What Does it Take to Be a Successful Small Business Manager

Running a small business means solving real-time issues and making strategic decisions with lasting ramifications on its long-term success. From hiring appropriately to selecting tools that make up an efficient marketing stack, effective management requires consideration of many elements.

Gallup research indicates that leadership, employee engagement and effective communication are three crucial abilities needed for small business managers. So how can these vital skills be acquired?

Business Planning

Small businesses bring character and unique services to their local communities. As such, they require qualified individuals to oversee day-to-day business operations, manage employees and inventory effectively and maintain strong communication and problem solving abilities as well as the ability to think quickly on their feet and make quick decisions quickly. While these skills may develop naturally over time, an advanced education such as bachelor or master degrees in business administration may help equip learners for this career path.

Small business managers’ primary responsibility lies in making vital financial decisions for their organization. They must balance finances to meet revenue goals while making strategic decisions to expand and grow the business over time. Furthermore, they must identify potential threats and opportunities in their market by staying informed about industry changes and trends.

Small companies differ from larger businesses in that they don’t usually have designated departments for each area of business management, making the small business manager’s role essential to overseeing all aspects of running it successfully, from hiring employees to developing an effective marketing plan. Therefore, it’s essential for such individuals to work well with different people while keeping an eye on the bigger picture.

At a small business, its manager must interact with customers regularly. This may involve answering customer inquiries and providing assistance regarding products or services, which can be challenging if one does not feel at ease with dealing with people directly. However, positive relationships between a small company and its customers is essential for long-term survival in its market niche.

One of the main challenges of managing a small business is never having enough time to complete all your tasks. That’s why it’s essential that small business managers have tools in place that streamline their workflow, such as having automated reports delivered straight to their inbox or software that manages accounting and employee management – these will all save them both time and effort in getting things done efficiently.

Employee Management

Small business managers face the most difficulty managing people. This means creating employee schedules, hiring new workers, training them up and evaluating their performance; as well as keeping an eye on employee satisfaction through frequent and brief surveys. Our products provide smart tools to interpret feedback in a meaningful way so managers can use this insight for actionable insights for their teams.

Recruitment is another key component of employee management, which entails developing clear job descriptions, conducting extensive research to find suitable jobseekers, and narrowing down lists of potential candidates. Furthermore, creating open communication channels between employees allows them to express their ideas and feelings regarding company culture easily and open up dialogue channels that help employees express them freely. It’s also crucial for hourly employees to keep track of how many hours they work each week in order to manage payroll efficiently.

Small business managers also bear responsibility for making decisions that have an outsized effect on the success of the company, such as implementing new marketing strategies or opening second locations, or dismissing employees. It is crucial that these decisions are made quickly with confidence in making quick decisions and acting fast when required.

Due to the complexity of running a small business, most small business managers possess both on-the-job experience and education in business administration – often an associate degree combined with several years as an on-the-job manager or an advanced degree like master of business administration is sufficient. Either way, their career paths typically lead to becoming managers.

Over time, a small business manager will become familiar with all of the fundamental business processes. Over time, they may develop confidence with their skills and move onto other career goals such as starting their own companies or shifting into more specialized fields of business; or perhaps enroll in graduate study for something like entrepreneurship or leadership.

Customer Service

Customer service is essential to the success of any small business. Customers expect immediate assistance via your website, social media pages, emails or phone calls. Low-cost customer support systems exist that enable your team to easily field consumer inquiries from one user-friendly platform, without transferring customers from agent to agent – thus decreasing any chance of their problem being lost in translation. Your site can serve as an excellent way to expand and update its knowledge base with product documentation, how-tos, white papers and frequently asked questions (FAQs). In addition, customers may be invited to write reviews or testimonials about their experiences with your company – creating brand recognition and building customer loyalty.


Communication between businesses and their target consumers is of the utmost importance for success, so small business managers must know how to best use marketing tools and strategies in order to bring customers in. Small business managers may perform this role alone or collaborate closely with members of their team so that the goals of the company are reached.

One of the key skills for successful small business managers is being able to think quickly on their feet and make quick decisions, particularly if managing multiple employees at once. A good manager must have an eye for seeing the larger picture when it comes to their team’s performance and company goals – this becomes especially essential if working with people with different skill sets than themselves.

An effective small business manager must also remain open to new learning opportunities, since business management is always evolving. New marketing techniques may enable small businesses to reach more customers faster while new tools may streamline certain aspects of administration.

Small business managers usually develop the necessary skills and knowledge through on-the-job training or formal education from a college or university, although some may bring with them previous experience from prior roles that can be applied directly to their current one.

So it is quite typical of small business managers to be an all-rounder, excelling at some areas while struggling with others. That is perfectly okay as long as they understand their overall role and can handle the tasks on their own without needing outside help – for instance FreshBooks provides various products designed to make this easier than ever!