If you’re reading this post, you want to know what does an office manager do in a small business and the benefits they can bring to the table. In short, you want to know if hiring an office manager is worth the investment!
The simple answer is yes. An office manager (a good one) is well worth the investment. And in this post, I am going to break down the different ways they can help both you and your business.
But, before we get into what an office manager does. Let’s take a step back and make sure that you actually need one.
Signs that you need an office manager
Congratulations, if you’ve got to a stage in your business where you’re considering hiring an office manager. The fact that you’re evening thinking about this is a good sign in itself.
But, here are some more telltale signs the time is right to bring an office manager onboard.
- Your wasting hours each week on administrative and clerical tasks
- The office is a mess, disorganized and falling into disrepair
- Employees come to you with every little office related issue
- Your calendar and schedule is all over the place
- You’re spending lots of time responding to general business queries
- You repeatedly forget to schedule and return important calls
- Office morale is low because employees are not having some fun
- You’re dealing with office service providers and vendors
- New employees are not integrated into the team and feel lost
Trying to handle all of the above is impossible. It’s also a waste of your precious time. You might be able to manage it all on your own for a while, but eventually, it will negatively impact your business’s growth.
But, hiring an office manager will take these burdens off your shoulder. You will then have more time and energy to invest in actions and tasks that turn the needle on your business and drive it forward.
Office manager duties
Now, we get to the meat and bones of this post. What does an office manager do in a small business? Let’s go through the duties that they can perform. If you agreed that the time has come to hire one, here is how they can help.
The office manager usually takes on receptionist duties such as answering phones, greeting visitors, and directing visitors to meeting rooms or the appropriate staff members.
Secretarial tasks are at the core of an office manager’s role. They schedule meetings with clients, make travel arrangements, file and maintain company documents, write official letters and company memos, and manage schedules and diaries.
In a small office, the office manager will also perform HR tasks. They handle employee paperwork and files, help with the hiring process, manage on-boarding schedules for new hires, create systems for tracking work hours, implement company policies and procedures, and organize and plan company events.
It’s not unusual for office managers to do basic bookkeeping tasks like invoice and receipt filing, overseeing bank activities, reconciling accounts and statements, managing payroll, and filing tax returns.
The office manager is also responsible for the upkeep of the office. From leaky faucets to wilting plants, from broken lights to smoke alarm batteries – the office manager takes care of them all. They liaise with various vendors and service providers to ensure the office is safe, clean, and in proper working order.
Office supplies manager
Ensuring that the fridge and cupboards are full of food and that notepads, printer paper, toilet roll, and cleaning products are all in-stock is also the office manager’s job.
Point of contact for work resources
The office manager is the point of contact for all staff resources. They ensure employees have all the equipment and tools they need, such as company cars and phones, computers, food cards, and parking permits.
Employee sounding board
Although not an official role, the office manager is the person employees go to with workplace grievances and issues. Staff generally feel more comfortable expressing their feelings to the office manager than to their managers.
The bridge between staff and management
Following on from the last point. Because the office manager has their finger on the office’s pulse, they can act as a bridge between employees and management. If staff are unhappy or have grievances, the office manager can let the management team know.
Qualities of a great office manager
As you can see, an office manager performs multiple functions within a business. They wear many hats! Giving this, it’s not a job that just anyone can do. To be a great office manager and successful in this role, a person must have certain qualities.
When hiring an office manager, here are some of the must-have qualities:
- Excellent communication skills (verbal and written)
- Natural problem-solving abilities
- Friendly and enthusiastic personality
- Amazing organizational skills
- Strong interpersonal skills
- The ability to anticipate the needs of others
- Calm and cool under pressure
- The ability to multi-task
- Creatively minded
As you can imagine finding someone that brings all those characteristics to the table is not easy. But, it’s worth taking your time in the hiring process to find someone that ticks all the boxes. Your investment in time and money will be well rewarded.
Over to you
As a business owner, one of your most precious commodities is time. Hiring an office manager will free-up hours and hours of your time and allow you to focus on what matters – growing your business.
I said near the top of the post that if you’re considering hiring an office manager, you probably need one. And if you have read this post to here, you understand just what they bring to the table and the benefits they can offer to you and your business.