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4 Planning Abilities To be Able to do More in Less Time

district manager people planning Mar 02, 2022
District Manager's Responsibility #2: Plan

 (Part 2 of the District Manager Responsibilities series)

Most district managers were unit managers before scaling in the organization. That means that they used to have total control of what happened within their stores and their job was dictated by the day to the needs of the operations.

But once they become district managers, they realize why this is the most difficult position in the retail industry. What’s even more challenging: their previous role as a unit manager does not necessarily prepare them to be a multi-unit leader

In a past blog post, we reviewed some of the challenges that district managers face when it comes to leading the team. As part of the district manager’s series, we’ll learn about the second core responsibility they must master: planning.

Don’t miss the whole District Manager’s video series to learn what are the 7 core responsibilities these leaders must fulfill and how we can help them. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to view our live sessions!

The district manager’s agenda depends completely on what is happening in their district and each of their units. Maybe one of them has a labor cost issue, another may be facing high turnover, or the product cost is going out of control. And they have to deal with all of these various situations simultaneously, which makes it difficult to have proper planning and brings an extra level of complexity. 

This leader is going to define and dictate what they'll do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis not by the operations but by the needs of their district. That’s why planning is such a critical responsibility to help them be more successful and be able to get more done in less time. In order to stay focused and be effective, they may rely on these four skills:


  • Information gathering

In this age of information, district managers could end up in true analysis paralysis by spending hours looking at data from reports, systems, the office, and the industry at large. But they cannot be looking at all the information because that will prevent them from taking action.

That’s why they must discern and know what information they need to look at and what they can dismiss, and how often they need to update the numbers.

Discover what are the 3 most important numbers in your business.


  • Prioritization

Having the skill of prioritization means that district managers are able to differentiate between what’s urgent and what’s important. If they don't do that, they might end up spending the majority of their time in the urgent rather than focusing on the important, which is what's going to move the business forward

The reality is that there are going to be a lot of urgent things that a district manager has to attend to. But having the ability to prioritize those and then quickly go back to the important tasks will help them be more effective with their time. 


  • Assign tasks

A district manager has to know how and when to delegate tasks. Also, they must be able to define which jobs they have to do and which they can ask someone else to do, depending on the impact and the time that each task requires. 

The ability to delegate is another important skill for a district manager because it will allow them to work only the hours they need, not be overloaded, and also, develop the future leaders in their district

For those tasks that they have to perform themselves, they can develop the use of a calendar the proper way so that they can manage their time and not drop or miss important responsibilities they have to oversee. The calendar tool will also help them assign jobs to others so that then they can implement the fourth critical skill for this responsibility, which is the skill of execution and follow-up.

Learn here how to become a power delegator. 


  • Execution & follow-up

Here's where the magic happens because district managers can do all the prior steps but, if this step is missing, they won’t be able to verify that the tasks they delegate are getting done and delivering the expected results. 

Having this skill will prevent the district managers from missing important things, and it will also help them assure that everything that needs to happen is happening. 


Planning is key to the success of a district manager. But this is just one of the seven critical responsibilities that this position must fulfill to be efficient.

If you are a motivated franchisee with district managers or if you are a district manager that has challenges and is missing this important skill, I invite you to join us in our upcoming information session on the Multi-Unit Leadership Certification Program. We’ll share what the program is, how we deliver it, and the outcome you can expect at the end of this 10-week program. 

Register to the free information session at

And don’t forget to give us a thumbs up on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and subscribe to our YouTube Channel to follow the rest of the District Manager’s video series.



  • Can you or your district managers differentiate between what’s urgent and what’s important?
  • Are your district managers working only the hours they need or are they overloaded?
  • How are you or your leaders doing the follow-up on the delegated tasks and activities?
  • Are your district managers properly trained to perform as they should?