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Hiring a Business Manager: How to Find and Recruit Top Talent

24 Mar 2023

Your employees are the beating heart of your business. While you may have a lot of input in the day-to-day operations, it is your employees who will do the majority of the heavy lifting. As the business owner, you want to ensure you're hiring the best people and developing them into the perfect candidate.

It can be tempting, especially in small businesses, for business owners to handle everything themselves. While this is an admirable compulsion, it can quickly lead to burnout as the daily tasks start to pile up. 

With a business manager at the helm, you'll be able to focus on what you do best: providing exceptional service and products to your customers. Plus, you'll have peace of mind knowing that your business is in good hands and that you have a dedicated team member working to ensure your success.

What are business managers?

In layman's terms, a business manager is a high-level employee that handles all of the company's operations that the business owner does not handle. These operations can reach across the entire business and include both practical and administrative tasks, including daily projects and team management.

A good manager will have a mixture of skills that allow them to fill the gaps in your workforce while also being able to direct your other employees to where they are needed in your absence. While the preferred skills for business managers do differ slightly between hospitality and retail businesses, there is a significant crossover.

Some companies that don't have either the funds or the infrastructure may choose to engage the services of an online business manager instead. An online business manager is a remote freelancer who can help your company improve your processes over a fixed period (outlined in their contract). This virtual support professional can help keep the operations of your company running smoothly by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), and measuring progress against your goals. 

What does a business manager do?

The best business managers can turn their hand towards a wide variety of jobs and operations, but the basic job is essentially the same across different sectors and industries. 

A business manager is an individual that supervises the day-to-day operations of a business, while identifying ways to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the workforce.

Business managers often report directly to the owner of the business and so have a prominent place in the company hierarchy. It's not unusual for an experienced business manager to split their time between multiple franchises.

In essence, a business manager should be concerned with handling the on-the-ground processes while the owner concentrates on business growth.

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Why should you hire a business manager?

There are many different reasons for hiring a business manager. The right person can have a huge positive impact on a business and your company culture. As the company grows, finding qualified managers will become a necessity as you simply won't be able to do everything yourself. And by employing a business manager, it allows you to step away from the day-to-day responsibilities to focus instead on other tasks, such as company strategy and vision, partnerships or brand development.

Below, we've compiled a list of the top reasons you may decide to hire a business manager.

Schedule management

It's understandable that you want to give your business your complete attention. Unfortunately, we can't be everywhere at once and taking on too many tasks yourself can lead to burnout and missed opportunities.

By delegating some of your daily jobs to a business manager, you can free up your schedule. Time management is vital when you’re developing your processes and a great business manager can make all the difference.

With more time, you can focus on pursuing new opportunities for the company and work on business growth. If you're more of a hands-on owner and prefer to stay close to the company, a freelancer like an online business manager can look for these opportunities for you.

Revenue stagnation

While operating a business on your own, it can be common for your revenue to naturally plateau. While a plateau doesn't necessarily mean the business will fail, it can be distressing for owners and lead to stagnation further down the line.

When revenue begins to stall, it can be useful to step back and get a fresh set of eyes on the problem. This is where a business manager comes in. A new manager can analyse the problems your business may be experiencing and prescribe ways your team could overcome the issues.

Employee management

In any business, there are a thousand and one little tasks that need to be done each day to ensure things run smoothly. Managing employees is a never-ending job that will take up the majority of your time if you don't delegate.

A big part of any business manager job description is managing employees. This includes maintaining the standard expected of current employees and training up new employees so that they can be an effective part of the team. This frees up time for the owner to focus on growth and admin.

Due to the fact that your employees will be direct reports to your business manager, it's important that the organisation hierarchy is clearly laid out and that the company culture is healthy and supportive.

To ensure things run smoothly, you should ensure that your business manager has excellent interpersonal skills and is adept at building relationships throughout the company. The ability to show leadership and communication skills is integral to the success of new managers. This will create a work environment geared toward mutual respect and growth.

When should you hire a business manager?

If you're running a hospitality or retail business, there may come a time when you'll want to consider bringing on a business manager to help take your company to the next level. The good news is that it's never too early to start thinking about hiring a business manager for your company. 

However, many companies think they must reach a certain size before they can look to employ a business manager. This is not the case! What many businesses don’t realise is that the size of your company is less important than the specific needs and challenges that you're facing. In fact, many small and medium-sized businesses have found that bringing on a business manager can be a game-changer in terms of growth and success. (The size of your company may only affect the rank of the business manager - more on that in the next section.)

Here are a few examples of when it might be the right time to hire a business manager:

  • Limited availability of leadership: If you feel you’re wearing too many hats, and you're struggling to keep up with the demands of running the day-to-day operations while also focusing on strategic planning and long-term growth, a business manager will free up your time. 
  • Innovation to grow: If you're noticing a stagnation or decline in sales or customer satisfaction, and you need someone with a fresh perspective to come in and revamp your business strategy.
  • Need for specialized expertise: If your hospitality or retail business is facing complex challenges that require specialized expertise. For example, if you're expanding into new markets, launching a new product line, or implementing a major change to your operations.
  • Complexity of operations: It might be time to hire a business manager if your business is experiencing rapid growth, or has a lot of moving parts. They can help you keep things running smoothly or suggest new, more efficient ways of operating.


As the leader of your company - only you will know when it’s the right time. But a business manager can bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to your team, with expertise in areas such as finance, operations, marketing, and human resources. They can help you develop and implement new strategies to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase profitability - all good reasons to bring them onto your team.

What are the ranks in business management?

Depending on the size of the company, there can be several ranks of business managers across the workforce. These managers occupy their own niche and won't generally be found in a small business.

If you operate a medium-sized or larger business, it's important to know these ranks as it will inform your hiring processes. If your hiring managers know what to look for, you'll be able to improve your interview process and attract better candidates with your job posting.

First-line managers

As the name implies, first-line manager is the lowest level management position. These managers are often new to management. They will typically manage low level employees.

First-line management is the first step along the road to the upper-levels. As a result, this is usually the first time these managers will be put in a management position. It's common for these managers to work on the line with the rest of employees and directly interact with customers if they are needed.

Middle managers

Middle managers are in charge of managing first-line managers and facilitating communications between upper management and the lower level employees. These managers can hold a reasonable amount of power within the company, but they still must report to the upper levels.

A middle manager occupies an important position within the business as they have a more strategic role. This means that they must explore new strategies while maintaining the standard of work of their reports.

Top-level managers

Top-level managers sit at the very top of the management ladder. These managers include chief executives and so they will often have over a decade of extensive experience in their industry. Top-level managers report directly to the CEO of the company and are responsible for making high-level business decisions.

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How to hire a business manager

Hiring the right business manager can give your company the boost it needs to reach the next level of success. The business manager job is a difficult one, so you need to make sure you're hiring the ideal candidate. Over the next few sections, we'll be providing you with useful tips to make sure you attract the best of the best.

Where can you find a business manager?

You have several different options as to where you can find your future business manager. These options include:

  • Hiring internally - The best candidate for your business manager job may be sitting right under your nose! Hiring a business manager internally has a number of different benefits. You'll already know the person, they'll be familiar with your company, systems and team, and they'll have a proven track record of their work.
  • Post a job listing - A traditional job listing, posted online or in an industry publication, will net you a wide range of responses. This means you'll have a lot of variety and be able to pick and choose the best candidates.
  • Networking - If you're part of an industry organisation or attend a lot of trade and events, networking can help you find a great candidate. Networking will allow you to meet potential candidates in person and get that all important first impression.

What to include when writing a business manager job description

When trying to attract the right candidates, the job description you post is very important. You need to ensure that the copy is attractive, easy to understand, and covers all of your bases. Making the description overly-complicated doesn't help anyone.

Your job description should include a concise summary of the role, the job responsibilities, and the preferred and required skills of the position. While it isn't mandatory, job board websites have begun to recommend listing the salary you're offering.

The skills and qualifications you’re looking for are some of the most important parts of the job description. While the needs of each business is different, an ideal business manager should generally be a strategic thinker and have the following skills:

  • Prior experience in managing teams
  • Project management
  • Client management
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Strategic thinking
  • Business acumen (in your company’s industry)

After you’ve nailed down which skills you’re looking for, posted up an excellent job description, and had a few enquiries it’s time to invite potential candidates to interview. Remember to ask questions which will reveal if the candidate has these key skills. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. What leadership experience do you have that would make you a good fit for our company?
  2. Tell me about a time when you had to make a tough decision that had a major impact on your organization. How did you approach the situation and what was the outcome?
  3. How do you stay up-to-date with changes in the industry and incorporate that knowledge into your organization's strategy?
  4. Give an example of a project you have managed in the past. How did you ensure that it was completed on time and within budget?
  5. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult employee or team member. How did you handle the situation?
  6. How do you manage risk and ensure that your organization is prepared for unexpected challenges?
  7. Tell me about a time when you had to make a major change to your organization's structure or processes. How did you approach the situation and what was the outcome?
  8. Describe your approach to implementing employee training and development programs.
  9. What is your experience in managing financial operations for a business? How have you ensured that your organization remains profitable and financially stable?

Don’t forget to tailor these to your business’ industry and what you want from your ideal business manager - for instance, you could also ask about creating marketing strategies if you wanted your business manager to take on this role.

By asking these questions, you can get a better sense of whether a candidate is a good fit for your organization and has the skills and experience you're looking for in a business manager. It’s then up to you to pick the best candidate and make the hire!

The best POS for business management

Being a business owner can be a stressful job. With so many spinning plates in the air, anything that can cut down admin and speed up service is a godsend. The Epos Now Complete Solution is the perfect point of sale (POS) system for business management.

The Complete Solution comes with everything you need to start trading including a touchscreen till, sturdy cashbox, and thermal receipt printer. Epos Now customers can take advantage of payment processing services, 24/7 support, and a slew of helpful third and first-party apps.

Bonus: you can train your staff on how to use your new Epos Now POS system in just fifteen minutes. Meaning your new business manager hire won’t be slowed down with long training sessions, and instead can get straight in with making a difference in your business, with a POS that gives you everything necessary to grow your business.

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