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Business Manager vs. General Manager: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A business manager and general manager are both responsible for the overall success of their company. However, their day-to-day responsibilities, educational requirements and skillsets differ. In this article, we compare and contrast the job titles of business manager and general manager. We also provide an overview of what each position entails and the necessary skills for each role.

What is a Business Manager?

The Business Manager is responsible for the financial and business operations of the company. They develop and oversee budgets, prepare financial reports, manage payroll and employee benefits, and ensure that the company complies with all applicable laws and regulations. The Business Manager works closely with the company’s leadership team to develop and implement strategic plans. They also work with other departments to ensure that the company’s financial goals are met.

What is a General Manager?

A General Manager is responsible for the overall operation of a business or company. They develop and implement strategies to ensure the company meets its goals and objectives. General Managers work closely with other executives to develop plans and budgets. They also oversee the company’s day-to-day operations, including its sales, marketing, finance, human resources and customer service departments. General Managers typically have a wide range of responsibilities, and their duties can vary depending on the size and type of company they work for.

Business Manager vs. General Manager

Here are the main differences between a business manager and a general manager.

Job Duties

Job duties for business managers and general managers can differ, as each of these roles oversees different parts of a business. Business managers typically focus on the operations of a business, including sales, marketing, human resources and finance. General managers oversee the day-to-day operations of a department or team, ensuring that employees have the tools and support they need to perform their jobs effectively. While both types of managers work with teams to set goals, general managers often provide feedback and offer solutions for improvement, while business managers usually present information about performance to provide context for future planning.

Job Requirements

The job requirements for business managers and general managers vary depending on the size of the company they work for. In small businesses, business managers might only need a high school diploma or equivalent, but larger companies usually prefer candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field. Additionally, many business managers and general managers have several years of experience working in management before being promoted to their current position. Some also pursue certifications through professional organizations, such as the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) or the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Work Environment

General managers and business managers can work in a variety of environments, depending on the industry they’re working in. Business managers often work in an office setting where they can collaborate with other employees to make decisions about their company’s future. General managers may also work in an office environment but may travel more frequently than business managers because they oversee multiple locations for their companies.

Business managers typically work during regular business hours, while general managers may work overtime or weekends as needed. Some general managers may work in manufacturing facilities or construction sites, depending on the type of business they manage.


There are several similarities in the skills used by business managers and general managers. Both roles require excellent communication, interpersonal, problem-solving and decision-making skills. They also both need to be able to develop and implement strategies, as well as manage budgets and resources.

However, there are some key differences in the skills used by these two types of managers. Business managers typically need to have strong marketing and sales skills to help them promote their company’s products or services. They also need to be able to identify new business opportunities and understand how to capitalize on them. General managers, on the other hand, tend to focus more on the operational side of things. They need to be able to efficiently run day-to-day operations, as well as plan for long-term growth. They also benefit from having a deep understanding of their industry and the competitive landscape.


The average salary for a business manager is $71,275 per year, while the average salary for a general manager is $63,331 per year. Both of these salaries can vary depending on the size of the company, the industry in which the company operates and the level of experience the manager has.


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