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1. What is General Management? 

The General Manager leads businesses including factories, offices, restaurants, retail stores, and hotels. They will oversee a department, branch, or business's daily operations in this capacity. They are responsible for many tasks such as human resources management, accounting, customer service, maintaining corporate culture, and ensuring the company has adequate means to profit from goods and services.

The General Manager is often considered the CEO's right-hand man, assisting in overseeing all business operations such as:

  • Managing production, business, marketing, communications, finance, human resources, and related business plans.

  • Being accountable to the CEO/Managing Director for company revenue and profits.

  • Overseeing the work of all departments and ensuring all units achieve set objectives.

  • Representing the company in dealing with partners, and VIP customers and handling emergencies.

  • Chairing meetings with departments, and reporting results to the CEO/Managing Director.

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2. What does a General Manager do? 

The roles and responsibilities of a General Manager may vary depending on each company's business model. Below are some common duties of a General Manager:

  • Developing and implementing business plans

    • Coordinating with relevant departments to establish objectives, and guidance and develop appropriate business plans aligned with the overall situation

    • Leading management teams in developing and executing expansion strategies

    • Effectively executing plans, meeting and exceeding set targets for financial performance like revenue, costs, profits, and achieving departmental KPIs

  • Managing and coordinating business operations:

    • Overseeing all departmental activities to ensure smooth and effective workflows

    • Overview of business operations including customer satisfaction, personnel, financial results, revenue, profits

    • Improving product or service quality through exchanging, guiding, and training staff to better understand and meet customer needs

  • Developing standardized operating procedures:

    • Collaborating with departments to establish job descriptions and standard work sequences for each role

    • Applying and monitoring compliance with approved procedures by employees, making timely adjustments when needed

    • Revising and supplementing work procedures in line with company development directions

  • Addressing issues and emerging problems:

    • Directing employees to promptly handle arising issues and problems

    • Rapidly mobilizing coordination from relevant departments to effectively address matters

  • Human resources management:

    • Directly managing or through department heads the entire personnel system

    • Approving department heads' staffing needs plans

    • Ensuring departmental teams effectively fulfill assigned tasks

    • Participating in recruitment, negotiating compensation for management personnel

    • Evaluating employees, proposing rewards, promotions, or discipline

    • Approving training and development programs for employees

    • Developing and maintaining cooperative, trusting relationships between staff

3. What are important skills for a General Manager?

The skills needed for a General Manager will vary depending on the field and position. Some important skills include:

  • Resource management skills: Building good relationships within the team is extremely important for completing tasks as a General Manager. To lead departments, the General Manager needs respect from each member. Therefore, a skillful leader needs to know how to promote individuals' strengths and reconcile their unique personalities, contributing to stronger team cohesion and creating a positive working environment based on trust.

  • Communication skills: Communication is the most essential factor for a General Manager as they represent many departments in the company. Some common challenges include:

    • Failure to convey ideas and information for subordinates to understand due to poor delivery skills or lack of experience in presenting, arranging, and expressing thoughts.

    • Infrequent direct interaction and exchange with employees can make it difficult to communicate and share information when needed.

  • Planning and strategic thinking skills: An important task of the General Manager is planning and developing strategies to grow the business. This position requires alertness, and creativity to innovate and build business development strategies. This requires analytical skills to make timely decisions. A key aspect the General Manager should focus on is marketing strategy to enhance brand and corporate value.

  • Financial reporting skills: The General Manager is responsible for overseeing the company's financial sector. Specifically, drafting budgets, analyzing revenue costs, trending financial forecasts, and cash flow management. With good financial skills, the General Manager needs to make sound business decisions that bring long-term benefits to business development. A transparent financial report will help optimize operational efficiency and investment planning for the future of the business.

  • Business development skills: This helps them identify and seize new opportunities, and connect with potential customers to create value for the business. Without these skills, a General Manager cannot take the company further and is easily replaced by someone with a longer-term vision.

  • Decision-making skills: General Managers often have to decide in many situations and issues relating to the company, personnel, and business. Skills in timely, insightful decision-making will help them overcome challenges and achieve goals. They can also apply this ability when developing strategic plans for the company's future, such as considering capital sources, location construction, and necessary personnel recruitment types when wanting to expand business operations.

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4. How to become a General Manager? 

Although no method fits all to become a General Manager, one can pursue it by learning about the requirements including education and experience, capabilities, potential career paths, compensation, and career opportunities.

  • Obtaining a bachelor's degree in business administration, economics, commerce, or a related field. Usually requires three years of specialized study.
  • Gaining practical knowledge and experience through internships or entry-level jobs.
  • Considering postgraduate business or MBA certificates.
  • Advancing expertise in one or multiple managerial roles relating to personnel, operations, budgets, and company departments.

The General Manager position is necessary in nearly all businesses. They can able to handle management issues in fields like:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Retail stores,
  • Supermarkets,
  • Insurance offices,
  • Factories,
  • Technology,
  • Healthcare,
  • Wholesale services.

5. Salary of a General Manager

The General Manager is one of the highest-ranking management levels in a company. Therefore, the salary for this role is considerably high commensurate with large responsibilities. According to a recent survey, the average salary range for a General Manager is between 40.2 - 50.8 million VND/month. The highest recorded salary was 115 million VND/month. The large differences are due to the scale and industry of each business.

Besides the extremely high income, a General Manager has many opportunities to build relationships with various parties such as partners, and the board of directors, bringing many other benefits to their management career.