People everywhere are involved in one activity or the other. These activities are embarked upon for different reasons. Some people individually or as a group carries out their activities on charitable courses. Others do what they do for personal or group survival. However other people or group of people carries out their activities to meet the needs of others for one benefit or the other. Those people that are involved in the production and/or distribution of goods and services to sell to others are mainly involved in business.
Business has become a major household term or word in every society. The reason responsible for this is that business is not only an opportunity for people to earn a living or to get engaged in a reasonable and beneficial activity but one of the principal ways of contributing to the economic and social development of a society.
In this chapter, we shall be looking at the word 'business': It's meaning and activities, the various objectives of businesses and forms of business ownership.
WHAT IS BUSINESS?
The word 'business' has been referred to as an economic activity, an occupation or an enterprise; the engagement of any individual or group of individuals in any activity or occupation; and as an enterprise in the production of goods and services or a blend of the two to satisfy human needs.
A business can then be defined as any legitimate activity or activities embarked upon by one person or group of individuals for the production and/or distribution of goods and/or services for the satisfaction of the needs and wants of people for the purpose of making profit.
From the above definition, four major points are made clear about a business;
- That a business must be involved in legitimate activities that which is permitted by the laws and regulations of the society where it operates. This means that businesses operate within an environment and that there is an interdependent relationship between a business and its environment.
- A business can be embarked upon by one person or a group of persons, even governments. This means business-ownership structure ranges from a one-man business, group of individuals to government ownership.
- A business may be involved in either production or distribution of goods or provision of services. Therefore, some businesses involve the production of tangible products, while others are involved in the provision of services or both.
- That a major objective that distinguishes a business from other undertakings or organizations is profit. Although profit is a major objective of a business, there are other objectives that are pursued by businesses which are necessary to enhance the realization of the profit motive. In the same reasoning, profit-making would equally make it possible for a business to be able to achieve most of its aims or objectives.