Business is an activity which involves production and exchange of goods and services for some value or price. It is an economic institution and therefore, it survives as long as it makes money. Business offers challenges, excitement and immense satisfaction to those who successfully run it. It provides employment and livelihood to millions of people worldwide. Hence, it has become an integral part of the world’s economy.
The main function of any business is marketing which deals with the identification, forecasting and pursuit of profitable business opportunities. All other external functions of a business are essentially sub-functions of marketing. The other external functions include the following:
Sales function aims at increasing the volume of sales and turnover of the business. This can be achieved by introducing new products or by reducing the price of existing products. It also includes promoting the products and services to existing customers. This is important because the more satisfied a customer is, the more he will buy from you.
Finance function ensures that sufficient funds are available to the business to enable it to continue its operations. This is important because if there is insufficient capital, the business will not be able to produce and sell any goods or services.
Personnel function involves the recruitment and selection of suitable people for various jobs in the business. This is a difficult task because it requires the businessman to have good knowledge of human nature and behaviours. In addition, he should be able to identify their abilities and weaknesses. The businessman should also be able to motivate his employees to work hard for him.
Research and Development function focuses on improving the product and services of the business. This will lead to improved quality of the products and increased sales. This will help the businessman to make more profit and increase his wealth.
The Purchasing function focuses on the acquisition of raw materials and other inputs for the production of goods and services. It is also responsible for the management of inventory and ensuring that the inputs are used effectively. It is also responsible for establishing and managing the supply chain with suppliers.
Production and Manufacturing function focuses on the manufacture of goods for sale or distribution to consumers. This is a complex process and requires careful planning, the right technology and skilled manpower. This function is also concerned with ensuring that the quality of the output meets customer requirements and is competitive in the market.
Any successful business is based on a sound understanding of its environment. This means having a clear understanding of the market and the competition, as well as being aware of any regulatory issues that could impact the business. It is also vital to have a clearly defined strategy for the future. This can be done through the use of a vision statement, mission statements and values. It is also important to ensure that all available resources are utilised, and there is no abnormal wastage of material.