Sales & Retail
The ability to sell a product or a service is an ability that can be used in a wide array of sectors in the business world – including selling your own ideas! Using a variety of business models, the scope of every business is to sell a product, a service, or a concept with the objective to earn money and be sustainable in the long-term.
The list below is an example of some of the roles which are available within the ‘Sales and Retail’ industry. Studying accounts as a subject can aid you to follow a career path which leads to one or more of these roles, amongst many others.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
The CEO is the highest-ranking person in any business or workplace and has overall responsibility for making decisions on the company's future direction and keeping track of how the entity is operating and managing its resources. Although a CEO is usually surrounded by other high-ranking officials, they (she or he) retain the responsibility to take decisions, as per the objectives of the shareholders of the business.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
The CFO is an accountant and the ‘right hand’ of the CEO as they (she/he) are responsible for managing the financial resources and forecasting the future financial standing of the business based on the operational data, and the financial reports which are prepared by the Financial Controller and the accounting department. The CFO is essential in that they advise the CEO and the Board of Directors on the strategic direction that the business should take based on a variety of information, such as the business’ profitability and cash flow, as well as market threats and opportunities.
The Financial Controller is an accountant who heads the team of accountants and assumes full responsibility for tracking the general profitability of the business through the preparation and management of timely financial reports. Under the leadership of the Financial Controller, the accounting department would manage different functions of the business to ensure that incomes (from sales) and expenditures (such as buying stock, creating a new service, and salaries) are received and paid for in a timely manner. The Financial Controller also uses this information to monitor the cash flow of the business and makes recommendations on what resources are available for investment.
Business Development Manager
For a business to survive, it needs to grow. The responsibility associated with this role is to seek ways to make the company grow through new ideas, contacts, and clients. Developing a business may include increasing the choice of products and services offered to customers, partnering with other organisations, managing how a brand is represented in the market, expanding to other countries, and considering any other market opportunities.
Head of Retail
The Head of Retail leads and guides the retail managers of the different stores or departments who, in turn, oversee their respective sales teams, the salespeople who are ‘on the ground’ meeting customers and selling products and services. The role of the Head of Retail is to forecast sales and develop products or services based on demand in collaboration with the Business Development Manager. They also set goals for the sales teams to reach, assess the need for training and delivering this, whilst drafting plans and mentoring colleagues.
Quality Assurance Manager
This person takes on the responsibility to ensure that the products or services offered by the business are of the utmost quality, meeting the standards of the business as well as customer and legal requirements. The Quality Assurance Manage makes sure that the business’ products and services are safe and reliable for customers to use and rely on.
The business might employ an Internal Auditor; a professional who is independent from management to check the processes and the systems which are in place by the business. A business would have a process for buying products, for developing new services, for recruiting new staff, for managing its stock levels, and so on. The role of the Internal Auditor would be to review and test processes and provide recommendations, depending on the objective of the business, such as becoming more efficient or transparent.