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Grow your business by hiring a manager

Your small business is growing, but lacking direction. Your business is so successful you can afford to replace yourself and spend your days raising your children instead of greeting your customers. Your right-hand man is leaving to embark on his own business venture. Whatever the reason, you are in need of a general business manager.

Hiring the right manager is vital for any organization or business. This person manages the day-to-day operations, analyzes risks, documents returns, strategizes overall plans and should improve, or at the very least, maintain business profits.

Once you've compiled a list of interviewees for the position, write down the criteria your manager must meet. You'll probably require more specific qualifications, but the following points should be kept in mind.

The general manager should have a good working knowledge of your business. He or she should need little explanation of the company's products, goals and customer-service expectations.

Possessing a specific degree or professional certification may be necessary, but prior experience is what will secure your general manager. He or she should have past experience working in the same field or position for at least two to three years. Prior management experience in any type of business is helpful. However, the right candidate may have no management experience, but may have worked in the same type of business for many years.

Chances are you will need your general manager to use computers, so the right candidate will have some technical background. Even if the manager never touches a computer, having the ability to work with technology shows the manager can handle complicated situations.

Excellent leadership and communication skills are essential for the right general manager. These skills are critical for ensuring his or her success in managing the staff, as well as managing the business, its goals and its profits.

The right candidate also should be willing to travel if necessary and should be prepared to take on challenges. Problem-solving, multi-tasking and keeping friendly relations with the customers are key components of the manager's job description. Ask the interview candidates to describe their past experience in these areas.

The right business manager should have a proven track record, so check his or her references. Once you've narrowed down your selections, ask the remaining candidates to write out their business goals for the first three, six and nine months, and their goals for the first year. If the answers line up with your goals, you have found the right business manager.