What Is Business?


Business is the practice of making a living through buying and selling goods or services. It is also defined as “any activity or enterprise entered into for profit.” The term is often used to describe companies that are privately owned and operated, but the concept extends to state-owned enterprises, cooperatives, federations, and non-profit organizations as well. The nature of a business is determined by the legal form it takes.

The current crisis in business may not be merely a result of personal greed or the misdeeds of a few rogue executives at bad times. It may be that the whole culture of business has become distorted. It is a culture that proclaims the market king, gives priority to the shareholder, and believes that business drives progress and should therefore have an unchallenged say in policy decisions. It is a culture that dominated America for a generation and, during the Thatcher years, infected Britain.

Many of the problems of business today stem from a change in the meaning of wealth. People no longer seem to believe that businesses create wealth and should be trusted with it. Instead, they assume that businesses are run by self-serving executives who put their own financial gains ahead of the interests of customers and workers. A recent Gallup poll found that 90% of Americans believe that people running corporations are in it for themselves, and that only 18% believe that CEOs care about the welfare of employees or consumers.

There are still some enlightened companies that try to create value for society, but they are not the majority of companies. The only way to restore public faith in capitalism is for companies to be held publicly accountable, both for their profits and for their social and environmental performance. That means more transparency and honesty in reporting and more emphasis on accountability in management education.

Creating and maintaining a profitable business is challenging for any company, large or small. It requires a mix of talents and skills, including marketing and advertising, supply chain management, human resources, accounting, finance, and information technology. It also requires a keen understanding of the economic and political environment in which the company operates.

A business can take any of a number of forms, depending on the type of products or services it offers and the laws of its jurisdiction. Most businesses are organized as corporations, but some are structured as partnerships or, less often, as joint ventures. The structure of a business is determined in part by its ownership, with most companies having one or more shareholders and some being listed on public stock markets.

In addition to writing the article itself, a writer must also determine the audience and purpose of the piece. This is critical to the success of any business article. For example, a writer can tailor the article to specific readers by using targeted keywords. Creating a headline that grabs the reader’s attention is also important, as is using short sentences to keep the article easy to read and understand.