Business Studies

Business plays a vital role in lives, not only by providing various goods and services but also by offering many opportunities to earn livelihood.

The companies can raise long term funds by issuing debentures that carry assured rate of return for investors in the form of a fixed rate of interest. It is known as debt capital or borrowed capital of the company. The debenture is a written acknowledgement of money borrowed. It specifies the terms and conditions, such as rate of interest, time of repayment, security offered, etc. These are offered to the public to subscribe in the same manner as is done in the case of shares.

Share is the smallest unit into which the total capital of the company is divided. For example, when a company decides to raise Rs. 50 crores of capital from the public by issuing shares, then it can divide its capital into units of a definite value, say Rs. 10/- or Rs. 100/- each. These individual units are called as its share.

In small organisations the long-term finances are generally provided by the owners. But for large organisations like joint stock companies there are various options available to raise the long term finance.

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006 has classified enterprises as follows:

Loans and advances are granted by the banks on the basis of some security, which will ensure the bank for safe return of its money. This security may be personal security of the borrower as well as on the security of some assets, besides the standing of the firm.

There are a number of methods used for raising short-term finance. These are:

1. Trade Credit

Trade credit refers to credit granted to manufacturers and traders by the suppliers of raw material, finished goods, components, etc. Usually business enterprises buy goods on 30 to 90 days credit. This means that the goods are delivered but payments are not made until the expiry of the period of credit.

There are two main categories of sources from which the businessmen can get the required funds for their business. These are:

  1. Internal sources
  2. External sources

In every business activity money is an important as well as essential component. The type and amount of funds required usually differs from one business to another. For example, if the size of business is large, the amount of funds required will also be large.

Every business requires some amount of money to start and run the business. Whether it is a small business or large, manufacturing or trading or transportation business, money is an essential requirement for every activity. Money required for any activity is known as finance. So the term 'business finance' refers to the money required for business purposes and the ways by which it is raised.

The process of control consists of various steps. For example, A is employed in a garments manufacturing company. His job is that of sewing trousers. His supervisor specifies that he should sew 20 trousers in a day. This is the first step of the control process, i.e., fixation of standards. At the end of the day, the supervisor counts and finds that A has completed only 18 trousers. Thus, the measurement of performance is the second step in the control process.

Controlling is one of the important functions of management. It pinpoints the deviations on the basis of which managers can take corrective steps. If no control is exercised, work may not be done as desired and inefficiencies may remain undetected.

Managerial planning results in the framing of objectives and laying down of targets. To achieve the objectives, a proper organisational structure is designed; people are assigned the various tasks; and are directed to perform their respective jobs. The actual performance is then assessed from time to time to ensure that what is achieved is in conformity with the plans and targets. This exactly is the controlling function.

While motivation is the process through which employees are made to contribute voluntarily to work, leadership is the ability to persuade and motivate others to work in a desired way for achieving the goals. Thus, a person who is able to influence others and make them follow his instructions is called a leader.

According to Maslow, an individual has many needs and their order can be determined. If a person satisfies his first need, then he thinks about his next need. After satisfying the second need, he tries to satisfy third need and so on. So needs are the motivators.

Motivation is one of the important elements of directing. Issuance of proper instructions or orders does not necessarily ensure that they will be properly carried out. It requires manager to inspire or induce the employees to act and get the expected results. This is called motivation.

After the employees have been instructed regarding what they have to do and how to do, it is the duty of the manager to see that they perform the work as per instructions. This is known as supervision.

Barrier means the hindrance that adversely affect communication.

Communication is a basic organisational function, which refers to the process by which a person (known as sender) transmits information or messages to another person (known as receiver). The purpose of communication in organisations is to convey orders, instructions, or information so as to bring desired changes in the performance and or the attitude of employees.

While managing an enterprise, managers have to get things done through people. In order to be able to do so, they have to undertake many activities, like guide the people who work under them, inspire and lead them to achieve common objectives.

Helping the employees to improve their knowledge and skill so as to be able to perform their tasks more efficiently is known as training. It is an organised activity for increasing the knowledge and skills of people for a specific purpose.

When an adequate number of applications or names of interested candidates have been collected through the recruitment exercises, the selection process starts. Selection refers to the process of choosing the most suitable person from among the list of interested candidates.

Suppose you want to open a restaurant. After planning and organising you are aware of the various job positions that are required to be filled up. Let us say, you have assessed your requirement for a general manager, a chef, an accountant, and many other staff for home delivery of foods. Possibly, you have a list of persons interested to join your restaurant. For example, your uncle has promised you to provide an experienced general manager.

The process of staffing starts with ascertaining the required number of various categories of employees for the organisation. This is known as manpower planning. It decides the kinds of staff and the number of staff required for the organisation. This is done through several methods like job analysis, workload analysis, etc.

Staffing refers to the managerial function of employing and developing human resources for carrying out the various managerial and non-managerial activities in an organisation. This involves determining the manpower requirement, and the methods of recruiting, selecting, training and developing the people for various positions created in the organisation.

Decentralisation refers to a systematic effort to delegate authority at all levels of management and in all departments. This shifts the power of decision making to lower level under a well considered plan.

In organisations, it is difficult on the part of a manager to complete all the jobs assigned to him. He thus, can take help from others by asking them to do some of the work in a formal way. It means, he can assign some of the work to his subordinate and give them authority to carry on the work and at the same time make them accountable.

Formal organisation refers to the officially established pattern of relationships among departments, divisions and individuals to achieve well-defined goals and is a consciously designed structure of roles.

The process of organisation culminates into an organisation structure which constitutes a network of job positions and the authority relationships among the various positions.The various factors that are usually taken into consideration for designing a good organisation structure are job specifications, departmentation, authority-responsibility relationships, etc.

The process of organising consists of the following steps:

1. Identification of activities

Every enterprise is created with a specific purpose. Based on this, the activities involved can be identified. For example, in a manufacturing firm, producing goods and selling them are the major activities in addition to routine activities like, paying salary to employees, raising loans from outside, paying taxes to the government, etc. and these activities vary when the organisation is a service concern or a trading firm. Therefore, it is essential to identify various activities of an enterprise.

Organising is the next important function of management after the planning. In case of planning, a manager decides what is to be done in future. In case of organising, he decides on ways and means through which it will be easier to achieve what has been planned.

1. Objectives

Objectives are the end results towards which all the activities are directed. For example, it can be the objective of an organisation to impart training in cloth printing to 1000 persons in a year. As far as possible objectives should be measurable in quantitative terms and should be achievable.

Planning in organisation follows a step-by-step process without which it may be difficult to build up proper plans and ensure their implementation.

Planning is of great importance to management. Inspite of this fact, it suffers from some limitations.

Planning is the most important of all the management functions.

When we talk about planning, it simply refers to deciding in advance what is to be done and how it is to be done. For example, you decide in advance where to study (distance learning or regular school) and what to study (to go in for Business Studies or Accountancy or Physics or Chemistry) and plan for the admission, transport, arrangement and purchase of books and stationery, etc.

Scientific management was primarily concerned with increasing the efficiency of individual workers at the shop floor. It did not give adequate attention to role of managers and their functions. However, around the same time Henry Fayol, director of a coal mining company in France made a systematic analysis of the process of management.

Fredric Winslow Taylor identified that the existing management practices were based on trial and error method. F.W. Taylor is known as father of Scientific Management.

Scientific management means the application of scientific methods of study and analysis the problems of management. Taylor developed the following principles for guiding the managers of an organisation. These principles are known as the principles of Scientific Management.

Principles are the basic truths generally stated in the form of cause effect relationship. Management principles are the broad guidelines for the managers for decision making.

In every organisation, the managers perform certain basic functions. These are broadly divided into six categories:

  1. Planning
  2. Organising
  3. Staffing
  4. Directing
  5. Coordinating
  6. Controlling

There are certain levels of management with varying degree of authority and responsibilities. Some managers decide about the objectives of the business as a whole; some managers perform functions to achieve these objectives in different departments, like production, sales, etc, and some of the managers are concerned with the supervision of day-to-day activities of workers.

1. Management as a Process

Management consists of a series of inter-related activities of planning, organising and controlling. All activities are undertaken in a proper sequence with a systematic approach so as to ensure that all actions are directed towards achievement of common goals. Thus, it is regarded as a process of organising and employing resources to accomplish the predetermined objectives.

The existence and success of any organisation largely depends on the kind of management it has. No amount of quality resources is going to help unless they are put to productive use by efficient management. It is because of this reason that management is studied as a subject in almost every discipline of study.

The various characteristics of management are:

Meaning of Management

Consider a business enterprise, it may be an industry or it may be a trading concern. In both the cases, to start and run the business some amount of money is needed, some materials, few machines and some men are required, and some processes are involved.

In India, there are different types of small business. They may be categorised on the basis of investment in fixed capital in plant and machinery or on the basis of nature or place of operation. Following are some of the main types of small business:

  1. Small-scale industries
  2. Tiny industries
  3. Ancillary industrial undertakings
  4. Village industries
  5. Cottage industries
  6. Micro Business enterprises
  7. Small-scale Service and Business (industry related)
  8. Trading units

The size, capital investment, number of employees, volume of output as well as value of output are the general parameters of measuring a business enterprise. A small business is defined as a business which is actively managed by its owners, operating within the local area and relatively small in size. However, the Government of India has considered the fixed capital investment in plant and machinery as the only criteria to define a small industrial unit in India.

Before choosing a suitable career in self-employment you must have some idea about the avenues in which self-employment opportunities are available. The categorise of avenues of self-employment are:

  1. Trading
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Professionals
  4. Individualised Services

Career is a way of making one's livelihood. Self-employment is also a career because one may employ oneself in business or in service activities and earn one's livelihood. With growing unemployment and lack of adequate job opportunities, self-employment has become very significant.

When you accept an employment in any organisation, you have to perform various jobs as per the requirements of your employer and you may get a fixed amount of income as salary. But, instead of seeking a job, you can also opt to do something on your own to earn your livelihood.

All enterprises in India are not public enterprises. There is mixed economy in India and the private as well as the public sector contribute to the development of our economy. However, there are only some selected areas in which the government establishes its enterprises for a balanced development of the economy and promote public welfare. There are several areas where huge investment of capital is necessary but the margin of profit is either meager or it can be obtained only after a long period as in case of generation and supply of electricity, machine building, construction of dams, etc.