The Job Description for a Business Unit Manager

by Julie Davoren; Updated September 26, 2017
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One of the major influences in an increasing trend of corporate performance can be relative to unit-level performance. As head of the business unit, the business unit manager markedly influences the corporation. Strategies applied on the unit level rely on the three components of managerial style: personality traits, background characteristics and managerial behavior.

Characteristics

As a business unit manager, you must be willing to take risks to drive the strategies and effectiveness of your unit. A background in the sales and marketing department is a plus, as this background will help you develop skills in external industry analysis, which in turn makes your team more effective in delivering company objectives. Your leadership abilities and sales and marketing background must be coupled with direct knowledge of your functional area to ensure overall business unit success.

Function

In your role as business unit manager, you will develop and communicate vision and expectation levels to unit members. Your strategy must be reliant upon the strategic direction of corporate vision and company goals. You are tasked to empower, select, coach and retain qualified staff that contributes to unit and company goals. On a group scale, you integrate different team functions and ensure the highest quality performance through feedback and training and development. Coordinating with other managers and directors, you report and integrate policies and objectives.

Experience and Education

To qualify for a business unit manager position, larger firms expect you to possess a bachelor’s degree in business administration, or a similar field, from an accredited college or university. Smaller firms often require only a high-school diploma with related work experience. Many companies require a master’s degree in business, hoping to ensure greater knowledge in handling different functional areas. Additional experience and courses in communications, customer service, business practices and other programs are also a plus.

Salary

Based from researched national salary trends released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average earnings for first-line managers is about $50,000 per year as of May 2009. The pay you receive will depend on your city, the size of the company and the industry, along with your education and experience. You can expect salary increases based on your performance and bonuses based on your unit’s and overall company performance. Additional educational achievements and other experiences outside the office may also increase your salary.

Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that demand for unit managers to increase by 11 percent between 2008 and 2018. Still, expect strong competition as the number of applicants exceeds the number of jobs available. With increased job experience and an impressive portfolio, you can step into the role of business unit manager or transition from that role to higher levels of management. You can also consider lateral moves by exploring other functional areas.

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