
A leader needs to have common sense. A leader with common sense will be a much better steward of the future of the business and its profitability.
A leader needs to know when something sounds too good to be true, when something cannot possibly be true, and when to trust employees and their opinions.
Having good common sense is one of the business management skills that helps managers make quick decisions without having to deliberate for too long. A manager with common sense helps the company run more efficiently and effectively.
Some may argue about whether accountability is a skill or not. But for a leader, a manager of a business, it is an important thing to have.
When things go wrong, when profits aren’t as good as projections, a good manager knows that the buck stops with their decision-making. A good business manager will then consider better methods for making those decisions in the future.
A manager who avoids accountability, on the other hand, is a disaster waiting to happen. If no one learns from mistakes, no progress is being made, and there’s no guarantee that the mistakes won’t be made all over again.
An accountable manager knows when they need to take responsibility for both successes and failures.
Managers that are not accountable can easily lose the respect of their workers. When a manager is not accountable, workers’ productivity goes down, which will hurt the profits of the business.
Organization is extremely important for a business manager. If you’re going to be an effective manager, you must have at least a vague idea of where things are at all times.
That includes payroll, receipts, shipments, and more. Everything needs to have a proper place, and you should be able to find what you’re looking for, wherever it may be.
Organization is one of the main skills for business that is most often forgotten about. Business management needs to be organized so affairs are always in order. Plus, being well organized lets you know that minor details are not being overlooked.
Employees that work for well-organized companies are able to be direct with their tasks so that no time or energy is wasted. When a business is disorganized, it slows down productivity and thus reduces profits.
Additional Skills for Business Management That Are Sometimes Overlooked
While these seven skills are among the most important for anyone aspiring to be a business manager, there are others that help accentuate your application.
According to a 2020 report by LinkedIn, the most in-demand skills tend to be “soft skills” that are human-centric.
- Adaptability, and
- Emotional intelligence.
In other words, businesses are looking for managers who not only excel at communication, but also have a great degree of social awareness. This is something to keep in mind when seeking a career in business management.
Learn More About Business Management
These are some of the most important skills that a business manager needs.
If you’re looking to learn more about these and other business management skills, there are a few courses out there, like the business management course at Stratford Career Institute, that can jump start you onto the right path.
Interested in learning more about a career in business management? Download our guide to Business Management Education below!
Think Business Management Could Be Right For You?
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