What is Business?

The question of “what is business?” is a popular one. Defining business or pinpointing a specific feature of it is a bit of a challenge- much like business itself. There are so many different aspects to business that most people have their own understanding of. The website for the Wharton School has an interesting take on business: “business makes things happen and affects every part of our society”. This is one of the most succinct and satisfactory explanations for the significance of business in our lives.

Understanding business finds its roots in understanding the nature of mankind. People want things all the time, and as their wishes and desires and needs grow, so does business. To be able to provide people with all the goods and services they want and need, businesses come into existence and create the said goods and services. The want for more is the basic factor fuelling businesses the world over. Today, it is hard to imagine a world without business. Society itself is based in principles of business and exchange and trade.

A simple approach to business explains it as an economic process or activity that is based in the production and sale of goods and services as per the demands of people. Businesses can be organized in various niches, one for every human demand. From the mundane, everyday use household items that we don’t give a second thought to, to our laptops, computers and cell phones that we cannot live without- every product you use comes from a business somewhere.


A simplistic approach to understanding the business chain is as follows:

Manufacturer> Wholesaler> Retailer> Customer


The manufacturers create the goods or services according to the existing market demands for the same. These goods and services are then supplied to the wholesaler in bulk, whose responsibility is to distribute these goods and services to different vendors and retailers dealing in the same. The retailers are the shopkeepers and storeowners who finally sell the goods and services to the end user, the customer. All the people involved in the process of creating the goods and services and getting them across to the target market are known as businessmen.

The role of business, thus, is to create goods and services and sell them to people to satisfy their needs and wants. However, the complete function of business doesn’t just stop there. To mark a business as a business, and not as a welfare organization is the presence of the key motive: profit. All businesses are run with the aim of generating a profit for the businessman/ businessmen involved in the business process. Indeed, the entire point of going into business it to be able to make a substantial profit from the same.

A good business venture, thus, is one that not only satisfies the market demands, but also does so in a manner that ensures that the clients or customers keep returning to the businessman for more. The one-time sales with the continued return of customers are what transform the business into a successful business.

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