Business and Operations

Business is a large sector of the global economy in which goods or services are exchanged, generally, for money and profits. Businesses need customers who purchase their goods or services. Additionally, businesses require some form of investment.

Businesses can have varied legal structures. For example, in the U.S., these structures can be corporations, sole proprietorships, partnerships or limited liability companies. Business legal structures can vary significantly by country. Businesses can be privately or publicly owned or state-owned. A commercial business is also called a company.

To get a sense of different types of businesses, you might explore the following:

  • Fortune 500: the largest U.S. public companies in 2017
  • Fortune Global 500: the world’s largest companies in 2017
  • Forbes: the largest U.S. private companies in 2017
  • Inc. 5000: the fastest growing U.S. private companies in in 2017


Functional Areas in Business

Jobs can be found and careers are available within functional areas in business. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Customer Service
  • Finance/Accounting
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Legal/Risk Management
  • Operations
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Research & Development
  • Sales
  • Sourcing & Production
  • Shipping & Distribution



Broadly speaking, businesses also span a wide range of global industries including, but not limited to:

  • Accounting & Auditing
  • Advertising
  • Aerospace
  • Agriculture/Agribusiness
  • Automotive
  • Chemical
  • Construction
  • Consulting
  • Defense
  • Education & Training
  • Energy & Environment
  • Entertainment
  • Finance & Investments
  • Food & Beverage
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality & Hotels
  • Insurance
  • Manufacturing
  • Media
  • Medical Devices
  • Mining
  • Personal Care
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Retailing
  • Shipping
  • Technology
  • Telecommunications
  • Travel & Transportation
  • Waste


Introduction to Operations

Operations refers to an aspect of business that is involved with the production and delivery of products or services to end users in the most efficient manner and at a profit to the business. The management process is referred to as operations management. It involves utilizing resources from staff, materials, equipment and technology.1 Operations management issues range from managing manufacturing plants, projects, inventory, quality control and related issues. Supply chain management refers to the flow of goods from pre-production or raw materials to use or consumption by the end-user.  Additionally, distribution is an important aspect of operations which ensures the product is delivered to the end-user.  

1 Source: