Small Business Operations Manager: Salary & Job Description

Sep 03, 2019

Small businesses need someone to manage the operations of the company. This article details the required education and skills and salary info for a small business operations manager.

What Is a Small Business Operations Manager?

Operations managers in large or small businesses play an important role in upper-level management. The main goal of an operations manager is to make sure the company is working at its full potential while reducing costs. It is very important for small businesses to stay on track with a budget, and operations managers maintain the budgets of each department. They monitor expenses and make cuts when necessary. They enlist cost-benefit analysis to find the best price for supplies and if applicable, oversee production methods to guarantee top productivity. Depending on the industry, operations managers then supervise supply chain procedures and track inventory to make sure products are transported to retailers or directly to customers. Operations managers also work with HR to hire and train new employees and take care of disciplinary action when needed.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree preferred
Job Skills Problem-solving and critical thinking skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, basic computer skills, knowledge of budgeting and human resources
Median Salary (August 2019)* $64,044 (for all operations managers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 9% (for all general and operations managers)

Sources: *; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

A bachelor's degree in management, business, finance, marketing or another related field is typically preferred by employers for this position. A master's degree, particularly an MBA, can make you stand out even more from other candidates applying for this role. The ASCM (Association of Supply Chain Management) offers a program called Principles of Operations Management, which includes five courses relevant to an operations manager's education. Courses include: Principles of Inventory Management, Principles of Operations Planning, Principles of Manufacturing Management, Principles of Distribution and Logistics, and Principles of Managing Operations. The ASCM also offers certification programs that an operations manager may want to consider. Certifications include: Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM); Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP); and Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD).

Required Skills

Operations managers must have excellent problem-solving and critical thinking skills, especially in a small business. When issues arise, they need to make decisions that benefit the company's best interests instead of a single department or employee. They must be able to establish the needs of the company and determine who can find solutions. This type of management also requires effective communication and interpersonal skills.

Operations managers need to have an understanding of computers and use a variety of software programs for their job duties, including customer management, budgeting and accounting software. It will also be helpful if they have a familiarity with the industry of the business they are working for.

Operations managers should also be well-versed in supply chain management, inventory tracking and human resources procedures.

Career Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the employment of all general and operations managers is estimated to grow 9% from 2016-2026, which is about the average compared to all other occupations. reports that the median wage for all operations managers in August 2019 was $64,044. The lowest 10% earned less than $41,000, and the highest 10% earned more than $102,000.

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