The word business refers to any entity or organization engaging in business, commercial, or technological activities for profit. Businesses may be either for-profit or non-profitable organizations that engage in a wide variety of activities designed to meet a social cause or further a personal social interest. In either case, businesses may be run by a single individual or by a small group of individuals employing a number of tactics to maximize profitability. In addition, businesses can be international or domestic and operated by one or a handful of people.
The term business can also refer to technology-based activities like computer and IT businesses. Such businesses may include software development, web design and marketing, telecommunications, and the hardware manufacture, including computers and peripherals. Other types of technology-based businesses are internet activity providers such as search engine optimizers, content development, content publishing, advertising network marketers, online data brokers, and many more. To address demands for these kinds of businesses, a number of colleges and universities offer small business administration programs that prepare students to handle tasks essential to running small businesses.
Marketing is one of the most important aspects of the business cycle. Marketers are professionals who analyze consumer behavior, making forecasts about where and with whom consumers will buy or invest. They use this information to create campaigns that reach targeted audiences and persuade them to make purchases. Marketers use several marketing techniques, including advertising, price discounts, public relations, and promotions, to promote products or services. For instance, marketers can distribute newspapers and catalogs, issue newsletters, write sales brochures or letters, issue statements, provide testimonials, send postcards, and provide flyers or coupons for products or services that are often used by consumers.
Distribution involves the sending and receiving of goods. This includes both physical and electronic goods. Examples of distribution include packaging and dispatch of finished goods, mailing lists, distributing newsletters, and sending text messages or emails about particular goods or services. Distribution activities often involve collecting payments from customers, tracking orders, and delivering goods to addresses.
The creation of products and services requires the involvement of business functions such as research and development, marketing, quality control, and manufacturing. In all of these processes, companies make use of a range of different business functions. Examples of research and development include creating products and studying consumer behaviors; marketing uses technological, social, and psychological approaches to acquire, promote, and commercialize goods and services; quality control ensures the quality of products and services; and manufacturing involves the production of goods and materials by businesses and the interaction with suppliers. All of these activities require the expertise of a diverse range of business functions.
Many small businesses face many of the same obstacles that larger businesses do. They must develop comprehensive plans that address every aspect of the business, including marketing, financial operations, and research and development. A strong understanding of market trends, the strengths and weaknesses of the company, and its relationships with suppliers and customers is essential to the success of every successful small business.