Career Development

What Does a General Manager Do?

Find out what a general manager does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a general manager.

General managers are responsible for overseeing all aspects of a company or organization. They commonly manage a team of employees and may also be involved in making strategic decisions about the business’s future.

General managers often have a wide range of responsibilities, but they typically focus on ensuring that their company is operating as efficiently as possible. This might include managing the day-to-day operations of the business, developing new ways to increase revenue, improving customer service, etc.

General Manager Job Duties

A general manager typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Reviewing sales records to determine how well products are selling and whether changes are needed to increase sales
  • Reviewing financial statements and budgets to determine whether the company is operating efficiently and generating a profit
  • Setting goals for the company in terms of sales volume, product quality, customer satisfaction, employee retention rates, and other measures of success
  • Hiring and firing employees depending on business needs, implementing policies and procedures, and conducting performance reviews
  • Establishing and enforcing rules and regulations for employees based on industry standards and legal requirements
  • Evaluating the performance of employees and making decisions about hiring, firing, promotions, and pay raises
  • Planning and organizing department activities, such as setting budgets, hiring staff, ordering supplies, developing marketing campaigns, and managing inventory levels
  • Reviewing applications from prospective employees and interviewing candidates to determine who will be hired
  • Overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company to ensure that it runs smoothly

General Manager Salary & Outlook

General managers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses and commissions.

  • Median Annual Salary: $76,500 ($36.78/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $122,000 ($58.65/hour)

The employment of general managers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by the need for general managers in healthcare and social assistance industries, particularly home health care services. As the large baby-boom population ages and people live longer, demand for healthcare services is expected to increase. In addition, the aging of the population will lead to greater demand for social services provided by general managers in social services and community organizations.

Related: In-Depth General Manager Salary Guide

General Manager Job Requirements

A general manager typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: General managers are typically required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration, management or a related field. Some employers may accept candidates with a high school diploma or GED along with relevant work experience.

Many employers prefer candidates who have completed a formal business education program, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA). An MBA program typically takes two years to complete and includes coursework in business management, accounting, finance, marketing and economics.

Training & Experience: Many general managers begin their careers in entry-level positions in the hospitality industry. They often work their way up from a front desk agent, server or kitchen worker to a shift manager or assistant manager. Some general managers begin their careers in the military, where they learn leadership and management skills.

Once hired, a general manager will receive on-the-job training from their employer. This training may include learning the company’s policies and procedures, the computer system they use to manage the business and the inventory management system they use. The training may also include shadowing the current general manager to learn how to manage the business.

Certifications & Licenses: Some employers may require employees to pass an industry-specific certification to show their general understanding of the field.

General Manager Skills

General managers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Leadership: General managers often have strong leadership skills, which can help them motivate their teams and improve productivity. Leadership skills can also help you develop and implement company-wide initiatives. Effective leaders can also inspire their teams to work together and help each other.

Communication: General managers must be able to communicate effectively with their team, clients and other stakeholders. This includes verbal and written communication, as well as nonverbal communication. General managers should be able to explain complex ideas in a way that their team can understand, and they should be able to listen to their team’s ideas and feedback.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills allow you to identify issues and develop solutions to overcome them. General managers often need to solve problems that arise in the workplace, such as employee disputes or workplace safety issues. You can also use problem-solving skills to find ways to improve the company’s performance and increase revenue.

Organization: General managers often have excellent organizational skills, which can help them manage their time and responsibilities effectively. Organization skills can also help you delegate tasks to your team members and ensure that your team is working on the right projects at the right times.

Decision-making: General managers make decisions every day, and the quality of those decisions can have a significant impact on the success of their business. Effective decision-makers can make sound choices based on the information they have available and can weigh the potential outcomes of each option. General managers can use their decision-making skills to make informed choices about their business’s operations, marketing strategies, human resources and more.

General Manager Work Environment

General managers typically work long hours, including evenings and weekends. They are often on call 24 hours a day to deal with emergencies that arise in their businesses. They may travel frequently to visit their company’s various locations or to attend meetings or conferences. The work can be stressful, and managers must be able to handle pressure and make quick decisions. They must also be able to motivate and lead their employees to achieve the company’s goals.

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.

The Need for a More Agile Workforce

The trend of agile work is becoming increasingly popular as businesses look for ways to be more efficient and productive. This means that general managers will need to be able to manage a more agile workforce, which requires a different set of skills and abilities.

General managers can adapt to this trend by learning how to be more flexible and understanding the needs of their employees. They can also focus on creating a culture of trust and transparency, which will help them build a better relationship with their team.

A Greater Focus on Customer Experience

As customers become more demanding, businesses are beginning to focus on customer experience as a way to differentiate themselves from the competition. This means that general managers will need to focus on providing an exceptional customer experience in order to keep customers coming back.

To do this, general managers will need to understand what makes customers happy and then find ways to provide that experience. This may include things like improving the quality of products or services, or making sure that customers are treated well.

Greater Use of Technology

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the workplace, as businesses are starting to use it to improve efficiency and productivity. This is leading to a greater use of technology in general manager roles, as they are now responsible for overseeing the use of technology within their company.

As technology becomes more prevalent in the workplace, general managers will need to learn how to use it effectively in order to stay competitive. This includes learning how to use software tools to manage projects and communicate with employees.

How to Become a General Manager

General managers can have a variety of career paths. They may choose to specialize in a particular area, such as human resources, marketing, or operations. Or they may decide to become generalists and work in many different areas of the company.

No matter which path they choose, general managers must be able to think strategically and see the big picture. They must also be able to manage people effectively and build strong teams. Communication skills are essential, as are problem-solving skills and an ability to handle difficult situations calmly and efficiently.

Related: How to Write a General Manager Resume

Advancement Prospects

The best way to advance in this career is to get promoted from within. General managers who have worked their way up through the ranks of a company are usually the most successful. Those who have been with the company for a long time and have a good track record are usually the first in line for promotions.

Those who have a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field may have an advantage when it comes to getting promoted. Those who have an MBA or other advanced degree may be able to move into upper management positions.

Those who have good people skills and are able to motivate and lead others are usually the most successful in this career. Those who are able to make decisions quickly and efficiently are also in high demand.

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