Studying for a business degree is like giving yourself a passport. You can work in all kinds of professions, take on a wide range of roles and be attractive to a greater variety of employers. Business management is a diverse field, which requires professionals to apply traditional and modern techniques and principles. Whether you are considering a Master of commerce or a certificate in business management, the skills matrix is aimed at the same areas.
If you are studying business management or plan to and would like to understand what the most desirable skills are in business management, let’s cover them.
Business analysis and forecasting
Professional business managers are good at assessing the viability and potential of a business and can forecast future performance. They do this by interpreting data and looking at trends in the market.
While this is a theoretical understanding, they also bring real-world experience to give these insights greater context. Having the knowledge and confidence to understand a business and make strategic decisions based on analysis is one of the most desirable skills a business manager can possess.
Many business managers will manage people, but that’s not to say they do it well. People management is a specialty in itself and a very desirable skill to hold, whether you are building up a team from scratch or entering a mature business with a long-standing staff. People management requires patience, empathy, an understanding of inclusivity, and a genuine interest in the progress and goals of staff members. A supported team is an engaged team, and an engaged team is more likely to contribute to positive results for a business manager.
Often it is whoever is in charge who manages the business costs. This can sometimes lead to budget blowouts if a skilled business manager is not taking on these tasks. A business manager should have the experience to identify what qualities to look for in a supplier, partner, manufacturer, and commercial lease. This is a very desirable skill as no management team or board wants to pay more than is required to find that the budget is tied up in areas that are not revenue-generating.
It’s also worth noting that managing costs will mean different things for business managers. Some organizations will want to trim money on overheads, whereas some will want to cut down on the employee count in favor of outsourcing. Business managers need to understand the context and priorities of the business and manage costs in a way that will not challenge the growth of the business.
Stakeholder engagement is a desirable skill for any progressional, but it is especially important for business managers. Stakeholder engagement is all about communication and transparency and keeping your fellow managers, board and partners in the loop about what is happening in the business.
You may wish to do quarterly presentations for your stakeholders or you might prefer a more casual conversation on a fortnightly basis. Business stakeholders will have an investment in the performance of the business, whether it is financial interest or influence, so knowing how to manage this responsibility is a desirable skill to have.
There are times when a business manager does not have a solution, and this is when collaboration can be highly effective. A competent business manager will have an open line of communication with all members of the business so they can problem-solve appropriately and leverage the shared knowledge of the business.
When business managers do not collaborate with other members of the business and instead make assumptions, this is when business owners can run into real issues and miss opportunities.
These are some fantastic skills that a business manager can possess and great outcomes from studying business management or commerce. The mix of theoretical study and real-world experience will make for an excellent business manager.