A Beginner’s Guide to Business

Its 7am and your alarm rings. You kickstart your daily routine, walk down to your local coffee shop, pick up some groceries on the way. Once back home, you receive a phone notification that your tube line will not be operating and realise that it just started raining. You’re going to be late unless you order a cab. Phew, thanks to this service you get to your workplace right on time! 

We often forget that we connect with an array of businesses daily. In the above example, the different businesses include a coffee shop, green grocer, transportation application, tube and car commute systems.  Ideas and people behind these ideas “entrepreneurs” are what creates businesses.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines business as “the activity of buying and selling goods and services” and this concept has existed even at the earliest historical timescales – goods or services were exchanged prior to monetary payments. Business models describes how a company operates and how it makes money. Business strategy explains how, where and for what purpose a business model will be used. Successful businesses rely on key concepts, a few of which are listed below:

  • Branding: you may have a logo for market appearance and recognition by your clients and customers. It needs to deliver a message and tell your audience who you are and what you do – your business is more than a just a logo.
  • Sales Strategy: how your sales team portrays the business and its product(s) to best target customers while maintaining a competitive advantage over others. Some strategies include researching and ranking prospective customers using detailed criteria, cold calling, giving sales presentation/pitches or any product demonstrations, now or never closing techniques “If you purchase X now, 15% discount can be applied”.
  • Operations Management: focuses on organising and supervising any processes linked to production, manufacturing or provision of services. They help businesses reach their highest efficiency by selecting and managing any suppliers or resources (materials, equipment and technology).
  • People Management: covers processes including talent acquisition (recruitment), optimization (performance management, organisation) and retention (benefits, training, wellbeing). It ensures that continual support is provided to the employees so that the business flourishes. 

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  • Financial Management: encompasses all the strategic planning, organising and controlling financial operations in an organisation or institute. Some of the tasks include allocating profits, calculating the required capital, analysing the business’ finances short and long-term. 
  • Accounting: refers to keeping the financial accounts and transactions associated to a business. These include summarising, analysing and reporting any transactions to other entities such as regulators or tax collection entities. 
  • Online Marketing: You may have a great product or services but unless these are advertised, it will likely go unnoticed. With all the modern technological advances, there has been a shift from traditional newspaper adverts and billboard to online platforms. Those include professional websites, social media presence (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).