Business

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Posted by kaori 02/27/2009 @ 03:38

Tags : business

News headlines
Ecuador Business Confidence Fell 22% In April -Deloitte - Wall Street Journal
QUITO (Dow Jones)--Ecuador's Business Confidence Index, measured by Deloitte and Touche, fell 22% in April to 71.1 points, compared with April 2008, the company said. In its monthly report, Deloitte said the April index has recovered 4.3 percentage...
Obama Tells American Businesses to Drop Dead: Kevin Hassett - Bloomberg
President Barack Obama and his team have been having so much fun wielding dictatorial power while rescuing “failed” firms, that they have developed a scheme to gain the same power over every business. The plan is to enact policies that are so...
Outline of House Health Bill Includes Business Mandate - Wall Street Journal
The outline, put together by the House Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor Committees, includes a "play or pay" provision that would require businesses to provide health insurance or make a contribution to the federal...
Australia Business Mood Improves - Wall Street Journal
By SAM HOLMES SYDNEY -- Australian business confidence improved in May despite a slight setback in business conditions as financial markets continued to stabilize and stimulatory government fiscal policies assisted sentiment in the infrastructure...
Sprint Rolls Out Business Data Plan - InformationWeek
"Sprint saw a clear need for a plan that meets the needs of corporate liable business users whose data usage is moderate, while providing superior value," said Tim Donahur, VP of business marketing for Sprint, in a statement....
Major business events scheduled for Wednesday - Washington Post
DAYTON, Ohio - US Bankruptcy Court hearing for CertifiChecks Inc., company that sold gift certificates to thousands of businesses and individuals around the country, then abruptly went out of business. CAPE TOWN, South Africa - Kofi Annan and fellow...
Power Point: Find a new business model - CNNMoney.com
So what sort of new business model does Pandit forsee? “When you look at the last five, 10 years, there were two engines of growth. There was the US consumer and credit creation. None of those are likely to be the engines of growth going forward…...
Kansas City-area libraries launch business-centric efforts - Bizjournals.com
The Kansas City Public Library will unveil a new business and career center, and the Johnson County Library will provide space for entrepreneur classes aimed at Spanish speakers. The 2800 square-foot center within the library branch is funded by a...
CORRECTED - UPDATE 1-New Google tool targets Microsoft business users - Reuters
O) introduced software to make it easier for businesses using Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) Outlook to switch to its Web-based communications and collaboration products. The Internet company said on Tuesday that its new software can easily transfer data...
AT&T cuts iPhone prices New Mexico Business Weekly - Bizjournals.com
AT&T announced Monday it would lower prices on iPhones. The iPhone 3G will sell for $99 to new and qualifying customers who sign up for a two-year commitment with voice on data plans. Other prices included the iPhone 3G S at $199 for a 16-gigabyte...

Business

Scales of justice

A business (also called a firm or an enterprise) is a legally recognized organization designed to provide goods and/or services to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, most being privately owned and formed to earn profit to increase the wealth of owners. The owners and operators of a business have as one of their main objectives the receipt or generation of a financial return in exchange for work and acceptance of risk. Notable exceptions include cooperative businesses and state-owned enterprises. Socialist systems involve either government agencies, public, or worker ownership of most sizable businesses.

The etymology of "business" relates to the state of being busy either as an individual or society as a whole, doing commercially viable and profitable work. The term "business" has at least three usages, depending on the scope — the singular usage (above) to mean a particular company or corporation, the generalized usage to refer to a particular market sector, such as "the music business" and compound forms such as agribusiness, or the broadest meaning to include all activity by the community of suppliers of goods and services. However, the exact definition of business, like much else in the philosophy of business, is a matter of debate.

Business Studies, the study of the management of individuals to maintain collective productivity in order to accomplish particular creative and productive goals (usually to generate profit), is taught as an academic subject in many schools.

For a country-by-country listing of legally recognized business forms, see Types of business entity.

There are many other divisions and subdivisions of businesses. The authoritative list of business types for North America is generally considered to be the North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS. The equivalent European Union list is the NACE.

Management is sometimes listed as a "department" but typically refers to the top level of leadership within the business regardless of their functional role.

The study of the efficient and effective operation of a business is called management. The main branches of management are financial management, marketing management, human resource management, strategic management, production management, service management, information technology management, and business intelligence.

Most legal jurisdictions specify the forms of ownership that a business can take, creating a body of commercial law for each type.

Many businesses are operated through a separate entity such as a corporation, limited partnership or limited liability company. Most legal jurisdictions allow people to organize such an entity by filing certain charter documents with the relevant Secretary of State or equivalent and complying with certain other ongoing obligations. The relationships and legal rights of shareholders, limited partners, or members are governed partly by the charter documents and partly by the law of the jurisdiction where the entity is organized. Generally speaking, shareholders in a corporation, limited partners in a limited partnership, and members in a limited liability company are shielded from personal liability for the debts and obligations of the entity, which is legally treated as a separate "person." This means that unless there is misconduct, the owner's own possessions are strongly protected in law, if the business does not succeed.

Where two or more individuals own a business together but have failed to organize a more specialized form of vehicle, they will be treated as a general partnership. The terms of a partnership are partly governed by a partnership agreement if one is created, and partly by the law of the jurisdiction where the partnership is located. No paperwork or filing is necessary to create a partnership, and without an agreement, the relationships and legal rights of the partners will be entirely governed by the law of the jurisdiction where the partnership is located.

A single person who owns and runs a business is commonly known as a sole proprietor, whether he or she owns it directly or through a formally organized entity.

Most commercial transactions are governed by a very detailed and well-established body of rules that have evolved over a very long period of time, it being the case that governing trade and commerce was a strong driving force in the creation of law and courts in Western civilization.

As for other laws that regulate or impact businesses, in many countries it is all but impossible to chronicle them all in a single reference source. There are laws governing treatment of labor and generally relations with employees, safety and protection issues (OSHA or Health and Safety), anti-discrimination laws (age, gender, disabilities, race, and in some jurisdictions, sexual orientation), minimum wage laws, union laws, workers compensation laws, and annual vacation or working hours time.

In some specialized businesses, there may also be licenses required, either due to special laws that govern entry into certain trades, occupations or professions, which may require special education, or by local governments. Professions that require special licenses range from law and medicine to flying airplanes to selling liquor to radio broadcasting to selling investment securities to selling used cars to roofing. Local jurisdictions may also require special licenses and taxes just to operate a business without regard to the type of business involved.

Some businesses are subject to ongoing special regulation. These industries include, for example, public utilities, investment securities, banking, insurance, broadcasting, aviation, and health care providers. Environmental regulations are also very complex and can impact many kinds of businesses in unexpected ways.

When businesses need to raise money (called 'capital'), more laws come into play. A highly complex set of laws and regulations govern the offer and sale of investment securities (the means of raising money) in most Western countries. These regulations can require disclosure of a lot of specific financial and other information about the business and give buyers certain remedies. Because "securities" is a very broad term, most investment transactions will be potentially subject to these laws, unless a special exemption is available.

Capital may be raised through private means, by public offer (IPO) on a stock exchange, or in many other ways. Major stock exchanges include the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq (USA), the London Stock Exchange (UK), the Tokyo Stock Exchange (Japan), and so on. Most countries with capital markets have at least one.

Business that have gone "public" are subject to extremely detailed and complicated regulation about their internal governance (such as how executive officers' compensation is determined) and when and how information is disclosed to the public and their shareholders. In the United States, these regulations are primarily implemented and enforced by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Other Western nations have comparable regulatory bodies.

As noted at the beginning, it is impossible to enumerate all of the types of laws and regulations that impact on business today. In fact, these laws have become so numerous and complex, that no business lawyer can learn them all, forcing increasing specialization among corporate attorneys. It is not unheard of for teams of 5 to 10 attorneys to be required to handle certain kinds of corporate transactions, due to the sprawling nature of modern regulation. Commercial law spans general corporate law, employment and labor law, healthcare law, securities law, M&A law (who specialize in acquisitions), tax law, ERISA law (ERISA in the United States governs employee benefit plans), food and drug regulatory law, intellectual property law (specializing in copyrights, patents, trademarks and such), telecommunications law, and more.

In Thailand, for example, it is necessary to register a particular amount of capital for each employee, and pay a fee to the government for the amount of capital registered. There is no legal requirement to prove that this capital actually exists, the only requirement is to pay the fee. Overall, processes like this are detrimental to the development and GDP of a country, but often exist in "feudal" developing countries.

Businesses often have important "intellectual property" that needs protection from competitors in order for the company to stay profitable. This could require patents or copyrights or preservation of trade secrets. Most businesses have names, logos and similar branding techniques that could benefit from trademarking. Patents and copyrights in the United States are largely governed by federal law, while trade secrets and trademarking are mostly a matter of state law. Because of the nature of intellectual property, a business needs protection in every jurisdiction in which they are concerned about competitors. Many countries are signatories to international treaties concerning intellectual property, and thus companies registered in these countries are subject to national laws bound by these treaties.

Businesses can be bought and sold. Business owners often refer to their plan of disposing of the business as an "exit plan." Common exit plans include IPOs, MBOs and mergers with other businesses.

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Business jet

Raytheon Hawker 800 business jet (previously known as the DH125, then HS125, then British Aerospace 125)

Business jet, private jet or, colloquially, bizjet is a term describing a jet aircraft, usually of smaller size, designed for transporting groups of business people. Business jets may be adapted for other roles, such as the evacuation of casualties or express parcel deliveries, and a few may be used by public bodies, governments or the armed forces. The more formal terms of corporate jet, executive jet, VIP transport or business jet tend to be used by the firms that build, sell, buy and charter these aircraft.

Almost all production business jets, such as General Dynamics' Gulfstream and the Gates Lear Jet (now built by Bombardier), have had two or three engines, though the Jetstar, an early business jet, had four. Advances in engine reliability and power have rendered four-engine designs obsolete, and only Dassault Aviation still builds three-engine models (in the Falcon line). The emerging market for so-called "very light jets" and "personal jets", has seen the introduction (at least on paper) of several single-engine designs as well.

Almost all business jets have rear-mounted engines, because the wing (mounted low for performance reasons) is too near the ground for engines to be slung underneath it.

Airliners are sometimes converted into luxury business jets. Such converted aircraft are often used by celebrities with a large entourage or press corps, or by sports teams, but airliners often face operational restrictions based on runway length or local noise restrictions.

A focus of development is at the low end of the market with small models, many far cheaper than existing business jets. Many of these fall into the very light jet (VLJ) category and are used by the air taxi industry. Cessna has developed the Mustang, a six-place twinjet (2 crew + 4 passengers) available for $2.55 million USD. A number of smaller manufacturers have planned even cheaper jets; the first is the Eclipse 500 which has become available at around 1.5 million USD. It remains to be seen whether the new jet manufacturers will complete their designs, or find the market required to sell their jets at the low prices planned.

There are approximately 11,000 business jets in the worldwide fleet with the vast majority of them based in the United States or owned by US companies. The European market is the next largest, with growing activity in Asia and Central America. There is a pre-owned marketplace in which aircraft are bought and sold based on their immediate deliverability because new aircraft orders often take two to three years for delivery.

Since 1996 the term "fractional jet" has been used in connection with business aircraft owned by a consortium of companies. Costly overheads such as flight crew, hangarage and maintenance can be shared through such arrangements.

The business jet industry groups the jets into five loosely-defined "classes", Heavy, Super Mid-size, Mid-size, Light, and Very Light.

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Business process

A business process or business method is a collection of related, structured activities or tasks that produce a specific service or product (serve a particular goal) for a particular customer or customers.

A business process begins with a customer’s need and ends with a customer’s need fulfillment. Process oriented organizations break down the barriers of structural departments and try to avoid functional silos.

A business process can be decomposed into several sub-processes, which have their own attributes, but also contribute to achieving the goal of the super-process. The analysis of business processes typically includes the mapping of processes and sub-processes down to activity level.

Business Processes are designed to add value for the customer and should not include unnecessary activities. The outcome of a well designed business process is increased effectiveness (value for the customer) and increased efficiency (less costs for the company).

Business Processes can be modeled through a large number of methods and techniques. For instance, the Business Process Modeling Notation is a Business Process Modeling technique that can be used for drawing business processes in a workflow.

Smith also first recognized how the output could be increased through the use of labor division. Previously, in a society where production was dominated by handcrafted goods, one man would perform all the activities required during the production process, while Smith described how the work was divided into a set of simple tasks, which would be performed by specialized workers. The result of labor division in Smith’s example resulted in productivity increasing by 24,000 percent (sic), i.e. that the same number of workers made 240 times as many pins as they had been producing before the introduction of labor division.

It is worth noting that Smith did not advocate labor division at any price and per se. The appropriate level of task division was defined through experimental design of the production process. In contrast to Smith's view which was limited to the same functional domain and comprised activities that are in direct sequence in the manufacturing process, today's process concept includes cross-functionality as an important characteristic. Following his ideas the division of labor was adopted widely, while the integration of tasks into functional, or cross-functional, processes was not considered as an alternative option until much later.

Frederick Winslow Taylor developed the concept of scientific management. The concept contains aspects on the division of labor being relevant to the theory and practice around business processes. The business process related aspects of Taylor's scientific management concept are discussed in the article on Business Process Reengineering.

The span of control is the number of sub-ordinates a supervisor manages within a structural organization. Introducing a business process concept has a considerable impact on the structural elements of the organization and thus also on the span of control.

Large organizations that are not organized as markets need to be organized in smaller units - departments - which can be defined according to different principles.

Information Management and the organization design strategies being related to it, are a theoretical cornerstone of the business process concept.

This definition contains certain characteristics a process must possess. These characteristics are achieved by a focus on the business logic of the process (how work is done), instead of taking a product perspective (what is done). Following Davenport's definition of a process we can conclude that a process must have clearly defined boundaries, input and output, that it consists of smaller parts, activities, which are ordered in time and space, that there must be a receiver of the process outcome- a customer - and that the transformation taking place within the process must add customer value.

As we can note, Hammer & Champy have a more transformation oriented perception, and put less emphasis on the structural component – process boundaries and the order of activities in time and space.

The above definition distinguishes two types of processes, primary and support processes, depending on whether a process is directly involved in the creation of customer value, or concerned with the organization’s internal activities. In this sense, Rummler and Brache's definition follows Porter's value chain model, which also builds on a division of primary and secondary activities. According to Rummler and Brache, a typical characteristic of a successful process-based organization is the absence of secondary activities in the primary value flow that is created in the customer oriented primary processes. The characteristic of processes as spanning the white space on the organization chart indicates that processes are embedded in some form of organizational structure. Also, a process can be cross-functional, i.e. it ranges over several business functions.

This definition also emphasizes the constitution of links between activities and the transformation that takes place within the process. Johansson et.al. also include the upstream part of the value chain as a possible recipient of the process output. Summarizing the four definitions above, we can compile the following list of characteristics for a business process.

Frequently, a process owner, i.e. a person being responsible for the performance and continuous improvement of the process, is also considered as a prerequisite.

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Source : Wikipedia