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What is Business (Irenée SAWADOGO)

Business is a word that is commonly used in many different languages. But exactly what does it mean ? The concepts and activities of business have increased in modern times.
Traditionally, business simply meant exchange or trade for things people wanted or needed.
Today it has a more technical definition. One definition of business is the production, distribution, and sale of goods and services for a profit. To examine this definition, we will look at its various parts.
First, production is the creation of services or the changing of materials into products one example is the conversion of iron ore into metal car parts. But these products need to be moved from the factory to the market place.
A car might be moved from a factory in Detroit to a car dealership in Miami.
Third is the sale of goods and services. Sale is the exchange of a product or service for money. A car is sold to someone in exchange for money. Goods are products that people either need or want ; for example, cars can be classified as goods. Services, on the other hand, are activities that a person or group performs for another person or organization. For instance, an auto mechanic performs a service when he repairs a car.
A doctor also performs a service by taking care of people when they are sick.
Business, then, is a combination of all these activities : production, distribution, and sale. However, there is one other important factor. This factor is the creation of profit or economic surplus. A major goal in the functioning of an American business company is making a profit. Profit is the money that remains after all the expenses are paid.
Creating an economic surplus or profit is, therefore, a primary goal of business activity.


1) What is the traditional definition of business ?
2) What is production ? Give an example ?
3) What example of distribution is given in the reading ? Can you think of another example ?
4) What does the word sale mean ?
5) How can we define business now ?
6) In addition to production, distribution, and sale, what other factor is important in defining business?
7) What is the most important objective of business nowadays ? Do you agree with this analysis ?
8) In general, what do companies do with their profit ?

1-After reading the text, link the words in the left-hand column to their corresponding synonyms in the right-hand column

1) goods moving or transporting
2) for instance trade
3) conversion look at
4) distribution change
5) exchange for example
6) examine products

2) Complete the sentences with the noun and verb forms provided

a) An annual report includes the...figures of the company for the current fiscal year
b) An auto dealership, trucks, vans and sometimes recreational vehicles

a) Some companies hold exclusive... rights for specific products
b) Factory representatives...products to wholesalers and retailers

a) How efficiently a company ...its products will in large measure determine its success
b) The...of high technology instruments was one of the most rapidly growing industries in the 1990s

*classification/are classified
a) order to show the relationship between them
b) ...means the grouping of items to show the differences between them

a) When travelling from country to country, currency to another
b) The production process often involves the...of raw materials into finished products
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