District Manager Job Description
District managers are the key liaison between a company’s headquarters and assigned area branches. They manage operational practices, ensure budget and sales goals are achieved, and train and cultivate strong teams of branch managers. District managers are expected to guarantee that company practices and policies are understood at all stores in their territory. The ultimate goal of a district manager is to motivate and direct the activities of managers who run the units or stores they are responsible for.
Successful district managers should be analytical problem solvers with strong customer service skills and prior experience. Job candidates need a high school diploma or GED; most employers recommend a bachelor’s degree in business management or a related field.
District Manager Duties and Responsibilities
While the day-to-day duties of district managers are determined by their employer, there are many core tasks associated with the role. Based on our analysis of job listings, these may include:
Build, Develop, and Manage Teams
District managers hire, train, and develop their management teams. This can include following the recruiting and on-boarding procedures as outlined by the human resources team. They are expected to support managers in their assigned territories by helping them set goals and supporting them in achieving them.
Manage Business Operations
District managers prepare budgets, control expenses, and identify revenue opportunities for branches. They ensure branch managers are appropriately managing budgets and fiscal expectations by keeping expenses down and performing activities designed to generate revenue and ultimately make a profit for their particular unit or store.
District managers regularly meet with managers in their assigned territory and visit the locations. By visiting locations in person, district managers can ensure continuous improvement is being upheld through inquiring about problem areas and investigating how business processes could be more efficient. If problem areas are identified, they help managers create action plans to combat inefficiencies.
Manage Company Policies
It is typical for district managers to ensure store managers are up to date on all business procedures and guidelines. District managers are also often expected to oversee compliance reporting, including Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and employee evaluations.
District Manager Skills and Qualifications
Successful district managers are natural problem solvers. They should also be energetic and have experience supervising others. The ideal candidate for this role has strong reporting capabilities and is familiar with managing multiple processes. Employers prefer candidates who possess the following abilities:
- Communication skills – working closely with store managers and company headquarters, it is important for district managers to be strong, detailed communicators— especially when issues arise; strong written communication skills are also important, especially related to processes and policy changes
- Adaptability – flexibility and adaptability are essential as district managers are the liaison between the company’s headquarters and their assigned territory stores
- Detail-oriented – many tasks assigned to district managers require a high level of detail and organization (i.e. organizing territory visits, onboarding and offboarding hires, managing budgets, etc.); the ability to multi-task while paying close attention to detail in a deadline- and goal-driven environment is necessary
- Decision-making skills – district managers make decisions that affect teams and the overall company; the ability to make smart and fast decisions is essential to success
- Leadership – district managers train, manage, and motivate staff, providing feedback to employees as needed and delegating tasks appropriately
District Manager Education and Training
Educational requirements vary by field, but a bachelor’s degree in business management or a related field is typically required to work in this profession. Some positions require up to five years of experience as well. On-the-job-training, especially for specific processes and policies, is typically offered by employers.
District Manager Salary and Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) categorizes district managers with sales managers as many of their duties and responsibilities overlap. However, reporting structure typically defines a district manager as the boss of a sales manager. In May 2015, the BLS reported that sales managers made a median annual salary of $113,860.
According to BLS, employment of sales managers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
There are many helpful resources available for those interested in careers as district managers. Please review the links below for valuable information and the latest industry news:
On Fire at Work: How Great Companies Ignite Passion in Their People Without Burning Them Out – This book is helpful to aspiring and current district managers, offering tips and best practice strategies on how to keep employees engaged and successful.
The Power of a Positive Team: Proven Principles and Practices that Make Great Teams Great – This book provides proven practices and principals on how to build a successful team while enhancing culture and engagement.
Entrepreneur Network: Bookkeeping Resources – The latest news, videos, and discussion topics on bookkeeping and budgeting.
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