Business is the activities of an organisation which aim to earn profits and deliver value. These values can be delivered through products and services or by delivering them in different ways, such as via digital channels. Businesses are a key driver of economic growth and serve many purposes, including providing employment and increasing productivity. A business can be an organisation such as a company, corporation or co-operative. It can also be a group of individuals, such as a sole proprietorship or partnership.
Business can be categorized by the type of goods and services it provides or the industry in which it operates. It can also be grouped by the legal structure and scale of operations. For example, a large multinational company with a public stock market is a publicly traded business. Other types of businesses include a franchise, joint venture, cooperative or a not-for-profit.
The word business is derived from the Latin verb ‘busy’. It originally referred to productive activity and has evolved into the modern definition of an organisation which exchanges goods or services for money. Profit is an important goal of most business, but there are other important aspects, such as creating employment and delivering value to customers. The term is used in a broad range of contexts, from the local ice cream shop to a global manufacturer like Apple.
Creating a successful business requires innovation in all areas, from product development to customer service. Businesses must strive to find new and efficient ways to create and sell their products and services, while continually improving their processes, systems and technology to keep up with the competition. This innovation is often a result of increased efficiency, cost reduction or new revenue streams.
There are a wide variety of reasons for starting a business, from pursuing a passion to generating extra income to gaining financial independence. However, the most important factor in a business’s success is its people. Employees should be rewarded and treated fairly, and their skills should be nurtured to allow them to grow within the organisation. This will create a positive working environment and a sense of loyalty amongst employees, which is critical for business success.
The word business is often used colloquially to describe a certain vertical industry, such as the music business. It can also be used as an adjective to describe things that are associated with business, such as a girlboss or the city of New York. The phrase business is also used to convey the idea that profit takes precedence over personal considerations, such as when someone says “I wouldn’t fire them if I was you, but it’s just business”. However, there are other meanings for the word business, such as “to do one’s business” (defecate or urinate), and “get down to business.” The former refers to getting serious about something, while the latter means making progress. These examples are from the Oxford English Dictionary.