What after all, is Business? How to define and understand it

1 min read
8/1/19 12:00 AM

I have been teaching business analysis for almost a decade now.

Since business analysis starts with the word Business, I often ask my students to define it.

It is in fact very interesting to analyze the answers which I receive.

Although all most every human being on earth has had some experience with businesses, our definitions and understanding can vary widely.

Here are some of the common ones which I have come across:

  1. A company developing products or services
  2. A profit or non-profit organization
  3. Organization/entity involved in commercial activities
  4. An organization with a purpose
  5. An endeavor involving 2 or more persons
  6. An organization delivering value
  7. A set of activities to provide products or services

Although most of these definitions are partly correct, sometimes they may be referring to types of entities other than business.

Let us take the example of the Red Cross.

Does it provide value? Of course.

Does it have a series of activities? Of course, it does.

Is it a business? No, it's not.

So, we can define it as “A set of coordinated activities created to provide value to customer and supplier.”

Value to the customer comes through products and services.

Value to the supplier comes via profit earned through the provision of products and services.

Suggested Reading-

How to Launch Your Career as A Business Analyst

5 Leadership Traits of Great Business Analysts

Everything You Wanted To Know About Business Analyst Profession



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