Business Manager – Vital Cog in Business Enterprises

A Business Manager is a professional who is entrusted with the job of managing a business firm or a corporate enterprise or a private enterprise on behalf of a company or individual with the outcome of earning profits and revenues. There are several areas where a Business Manager can use his or her knowledge and expertise to serve – accounting, auditing, budgeting and taxes, data processing and analysis, finance, HR and personnel, marketing and public relations, operations analysis, purchasing and so on. Besides there are also specific technical areas in which a Business Manager can have specialized knowledge and skills like computer programming, e-commerce, law, science etc.

Even small businesses or home businesses sometimes typically have Managers doing multiple roles that focus on the company’s marketability and reach. In such a scenario, the Business Manager shares much of the owner’s duties and responsibilities in running the business successfully and in some cases, earning a share of the profits.

There is no doubt that the role of a Manager is very essential and crucial to a business. As we have seen in the modern era, even artists and private individuals like musicians, dancers, painters, writers, sportspersons etc. have Managers who manager their business affairs, professional commitments and financial matters. Hence, the role of a Manager cannot be taken lightly. In the context of a governmental agency or a military agency, the position of Business Manager would be equivalent to that of an Executive Officer or a Chief of Staff.

Functions or Role

Overseeing the operations in small, large or private enterprises involves many specific functions. Generally, the duties of a Business Manager extend to:

• Developing and implementing budgets
• Fixing business goals and targets
• Hiring, training and evaluating employees
• Supervising and overseeing duties of support staff
• Handling payments and contracts
• Managing business commitments, travel schedules etc.

Qualifications

Most Managers require a basic qualification of a bachelor’s degree in Business Management which has many in-built modules in tandem with the duties listed above. They also need to have excellent communication skills, great inter-personal relations, be adept in promotional and marketing abilities and have contacts with media agencies and networks. In many businesses, salespersons who have worked through the company for many years handling several responsibilities are promoted to Managers levels and entrusted with greater responsibility.

Public profile

In a private enterprise such as a Manager handling the portfolio of an artist or sportsperson, the role of a Business Manager is very much in the public eye. Several past business managers have been caught in financial and personal scandals ranging from negligence of professional commitments to fraudulent practices in financial matters, illegal and unethical management of assets, swindling of revenues etc. which can be a serious setback to professional enterprise.

Business Management Software – How Do They Help Business Managers?

There are Enterprise Resource Planning systems that help manage huge global corporations and small business management software that are easier to deploy and use.

Small business management software can be a suite of programs for office work or specialized packages such as accounting, inventory management, fleet management or point of sale software. There are also industry specific business applications such as school management and retail management software.

How do Business Software Help Businesses?

Speeding up business processes is one major way that software helps businesses. For example, word processing has transformed the speed of creating, editing, storing and retrieving business documents. Just think of the typewriter days when any significant revisions would have involved retyping the whole document, and of the cumbersome practice of using carbon paper to create multiple copies of a document (some of which might never be used, resulting in wastage of paper).

With a typical office suite these days, you can do several things. You can create documents on demand, do elaborate computations, develop fantastic sales presentations and manage large databases storing information about customers, orders, sales and other business transactions.

Functional applications extended the advantages of using a computer to cover more business processes. Business accounting software, for example, not only speeds up the accounting process but also improves the quality of accounting, budgeting and reporting. It was now possible to generate elaborate analytical reports that would have simply been impracticable to compile using handwritten processes.

All the major key result areas benefited from the use of specialized management software. Inventory management software helped keep track of stock levels of all inventory items and monitoring them against minimum, maximum and re-order levels, for example. Manufacturing software enabled managers to have a clear picture of the up-to-date status of operations on the factory shop floor at all times. Scheduling software enabled them to develop shift working schedules based on complex criteria in a manner that did not overburden any worker.

While project management software helped project managers execute projects within allowed times and costs, asset management software helped protect physical assets of the business. Compliance with complex government regulations was another area where business software helped.

Web Applications add a new Dimension

Web applications such as e-mail and instant messaging transformed the communication scenario. Web sites and e-commerce enabled even small businesses with limited resources to trade globally. Internet telephony reduced the costs of long-distance calling to almost local calling levels.

And now cloud computing is making the large outlays involved in hardware and software purchases unnecessary. Instead, businesses can work with applications on the Web, paying only for what they use, and even store their data on Web servers. In addition to lowering costs, cloud computing also made it possible to access data from anywhere in the world.

Smaller pieces of software such as those that improved the ease and effectiveness of time management and calendaring helped individual workers to achieve.higher levels of productivity. Business contact management software can boost sales and customer satisfaction as maintaining customer contacts becomes a much more fail-proof affair.

Business management software and the Internet have completely transformed the way businesses are managed. They have sped up, enhanced the quality and extended the reach of business operations.

As a chartered accountant with business management qualifications and decades of exposure to business in senior to top level positions, Gopinathan helps small to medium businesses with new business start-up, business performance improvement and marketing. He uses structured business modelling techniques to help with all these, and has launched a business support website to provide the help in a convenient manner irrespective of geographical distances and boundaries.

The Ultimate Photography Business Management Software?

As a professional photographer, you’re also a small business owner, I know that administration can take up a lot more time than I like.

I’m talking about:

scheduling appointments,
processing payments,
running reports,
managing clients,
managing staff,
dealing with supplies and inventory,
marketing, and
all the other “background” tasks that keep my business going.

That’s why in recent years I’ve become very interested in embracing technology to automate and centralize as much of these “administrative” activities as possible.

As a photography business owner, you no doubt love doing photography – but in order to do what you love, you must administer your business and get new business through marketing.

For example, how much time do you spend managing your appointment schedule or dealing with payments by cheque or cash, or sending out appointment reminders to minimize no-shows?

These tasks are necessary, but do take up a lot of time.

Of course no software will replace you and your vision, but you can use software to automate some processes to free up your administrative time. The key is getting the right photography business management software that won’t cost you a fortune.

Unless you shoot exclusively in a studio, you’re likely off-site regularly photographing clients. If you spend a lot of time off-site, it’s tough to administer your business – unless you’re able to access your photography business management software.

How You Can Bring Your Office Anywhere With You

The easiest way to bring your office with you is with a mobile computer and using cloud-computing software. The mobile computer is simple – an iPad or laptop will do. It’s the cloud computing software that you need.

What is Cloud Computing Software?

It’s software you can access entirely on the Internet. It’s also called web-based software and it’s growing dramatically in popularity. The days of desk-top software that requires installation on a local computer are disappearing.

Have you ever been on a photo shoot and get a call during down-time for an appointment? If you don’t have your schedule available, you have to call them back – possibly losing the booking. If you have complete access to an online schedule, you can book the appointment right away.

Automate Photography Bookings

If you offer set photography packages, you might want to consider offering clients the ability to book their own time on an online schedule they can access with an Internet connection. You could create a web page explaining your packages and the time required.

Put the control in your clients’ hands and they’ll be delighted they can book a photo shoot without minimal hassle. You’re delighted because you booked a client without getting involved.

Reduce No-Shows

One of the worst money-losers in any business that books appointments – such as a photography business are no-shows. Yet, you’re probably too busy to sit at a phone each day making reminder calls.

What if you could automate reminders? This is ideal, and with top-of-the-line photography business management software this is not a problem.

How it works is your online scheduling software is linked to a powerful e-mail delivery software application that automatically sends out e-mail and text messaging reminders to clients at a time before the appointment you specify. Even if you prevent 2 no-shows in a month, the software will pay for itself.

Running a Photography Business is More than Managing a Schedule

Do you hire independent contractors or have staff photographers?
Do you offer payment by credit card?
Do you have any time left to market to your existing and past clients?

You can certainly get individual photography business software applications to manage each of these 3 types of administrative activities. You can get payroll and staff management software.

It’s not hard to find credit card processors to integrate into your system. And of course there is no shortage of marketing software applications available – especially e-mail and text messaging software services.

But, if you could centralize all these types of administrative activities in one software application, you’ll not only save time learning how to use it all, you’ll save time and hassle integrating it all together… because it already is integrated.

What I’m talking about here is ramping up your administrative efficiency by using an all-in-one photography business software that offers all the systems and processes you need to manage your photography business.

I’m a huge fan of all-in-one software packages because I need only learn one type of software. How much software have you bought only to never really use it fully because you didn’t take the time to learn it.

I’ve got all kinds of software on my computer just sitting there. The software I do use extensively is that which is central to running my business and that basically manages most of my administrative activities.

Here’s the Real Value of All-In-One Photography Business Software

The true asset of your photography business is your database of clients – past and present. Those clients not only provide you work, but refer you to their friends, family, and acquaintances. Your database is your gold and so you must harness that database in order to build your business.

If you have different software applications managing individual tasks, you likely have a mish-mash of contact lists and client profiles scattered in various files and software applications.

When you centralize your entire photography business management software, you’re able to centralize your client database – and then leverage that database in all your business management activities.

An Example:

I’m a huge fan of communicating with my database of clients via e-mail. If you use different software applications for different activities, then when you book an appointment, you must load that contact into each database – perhaps in the scheduling database and then your e-mail marketing database. You end up managing multiple client contact lists.

It’s far more effective and efficient that when you book a client into your schedule, that client is automatically logged into a central database with all their information, from which you can then launch e-mail messages, text messages, and even then generate business reports informing you about how a particular client is contributing to your business.

The key is moving toward a one-step process. That step being once you have a new client scheduling, that client is now part of your entire photography business software platform from which you can completely manage that client.

The same goes for centralizing your independent contractor / employee details into the same system. You can then generate payroll reports showing your payouts to each photographer on your payroll by client.

Take Your Photography Business Software to the Next Level

Do you offer pricing packages? Probably. Is it a hassle managing all those packages? A centralized, all-in-one business management software specifically for photographers lets you create pricing packages that integrates with your credit card processing and your client management.

Not only this, but the right software will also make it easy for you to create gift cards, track your client’s referrals (then send out thank you messages), pricing packages, discounts, etc. – all in an effort to increase your sales and offer your clients more choice.

What About Selling Products on Your Website?

As a professional photographer, you can get great deals on photo-related products and services. You can create another profit center on your website by selling products and services. Because you know the business so well, you can offer only the best to your clients.

Moreover, because you’re a professional, you’ll have instant credibility and trust and could create a profitable e-commerce store that earns revenue with minimal effort and time.

In a nutshell, the best photography business software is web-based and offers the following centralized functions:

Scheduling – online, centralized, and self-bookings;
Credit card processing;
pricing packages and gift cards;
E-commerce and online store opportunity;
Payroll and staff management;
E-mail and text messaging capability – automated reminders and marketing channels;
Total client data management totally centralized;
Client referral tracking (this alone should be harnessed to the maximum);
Financial and performance reporting that uses all the centralized data for comprehensive, up-to-date information.

What Is An Online Business Manager, and Is It Time for You to Hire One?

Are you a successful woman entrepreneur whose multiple 6-figure business feels out of control?

Are you stuck? Overwhelmed? Frustrated?

Ever thought seriously about walking away because you’re so bogged down with business operations that you can’t follow your passion?

If this sounds like you, it’s time to find an online business manager.

What’s an Online Business Manager?

According to Tina Forsyth, the author of Becoming an Online Business Manager, the official definition of an Online Business Manager (OBM) is:

A virtually based support professional who manages online based businesses, including the day-to-day management of projects, operations, team members, and metrics.

An OBM isn’t a virtual assistant who performs tasks. He or she is a professional business manager who runs the company’s daily operations to give the owner energy and time to focus on strategic growth. The OBM gives the owner permission to be the Visionary and serve her clients, plan the company’s growth and future, and use her gifts to their fullest potential.

The OBM keeps all the balls in the air as the Integrator of the business. Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters first defined the Integrator role in their book, Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination that Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business. The Integrator harmoniously combines the major functions of the business (sales, marketing, operations, and finance), runs the organization, and manages day-to-day issues. This role is literally the glue that holds the people, processes, systems, and strategy of the company together.

The Integrator creates space so the business owner, the Visionary, can fully step into the CEO role and do what she’s called to do-change the world.

Finding an Integrator for your business would take a big load off your mind and off your plate, wouldn’t it?

I help women business owners who need that time and space. For the past eight years, as an Integrator in my clients’ businesses, I’ve had the great honor of making someone else’s vision happen.

You can’t do it all, and you don’t want to.

When you started your business, you had to wear all the hats. You had to be the visionary and the manager. You knew it wasn’t your best fit, but you could do it until the business grew a little and you could hire help.

Soon you hired someone to take care of the tedious work, but you couldn’t let go of much more. You still needed to lead and manage alone. You told your family (and yourself) that wearing both hats wouldn’t last much longer and you could handle it.

Now, your business keeps growing and you spend way too much time managing and not enough time leading and serving. You don’t have enough time to decide where the business is going because you’re trying to keep up with managerial tasks you never wanted.

You started your business to change the world and to have the freedom to enjoy life. At this point, you can’t do either because you can’t get out of that manager role long enough to catch your breath!

Hitting the ceiling is inevitable. Every successful woman entrepreneur I’ve seen comes to the point where she’s exhausted and can go no farther – she can’t continue to manage and grow the business by herself. She needs online business management services so she can move into the CEO position and Visionary role to grow her company.

Transform your business with an OBM

Your business needs a Visionary and an Integrator to be successful, and you can’t be both for long and sustainable growth. As the Visionary, you need an Integrator to implement and drive your vision, and your Integrator needs you to lead the company’s direction and strategize its future.

My specialty is working with multiple 6-figure clients who have hit that growth ceiling. They know they can’t continue being in charge of everything. I’m an Online Business Consultant, Certified Online Business Manager, and most importantly, a diehard Integrator in every sense of the term.

My clients are high-achieving women entrepreneurs who want to change the world, and their visions are huge. They have proven business models that generate multiple 6-figure+ revenues. Their desire to build an empire is inspirational, and they’re ready to turn over the reins of management to a trusted professional who will move the business forward.

Are you ready for your Integrator?

Have you hit the ceiling in creating new growth? Feeling overwhelmed or frustrated with all the “DOING” in your business?

About

Brenda Violette is Founder and CEO of Violette Business Services, a business management company that partners with entrepreneurial woman who have built a multiple six-figure online business and are stuck in their ability to create new revenue with them being the only one in charge of everything! They struggle and lose traction as they are buried in the “DOING” of the business.

Being a seasoned woman business owner herself, Brenda understands the struggles of other women trying to build a viable online business, balance work and a personal life, and contribute to the world through the business.

Brenda is an Online Business Consultant, Certified Online Business Manager, and most importantly, a diehard Integrator in every sense of the term.

3 Surefire Ways to Know If You’re Ready to Hire an Online Business Manager

Are you a woman entrepreneur who’s frustrated in your 6-7 figure business?

Are you feeling overwhelmed, over-stressed, and not sure where to turn?

Are you so busy doing everything in your business that you never have time to focus on those high level tasks that will truly bring direct growth to your business?

Your business may be ready to hire an Online Business Manager (OBM).

When your business has grown to multiple 6-7-figures, it will require that you begin to step into a CEO and Visionary role to lead your business to higher levels of growth. The business now has a life of its own and if you stay in the doing role too long, you will lose control of your vision.

If you’re like most women business owners, you started your business for some or all of the following reasons:

You wanted control over your time and the money you make
You wanted your work to have an impact in the world
Sick of the 9-5 grind
Have a business you can schedule around your family and personal goals
Commit to something bigger than yourself
Create financial and time freedom

If you have a multiple 6-7-figure business, it may be time to step out of the tasks of day-to-day operations and management. You’re the only one who can lead your company to the next levels. You alone know how to move your business forward. Time and focus are now in high demand for you to lead your company to the next level.

The result of not stepping up will be that the business will begin to stagnate – you’ll hit the ceiling in ability to grow any further. You’ll need to stop trying to do and manage everything on your own because it’s simply not sustainable. You need help in business. At this phase in your business, you have a team that executes tasks.

Now the role you’ll want to hire will be an Online Business Manager, an Integrator, who can take your dreams and goals and make them a reality. You need someone who can effectively step in and manage your team, manage your day-to-day operations and marketing management, manage projects, and analyze and report metrics to determine what’s working – and what’s not.

If you can’t get out from behind the manager’s desk, frustration will overwhelm you… if it hasn’t already. You’ll struggle with “hitting the ceiling” and “feeling stuck” – if you aren’t already. Your life and relationships will suffer because you’re working a crazy number of hours every day just to keep things going. You cannot keep up this pace, and eventually something will give. You’ll burn out. I’ve seen it countless times.

While reading all this article, you may be wondering if it’s time for you to hire an Online Business Manager.

Here are three ways to know you’re ready.

Financial Readiness

Hiring an Online Business Manager is a long-term investment. An OBM does not replace a team of people who are responsible for executing tasks – you can hire any number of virtual assistants for task completion. An Online Business Manager runs your business while you step into the CEO and leadership role.

Psychological Readiness

You’re ready to turn loose a certain amount of control in your business to someone you trust. You know you need help in business, and you don’t want to be the only one in charge anymore. You understand it may be uncomfortable to turn over some control to someone else, but you’re willing to do it because deep down, you know it’s time. And you’re ready to let go of what you don’t truly enjoy to return to using your unique gifts to grow the business.

Lifestyle Readiness

You’re ready to have balance and get your life back. You’re ready to feel a renewed sense of passion for what you do, and you’re looking forward to having the time to create and strategize. As you let loose of the manager’s role, you’ll feel refreshed and energetic, and you’ll step into focusing ONLY on what you can do to grow the business.

If you can’t get out from behind the “manager’s desk” in your business it may be time to hire an Online Business Manager. Life’s too short to be frustrated and over-stressed in your business.