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What is business?

  • A business can be defined as an organization that provides goods and services to others who want or need them.

  • A business (also known as enterprise or firm) is an organization designed to provide goods, services, or both to consumers. Most businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, in which most of them are privately owned and formed to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners.
The following are most important key factors in business, you should consider all these things very carefully.
  • Business management
  • Administrative management
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Human resources
  • Information systems
  • Insurance
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Operations management
  • Public relations
  • Purchasing/merchandising
  • Retail management

What is business management, planning and it's function?

Business management has been described as a social process involving responsibility for economical and effective planning & regulation of operation of an enterprise in the fulfillment of given purposes. It is a dynamic process consisting of various elements and activities. These activities are different from operative functions like sales, marketing, finance, purchase etc.

A process or operation that is performed routinely to carry out a part of the mission of an organization is called business function.

Business planning means looking ahead and chalking out future courses of action to be followed. It is a preparatory step. It is a systematic activity performed in your organization which determines when, how and who is going to perform a specific job. Planning is a detailed programme regarding future courses of action. It is rightly said “Well plan is half done”.

Therefore planning takes into consideration available & prospective human and physical resources of the organization so as to get effective co-ordination, contribution & perfect adjustment. It is the basic management function which includes formulation of one or more detailed plans to achieve optimum balance of needs or demands with the available resources.

According to Koontz & O’Donell, “Planning is deciding in advance what to do, how to do and who is to do it. Planning bridges the gap between where we are to, where we want to go. It makes possible things to occur which would not otherwise occur”. But the most widely accepted functions of management are given by Koontz and O'Donnel - i.e. Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing and Controlling.

What is Business Strategy?

A Business Strategy is all about integrating organizational activities and utilizing and allocating the scarce resources within the organizational environment so as to meet the present objectives. While planning a strategy it is essential to consider that decisions are not taken in a vaccum and that any act taken by a firm is likely to be met by a reaction from those affected, competitors, customers, employees or suppliers.

Strategy, in short, bridges the gap between “where we are” and “where we want to be”.

Business strategy can also be defined as knowledge of the goals, the uncertainty of events and the need to take into consideration the likely or actual behavior of others. Strategy is the blueprint of decisions in an organization that shows its objectives and goals, reduces the key policies, and plans for achieving these goals, and defines the business of the company is to carry on, the type of economic and human organization it wants to be, and the contribution it plans to make to its shareholders, customers and society at large.

Features of Strategy:

(a). Strategy is significant because it is not possible to foresee the future. Without a perfect foresight, the firms must be ready to deal with the uncertain events which constitute the business environment.
(b). Strategy deals with long term developments rather than routine operations, i.e. it deals with probability of innovations or new products, new methods of productions, or new markets to be developed in future.
(c). Strategy is created to take into account the probable behavior of customers and competitors. Strategies dealing with employees will predict the employee behavior.

Thus business strategy is a well defined roadmap of an organization. It defines the overall mission, vision and direction of an organization. The objective of a strategy is to maximize an organization’s strengths and to minimize the strengths of the competitors.

What is business communication?

Business Communication is goal oriented. The rules, regulations and policies of a company have to be communicated to people within and outside the organization. Business Communication is regulated by certain rules and norms. In early times, business communication was limited to paper-work, telephone calls etc. But now with advent of technology, we have cell phones, video conferencing, emails, satellite communication to support business communication. Effective business communication helps in building goodwill of an organization.

The basic functions of management as we know (Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing and Controlling) cannot be performed well without effective communication. Business communication involves constant flow of information. Feedback is one of the most integral part of business communication.

Business Communication can be of two types:

  • Oral Communication - An oral communication can be formal or informal. Generally business communication is a formal means of communication like : meetings, interviews, group discussion, speeches etc.
  • Written Communication - Written means of business communication includes - agenda, reports, manuals etc.

What is Business Process Outsourcing(BPO)?

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the contracting of a specific business task, such as payroll, to a third-party service provider. Usually, BPO is implemented as a cost-saving measure for tasks that a company requires but does not depend upon to maintain their position in the marketplace. BPO is often divided into two categories: back office outsourcing which includes internal business functions such as billing or purchasing, and front office outsourcing which includes customer-related services such as marketing or tech support.

In the contemporary context, it is primarily used to refer to the outsourcing of business processing services to an outside firm, replacing in-house services with labor from an outside firm. Now it is common for organizations to outsource financial and administration (F&A;) processes, human resources (HR) functions, call center and customer service activities and accounting and payroll.

Frequently, BPO is also referred to as Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES). Since most business processes include some form of automation, IT "enables" these services to be performed. An offshoot of BPO is Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO ). KPO includes those activities that require greater skill, knowledge, education and expertise to handle. The current definition of KPO encompasses R&D;, Product Development and Legal e-discovery, as well as a number of other business functions.

What is Business Intelligence (BI)?

Business Intelligence (BI) is a combination of the tools and systems involved in an enterprise's strategic planning that aid in its analysis. Business Intelligence (BI) systems are used to improve an enterprise's decision making by combining tools for gathering, storing, accessing, and analyzing business data. While traditional features for querying, reporting, and analytics have long been the core focus of these tools, BI has evolved in recent years to become comprehensive, enterprise-wide platforms, and newer trends, such as self-service BI, have helped to continue interest in this technology.

These solutions provide a single source through which to analyze a company's disparate data sources, permitting users to execute queries without the assistance of technical staff. Over the past several years, they have evolved from narrowly focused query and reporting tools to enterprise-wide platforms. The resulting single source offers not only current, but also historical and predictive views of operations.

Knowledge is power. In the new economy, companies are only beginning to fully understand the meaning of these words. What consumers want, what they need, how they want to get what they need…these are all pieces of information that businesses look toward to sell more goods and services. But amidst so much competition, how then can one company attract the interest and maintain the loyalty of the consumer? The key is to understand your consumer better than your competition does.

While applicable to organizations of any size, business intelligence solutions are most relevant to industries with large numbers of customers, high levels of competition (with the resultant need for differentiation), and large volumes of data. Common business intelligence functions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Analyzing sales trends.
  • Managing finances.
  • Evaluating sales and marketing campaign effectiveness.
  • Tracking customer buying habits.
  • Predicting market demand.
  • Analyzing vendor relationships.
  • Assessing staffing needs and performance.

The ability to access meaningful data in a timely, efficient manner through the use of familiar query and analysis tools is critical to realizing the competitive advantages of this weapon. Equally important is moving and sharing data throughout the organization, between departments, offices and business partners. But with the proliferation of mixed system environments that must somehow be integrated with decision support systems, data marts and warehouses, electronic business solutions, and enterprise applications, the challenges increase. When customer information is disjointed and spread through the organization, how can you win?

Your business may boast to have the best data integration technology in the world, but it is of little value if you cannot use it to provide quality service to consumers. The new economy is based on experience as much as it is on information and technology. Giving consumers the most advantageous customer experience not only means gaining their business, it also means gaining an advantage over the competition.

Sometimes referred to as decision-support software, BI applications analyze patterns in sales, trends, pricing, and customer behavior to assist in the business decision-making process. The expanded use of data warehouses, e-commerce tools, CRM packages, and other enterprise software has created a proportional need to easily view and use the information stored within these systems.

The continued evolution of this software genre encompasses new trends, including self-service techniques, and ongoing acquisitions that represent a major market consolidation. The major players in the sector range from a dwindling supply of pure-play vendors to enterprise software suppliers that include IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP.

What is Business Ethics?

  • Business Ethics refers to carrying business as per self-acknowledged moral standards. It is actually a structure of moral principles and code of conduct applicable to a business. Business ethics are applicable not only to the manner the business relates to a customer but also to the society at large. It is the worth of right and wrong things from business point of view.

  • Values and Business ethics in simple words mean principle or code of conduct that govern transactions; in this case business transaction. These ethics are meant to analyse problems that come up in day to day course of business operations. Apart from this it also applies to individuals who work in organisations, their conduct and to the organisations as a whole.

Business ethics not only talk about the code of conduct at workplace but also with the clients and associates. Companies which present factual information, respect everyone and thoroughly adhere to the rules and regulations are renowned for high ethical standards. Business ethics implies conducting business in a manner beneficial to the societal as well as business interests.

Every strategic decision has a moral consequence. The main aim of business ethics is to provide people with the means for dealing with the moral complications. Ethical decisions in a business have implications such as satisfied work force, high sales, low regulation cost, more customers and high goodwill.

Some of ethical issues for business are relation of employees and employers, interaction between organization and customers, interaction between organization and shareholders, work environment, environmental issues, bribes, employees rights protection, product safety etc.

Below is a list of most significant ethical principles to be followed for running a successful business-

1. Protect the basic rights of the employees/workers.
2. Follow health, safety and environmental standards.
3. Continuously improvise the products, operations and production facilities to optimize the resource consumption.
4. Do not replicate the packaging style so as to mislead the consumers.
5. Indulge in truthful and reliable advertising.
6. Strictly adhere to the product safety standards.
7. Accept new ideas. Encourage feedback from both employees as well as customers.
8.Present factual information. Maintain accurate and true business records.
9.Treat everyone (employees, partners and customers) with respect and integrity.
10.The mission and vision of the company should be very clear to it.
11.Do not get engaged in business relationships that lead to conflicts of interest. Discourage black marketing and corruption.
12.Meet all the commitments and obligations timely.
13.Encourage free and open competition. Do not ruin competitors’ image by fraudulent practices.
14.Do not accept child labour, forced labour or any other human right abuses.
15.The policies and procedures of the Company should be updated regularly.
16.Maintain confidentiality of personal data and proprietary records held by the company.

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