In many ways, business administrators are the glue that holds a company together through thick and thin. If you have not worked on the operations side of a company, you may not realize just how much work that business administrators do to keep companies running efficiently and on track to meet targets.

The key skills of business administrators are essential to the running of a successful business and can be applied to a myriad of other commercial roles.

What is business administration? 

If you are asking what business administration is, then you are not alone. Many people mistake business administration with management and company organization when in fact business administration is quite different. Simply put, business administration involves managing the day-to-day operations of an entire business.

The role typically extends over all parts of a business and involves a range of different decision-making capabilities for the organization and administration of a company. The business administrator helps the company to stay on track with regards to administrative and organizational objectives.

Upskilling through education

The business administrator role is varied, complex and changes every day. As a result, it can be incredibly challenging and a difficult role to break into. This is where education comes in. Many people have found that education is a great way to quickly upskill and gain the knowledge and skills necessary to start a career in business administration.

There are many different degree paths open, but a specialized course is a great way to focus your learning on this particular career path. For example, the doctor of business administration offered by Aston University is a doctoral degree that students can take fully online. This doctorate degree gives students the skills they need to problem solve on the go and figure out the best solution to complex problems. Just like any other doctorate program, the Doctor of Business Administration at Aston University culminates with a final research project and report.

Regardless of the program you choose, it is worth considering online education when choosing a business administration qualification. Online education is much more flexible than traditional, in-person education, making it much easier to complete while also working or raising a family.

Key skills for administrators 

The skills that administrators develop both through education and experience are essential for a business’ commercial success and can also help the administrator to transition to other leadership roles inside the company. Below are just a handful of the many skills that administrators develop.


It may seem obvious but the importance of being a good administrator – organizing, filing, and managing information and data – is essential to the job. Knowing where things are and how to access them is incredibly important.


Administrators need to be able to create a plan of action and effectively communicate it to their staff and fellow department heads. Effective communication requires learning how to listen actively and collect, process and report information in both written and oral forms.

People skills and problem solving 

In order to truly solve a problem, not just provide a band-aid solution, an administrator needs to have emotional intelligence and be able to communicate and work with people effectively. Problem solving also involves the ability to look at a problem, understand both sides, consider potential solutions and determine the best possible solution.

Research, presentation and public speaking 

Administrators will often need to roll up their sleeves and do research into trends, competitors and other forms of management which could benefit the company. After doing the research, administrators will then likely need to present their findings in easy, intelligible, clear and persuasive ways.

Finances and budgetary 

Companies often expect administrators to be able to manage budgets, work with the financial teams and monitor financial records.

Planning and strategy 

One of the most interesting and challenging aspects of the administrator role is strategy and planning, as it means trying out different commercial strategies which may be able to fit certain objectives. This is an exciting aspect of the role that involves a lot of creativity, research and critical thinking.

The administrator’s role in a company

Business administrators have a range of different duties, and no two days are ever exactly the same. In a very large corporation, an administrator will oversee the operations of a department or segment of the company, but in small to mid-sized companies, an administrator will monitor the operations of the entire company.

The ultimate role of the administrator is to ensure that the work is being done and achieving the target result. Businesses which are looking to increase efficiency and scale up will typically need an administrator because they are so instrumental in ensuring that certain metrics and key performance indicators are hit.

A day in the life of a business administrator 

The tasks an administrator takes on will vary from day to day as they will depend on what is happening in the company. The duties which are likely to take up the lion’s share of an administrator’s day are likely to be managerial work which is urgent and requires immediate attention.

Some of the typical activities which an administrator may focus on in a given day include analyzing a company’s competitors and market trends, studying company policy and suggesting changes which could be beneficial, managing financial aspects of a company’s work and managing the budgets and working on problem-solving or mediation activities.

The administrator may also need to attend meetings with management and strategy partners and then hold meetings with staff to provide motivation or to help with learning and development. The administrator may also need to manage specific divisions in a company or help with hiring and recruitment activities. Finally, the administrator may work with the company’s IT department to assist with the rollout and implementation of new tech or hardware and collect feedback from users during the rollout process.

As you can see, administrators wear many hats and their work is always changing! An administrator’s role will also never look exactly the same in every company.