The word ‘Business’ in its literal sense means the state of being busy. Generally, business is associated with activities with which one can be busy about. But, when we study the meaning of business, especially as form of economic activity or human occupation, it includes activities of production and exchange of goods and services, with a broad view of catering to the needs of the consumers and with a specific motive of earning profit. Alfred Marshall has said that the subject matter of economics is study of mankind in the “ordinary business of life”.
This ordinary business of life, according to him, is that part of individual and social action which is mostly connected with the attainment and with the use of material requests of well being. Hence, business includes all activities connected with production, trade, banking, insurance, finance, agency, advertising, packaging and other activities.
If profit is the main motive, another factor which gets interwoven with it is the satisfaction of the needs of the consumers. Therefore people i.e., consumers occupy a very important place around whom, by whom and for whom business is run.
The following definitions of business give us a common conclusion that the business activities are carried on by and for people.
a. Business represents the “organized efforts of enterprises to supply consumers with goods and services”
(Introduction to Modern Business: Issues and Environment-By Musselman and Hughes)
b. Business is “a system created to satisfy society’s needs and desires”. (Concept of Business by R.R. Buskirk, D.J.Green and W.C.Rodgers)
c. Business “comprises all profit-seeking activities and enterprises that provide goods and services necessary to an economic system. It is the economic pulse of a nation, striving to increase society’s standard of living. Profits are a primary mechanism for motivating these activities” (Contemporary Business by Louis E Boone and David K. Kurtz).
d. “Business may be defined as the Regular production or purchase and sale of goods undertaken with the object of earning profits and acquiring wealth through the satisfaction of human wants.” (P.K. Gosh and Y.K Bhushan).
e. Business is a complex of gainful human activities, the main objective of which is to create exchange and possess wealth in the form of physical output and useful services”. (Prof. S.C. Saksena).