FUNCTIONS OF RETAIL MANAGEMENT When attempting to start a business, having a keen understanding of the goals of management through the main four management functions is one key to seeing success, both with the operation and with employees. With this said, a vital part of planning of the management end will involve three important activities. The first stage, “planning involves developing a systematic process for attaining the goals of the organization…
Leaders make change happen through planning instead of reacting to change” (EntEd 2007). The first of which will be to lay out the goals that will be set for the hypothetical sporting goods store used as the example, the second will be to create a business plan since “the development of the business plan greatly helps to clarify the organization’s plans and ensure that key leaders are all ‘on the same script. ‘ Far more important than the plan document is the planning process itself” (McNamara 2007).
During the process of coming up with this business plan, hopefully as a manager we can begin to foresee any challenges we might face, especially if those challenges arise because of unpredictable circumstances that even the most careful planning could not predict or take measures to prevent. In short, having a process that all members present at the beginning of the organization can understand and work with in the form of a business plan is the key to success.
During this planning process as we begin to decide what some of the most basic building blocks of this business are going to be (location, inventory, costs, marketing, etc. ) and through this act of working things out together in a permanent fashion, brainstorming about coming changes and challenges should naturally occur. The four functions of Management will clearly demonstrate how the functions operate in this business operation and how, in the light of the tangible situation being presented, management can avoid possible pitfalls and see how these functions operate simultaneously and are interdependent on one another.
With a solid business plan firmly in place and a list of goals and anticipated changes recorded and recognized, the second important function of management, organization, is necessary. “Organizing brings together the nonhuman resources needed to achieve the project’s objectives. To organize is to manage… It begins with the need to define requirements” (Richman 2006). In order to serve this important function of management, it is necessary to use what was established in the planning stages to begin to carry out the first measures to live out the plan.
As a manager, this will involve a great deal of research and personal organization as I look for the best strategies to carry out different smaller aspects of the business plan. This is also the stage where I begin to look to my subordinates for assistance and when I give them the chance to assist with the many activities necessary before the sporting goods store opens. This stage involves a great deal of gathering of supplies and building processes that will sustain the store and in order to make the best use of the time spent organizing, directing will become one of the most important functions of management.
As one definition states, “Directing communicates the goals, purposes, procedures, and means to those who will do the work. Directing is the process of communicating the plan, whether orally or in writing” (Richmond 2006). This is particularly succinct definition in terms of the sporting goods store because so much will be required to adhere to the business plan. The organization alone must be managed with attention to detail and it will be one of my primary duties to help workers understand the value of each of their functions through careful and organized direction.
Throughout the organization process and especially as things are moving along according to the plan and the business nears opening, it is vital that directing is a main focus. Since I plan on having two managers and four employees, I want everyone to be on the same page as I am. It will be important for them to realize how every task they complete connects to the goals or the business plan so there is a sense of value and something at stake. Directing will not end at this stage or even after the business is open, it will continue to be a necessary component that I must actively keep p with in order for this sporting goods store to succeed. Controlling goes hand in hand with directing as it will be important for me as a manager and owner to match the tasks delegated with the business plan and goals so that I can keep firm tabs on how we are progressing. This not only involves monitoring of progress but being vigilant so that if negative changes are occurring I can resolve the issue. As Richman (2006) more succinctly puts it, when it comes to controlling, “in project management terms, it involves determining variances from the approved plan, then taking action to correct those variances. Through my fulfilling of these four important functions of management, I would be a permissive leader. For a small business like this sporting goods store that has a very small number of employees and only two other managers, it is necessary to allow everyone to have an equal hand in important decisions. While directing is a large part of my responsibility, I would still like to allow employees and managers a great deal of leeway concerning how they perform the tasks assigned and if those decisions on how to work are not productive, only then will I step in and be directive.
This is a rather democratic way to manage this store, but hopefully it will foster the sense that the few people involved have a great deal at stake since they’ve personally and professional put distinct efforts into the business. By employing the for functions of Management effectively and in particular, emphasizing my role in directing and controlling, I can maintain a less structured management style while still seeing profits.
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