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Oct 16

Basic Business Management Skills That Managers Need to Have (1)

basic business management

Business Management

The verb “manage” came from the Italian “maneggiare” which means handling (referred to a horse, at that time), derived from the Latin “manus” meaning hand. In the 17th and 18th centuries, meaning of the English “management” evolved from the Old French “mesnage”.

“Management is the art of getting things done through people”, says management consultant Mary Parker Follett. People are perhaps the most valuable resource of a business. But there are others, like financial resources, infrastructural resources, inventory, and technology, whose optimum use is essential for effective business management. According to Peter Drucker, “Managers give direction to their organizations, provide leadership, and decide how to use organizational resources to accomplish goals”.

Management skills are classified as political (used in building power and business networking), conceptual (used in analysis of situations), diagnostic (used in taking an action in response to a situation), technical (domain knowledge), and interpersonal (people skills).

Frenchman Henri Fayol describes management as a composition of five functions, namely planning, organizing, commanding, coordination, and control. Modern texts have reduced them to four, which include, planning, organizing, leading, and  controlling.

Planning
Planning involves identification of your business goal and finding the way to reach it. It involves the estimation of various costs that will be incurred and evaluation of the time required to attain the business goal. A business plan has to be documented and reviewed on a regular basis. A plan is worth it if the attainment of the business goal is feasible with the allocated resources.

Organizing
It involves the assignment of tasks and allocation of resources throughout the business organization. It includes determining the primary goals of the business and strategies to reach them. It includes division of activities into tasks and assignment of the tasks to suitable and deserving employees.

Commanding
Commanding or leading is a management skill in itself. A true leader builds confidence in his followers and instills a feeling of admiration in them. He develops in them a sense of commitment towards business. A leader influences others to follow him. Understanding the need of the time, leaders need to be flexible and adaptable to change. They should help encourage the development of flexibility and  adaptability in the team members.

Being innovative is important for business growth. Leaders need to be open to new ideas, they need to innovate, bring in positive change as and when needed, and progress. Progress is hardly possible without innovation. A leader should not just dream big but also provide his followers with a framework to fulfill those dreams. Innovation includes both imagination and action in accordance with it.

Delegation is another important aspect of leading. It refers to allocation of tasks to the right people. It involves entrusting deserving candidates with work that they can do best.

Coordination
Coordination involves effective communication between team members and across teams. It is useful in tracking activities towards achievement of goals. Mary Parker Follett, an American social worker and management consultant, says that coordination is the “Plus value of the group”. That is, a well coordinated group can achieve more. Coordination involves integrating and synchronizing the efforts of team members towards fulfillment of a common goal. It is crucial for taking decisions about the future lines of action.

Control
Control refers to setting standards, ensuring that the performance meets the set standards, and taking corrective action as and when necessary. Taking a corrective action needs prior analysis of the causes of performance deficit. Control is best implemented in the form of able guidance given to employees by their manager. Evaluations are necessary to track employee and business performance.

Coordination and control are important for the success of a business. Business is ‘busy ness’. In simple words, it refers to the act of being busy in productive work. Management is the process of measurement of the amount of work being done. It also involves assessing the quality of work and productivity.

Business management skills cannot be confined to the definition of any one management theorist. The definition of management has evolved over time and the role of a business manager is no longer limited to only planning work and overseeing its execution.

Considering the competition and changing market trends, a business manager needs to be a thinker and communicator. He needs to have an in depth understanding of his business and its resources. Here, we look at these and certain other skills that make a good business manager.

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