The Basics of Business Management: What Skills You Need to Know

Today’s business world requires a certain skill set in order to manage business in an effective manner. This includes the efficient management of the most important asset any business can have: its employees. Providing the leadership necessary for the success of any company means having a manager who can accomplish business goals and give an overall direction for the company to work towards.

There are five skills that any business manager needs to know:

•    Planning: Setting an easily identifiable goal for your business is the first step. Then you need to decide how your business is going to get there, including how much it will cost and how long it will take to reach those goals. A business plan should be written with an eye on the strengths and weaknesses of each individual business as well as how the business can best grow in the future. This can be altered later on if the original goal is not within means or if the needs of the business change.

Organization•    Organization: At first, it might have just been the business owner who handled everything about the company. The hardest thing any business owner might have to do is to delegate responsibilities as the company grows. As the business plan evolves it should include a discussion on how to best divide responsibilities to employees.

•    Command: Employees need direction for the most efficient operation of the business, and a leader who understands the business plan is a must. They should encourage others to keep within the needs of the company while also being flexible about how to meet those needs (i.e. be innovative) within the timeframe required. The best management leaders inspire the people below him or her to be fully committed to the company.

•    Coordination: The need of communication and coordination is vital for any company, no matter their size. Each branch or department should know what other parts of the business are doing in order to operate as one unit. That allows the business to work efficiently towards the common goal of business success. A lack of communication is a major pitfall for companies to avoid.

•    Control: Owning a business means setting a standard of service that managers should strive to go above and beyond to meet. This can be as simple as management holding meetings to make sure everyone knows the guidelines needed to do just that. It doesn’t necessarily mean managers have to micromanage everything. In fact, keeping things low key can often encourage productivity because the workers are not stressed about it. Think back to the business plan you’ve created. Managers should keep that plan in their mind as they works towards the goals outlined there. There should be a balance between getting something done quickly at less cost and making sure that what is done results in meeting the goals of the business. Prioritize what is important versus what is truly urgently demanding attention.

Business management means managing everything to do with a business. While it’s true that a good accounting or marketing class will help, having the people skills necessary to oversee employees is vital. Anticipating both the needs of the business and the future needs of its customers is an important skill for managers to have. A business plan is all well and good but the right manager makes sure those goals are reached.

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