10 Reasons You Were Meant to Be a Business Manager
Vol. 15 No. 2
The Business Office has some of the most diverse hats to wear within private school administration. HR, insurance compliance, facilities upkeep, cash flows, and reports—your office is the hub of compliance and the nitty-gritty details of what makes your school tick beneath the surface.
Between the many spontaneous emergencies that crop up at the worst possible moments and the immoveable deadlines you must reach, it can be difficult to recall why you signed up for this job in the first place. But, that's why we’re here to remind you of the great parts of your job.
Reason #10: You get to work with numbers that matter.
Instead of miscellaneous balances in bank-held trusts gaining traction on the stock market, your school’s finances represent people—students—whose lives are changed moment by moment. The $800 less you spent on landscaping materials this year can go toward the parking lot repavement; that $8,000 you saved in fees is a tuition grant to a deserving child; and the extra $2 million your school’s investments made last year under your guidance will be a mobile classroom renovation.
Reason #9: You enjoy interacting with people as well as reports.
While you acknowledge that numbers mean people and opportunities, you’ll also have the chance to interact with those people face-to-face. Whether it’s helping a family work through their tuition payments or talking about the school experience with donors, your job means more than just crunching the numbers.
Reason #8: You can see the fruits of your labor—in the flesh.
Those building plans you hired engineers and architects for? Those facilities are now standing on school grounds. They wouldn’t have been built without your input. Those squeaky clean whiteboards? You made sure the budget was in place for the good board cleaner this year. That’s not to mention the up-to-code automated defibrillators in every hallway intersection—and the piles of soft tissues in the nurse’s office, ready for flu season.
Reason #7: You actually, truly enjoy pivot tables in Excel spreadsheets.
They’re so easy to make, and clearly demonstrate data trends with just a few clicks!
(On that note, we at The Source are so glad there are people like you around so we don’t have to (re)learn Excel.)
Reason #6: Tax codes and federal laws are a challenging puzzle that you. Must. Win.
Figuring out the ins and outs of the regulations your school must meet isn’t simply a job function for you—it’s a challenge you’re driven to complete to show the codes who’s really boss!
Reason #5: You meet your constituents.
Whether serving as a representative of the school as part of an advancement initiative or simply presenting to the PTA what the annual budget priorities are, you have ample opportunities to leave your office and connect with the community you support. Business Officers and Facilities Managers get face time with their constituencies, rather than perpetual desk time.
Reason #4: You discover insights hidden in the data of yesteryear’s reports.
It’s your discovery of trends within years-old surveys and annual reports that leads to changes in admission policies, financial decisions, and curriculum purchases. It’s your eye for patterns that alerts fellow leadership to impending disaster before the school crashes upon the rocks.
Reason #3: The intangibles matter as much as the bottom line.
You’re willing to spend money where it will be most appreciated by your teachers, administrators, and students. It’s not all about having money to make more money; it’s about finding money to spend it on what matters for the students to have the best educational experience possible.
Reason #2: You truly believe in the mission of your school.
Out of all the schools and jobs available, there’s a reason you picked this school to help with your unique skills and talents. You are part of something that’s bigger than just your career, picking up a paycheck and forgetting about work as soon as you clock out. No, you contribute to the next generation of young adults who will go on to change the world—and remember their school days with fondness.
Reason #1: You love your students, your families, and your colleagues.
… Because, at the end of the day, that’s why you’re in private-independent education: To do the best you can for the next generation by delivering your school’s mission with love and integrity.
Additional ISM resources for Gold members:
I&P Vol. 40 No. 13 The Business Manager as Change Agent
I&P Vol. 28 No. 9 Your Strategic Financial Plan: Format and Reporting