The general manager (GM) typically oversees the overall business operations of a company. The GM is a top-level executive with a strong understanding of the industry they work in, as well as a broad understanding of business management. The GM reports directly to the CEO, company owner, or board of directors.
The GM typically works with other executives to develop the business goals and strategies and then makes sure that plans are properly implemented to achieve the goals. In order to ensure smooth company operations, some of their typical responsibilities are overseeing the financial operations, appointing new staff, handling disciplinary measures, and managing the marketing and sales efforts of the company.
GMs’ responsibilities vary depending on the size and industry they work in. In smaller organizations, GMs may be more involved in day-to-day operations whilst in larger organizations, they tend to be more hands-off while delegating day-to-day responsibilities to other managers and supervisors.
General Manager Job Duties
General Managers (GMs) have a wide range of responsibilities which include the following duties:
- Making strategic business decisions, and contributing to setting the company’s vision and goals
- Providing leadership and guidance to their teams in accordance with the organization’s mission and goals
- Overseeing the company’s policies and procedures as well as the business operations to ensure quality, efficiency, and success
- Overseeing the financial performance and activities of the company by reviewing reports, monitoring budgets, and managing expenditure
- Ensuring the provision of relevant training to employees, so they can meet their job requirements with quality and safety in the work environment
- Ensuring that the company complies with relevant legal requirements and industry standards
General managers are senior executives with a wide range of responsibilities that can vary depending on the size and industry of the business they oversee. They are responsible for oversight of the business.
General Manager Salary & Outlook
As of May 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for general managers is $103,650. The top-earning 10% of professionals in this field were earning more than $208,000 annually.
The demand for general managers is expected to remain high, as many organizations are still struggling to adapt to the changing business environment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of job openings for general managers will increase by 9% over the next decade.
General Manager Job Requirements
The requirements for General Managers are as follows:
Education: A bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field is required for general managers. They may also need a master’s degree, especially if they want to work for a large company.
Experience: Most employers require at least ten years of experience in the industry, although this requirement may vary depending on the size of the company. Most employers prefer candidates who have worked their way up through the ranks.
Certifications & Licenses: Certifications and licenses are not required for this job, but they can be beneficial to a general manager’s career and earning potential.
General Manager Skills
In addition to industry knowledge, a general manager (GM) needs to have the following skills:
Leadership skills: General managers hold key leadership positions, so they require strong leadership skills. The general manager must be able to confidently lead a team to success.
Business acumen skills: General managers must have a solid understanding of business principles as well as relevant industry knowledge in order to make effective business decisions.
Organizational skills: A general manager must have excellent organizational skills in order to effectively oversee the operations of a business.
Problem-solving skills: General managers need to identify and solve problems effectively and quickly to keep the business running smoothly. It is important for the GM to have his finger on the pulse of the business.
Interpersonal skills: As key leaders, general managers must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills. They must be able to deal with conflict in a productive manner that avoids or minimizes disruption to the business.
General Manager Work Environment
General managers typically work in office environments, but they may also work in the field, depending on the nature of the business. This senior role is a high-visibility position that requires extensive people skills across all levels including supervising managers.
The GM has a high level of responsibility within a company which can be mentally demanding. It is crucial that GMs know how to manage stress and resolve stressful situations. As executives, GMs are typically required to travel for conferences and meetings.
General Manager Career Advancement
To become a general manager, you need to have a high level of skill and experience. You should have been responsible for managing a variety of different employees from different departments. In addition, you must have solid communication skills and be able to motivate your employees to perform at their best.
You’ll also need to understand the legal and regulatory issues involved in your industry. And you’ll need to stay on top of current trends and events that could affect your company or customers.
While several industries require professional certifications, general management positions rarely do. Most employers want to see that you’re intelligent, hardworking, and well-rounded. They want someone who’s eager to take on new challenges and who’s willing to put in the time and effort necessary to succeed.
General Manager Trends
Here are three trends influencing how general managers work. General Managers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.
More and more, we are seeing that the best technology for business comes from companies outside of the industry. Technology such as software as a service (SaaS) can allow managers to focus on providing services to customers instead of wasting time trying to navigate through the nuances of technological platforms and learning how to use them properly.
This is especially true in restaurants, where chefs and managers spend a great deal of time and energy perfecting recipes and overseeing operations. For many restaurant owners, keeping up with social media trends and managing websites is enough work without worrying about what type of technology they should be using or how to implement it into their daily routine.
Benefits of Flexible Scheduling
It is not surprising that many businesses are opting for flexible scheduling to help reduce costs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average U.S. worker puts in 8.6 hours of work each day, while Canadians clock in an average of 42 hours per week.
This can cause problems for workers who have other commitments, such as childcare or classes, and must adjust their schedules accordingly—and since all employees are likely dealing with these issues at some point in their careers, it is only logical that businesses will eventually follow suit and start offering this benefit to avoid losing valuable employees to competitors.
Increasing Importance of Emotional Intelligence
The ability to manage emotions and relationships is one of the most important skills for general managers today, as they must effectively balance between communicating with staff, understanding their needs, and creating a positive work environment.
Developing strong emotional intelligence can be an important factor in whether or not a general manager can meet these goals and lead an effective team.
How to Become a General Manager
1. Planning Your Career Path
If you’re thinking about becoming a general manager, it’s important to consider whether this position is right for your personality. General managers should be able to prioritize multiple responsibilities while still delivering excellent results. Another consideration is your social skills; general managers are responsible for interacting with staff, clients, and even other companies on behalf of their company.
Once you’ve decided that becoming a general manager is the right career path for you, take the time to learn more about specific roles in the industry; there are many different types of general managers based on your area of interest (marketing, operations, etc.). It’s also helpful to know that many GMs work long hours and travel frequently; if these demands aren’t something you can handle, then working as an individual contributor would likely be easier.
2. Writing a Resume
A general manager’s resume should emphasize two key aspects: a detailed list of skills and proven accomplishments, and success stories. It is also essential to demonstrate your understanding of the industry through clear descriptions of what you have done in past positions.
General managers should tailor their resumes for each position they are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a role at Google then it would be best to include tech and coding skills first. When listing skills in general, avoid making broad statements. Instead state specific skills relevant to the position applied for (i.e., proficiency with Salesforce).
Successful general managers rely heavily on track records of achievements and successes that they can bring into interviews; these show both how capable the candidate is now and how easily he/she will fit into a company culture. This section may consist of many different items, including managerial experience, successful projects completed under pressure, or collaborative team building efforts among peers – anything that demonstrates an individual’s talents in practice. Be sure to use numbers when talking about your achievements or contributions in past roles. For example, it would be better to say “led an international team of 25 employees” rather than “managed a team of employees.”
Next, list any relevant education. For example, if you have a degree in business management or marketing, include that on your resume so potential employers know about your qualifications and educational background. Finally, if you have other accomplishments or certifications to list, include those as well.
3. Applying for Jobs
A general manager can work in a variety of different environments, from a restaurant to a store to a hotel. The most important thing is to make sure you know what you’re looking for before you start applying for jobs. To do this, consider talking to people who work in the industry and asking them about their jobs. To be successful, you should network and attend as many events as possible to meet the right people and learn about trends in the industry.
You can also look at job listings online and find out which employers are hiring. You can find general manager jobs on LinkedIn, Monster, and CareerBuilder. Another option is to contact companies that interest you directly and ask them about available positions.
4. Ace the Interview
To prepare for an interview as a general manager candidate, you will want to research the company and industry and identify specific challenges that might require your attention. Think about how you would address these challenges if you were hired and what kind of results you would expect to see within the first few months. Also, make sure you’re familiar with the business’s financial goals and performance expectations so you can demonstrate how you will help meet them.
You may need to meet with more than one person during the interview process, so make sure you’re prepared to represent yourself well in all situations. Also, try to make a good first impression by dressing professionally and being on time for your interview. Remember that it is a good idea to come up with a few questions for the interviewer before the interview.