What is the purpose of a business?

This is a question I have been pondering for a long time and thought I should share my point of view. 

The generic answer to this question is: to make a profit. However, the purpose of the business will depend on what point of view you look at it from.

A customer will see the business as a means of providing a service or a product. Another business in the same sector will see it as a competitor. The employees and management within the business will all have different individual goals as well as the basic goals the business will set, namely to make a profit, gain greater market share, enlarge the customer base and so on. One employee may see it as a means of earning a living; with money being the sole motivator, whereas another employee may see it as a way of gaining recognition and becoming “something”. 

In reality, everything is a business. Each organisation/business/company will still have to keep a track of their finances to remain liquid. For example; a charity is a business but it does not employ a profit making strategy. A school is a business but its sole aim is to educate.

A business that is selling a product or a service is always going to have a purpose of trying to make a profit, but ultimately business is more than that. The answer will depend on the individual and the business itself. 

There is more than one answer.

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Which core function of a business is the most important?

This question causes a hot debate in the world of business. 

My answer is simple; they are all the most important. If one of these functions in a business is weak, it could significantly damage success and ultimately without one of the functions the business wouldn’t remain for long. 

Each department is fundamental for a successful business. The operations team create the product, the sales/marketing team generate publicity and sell the product, finance ensure the business stays profitable and human resources ensure the employees are motivated. Well that’s the theoretical view of a business at a basic level. In practice, a business exhibiting all of these functions perfectly is very rare, and would be a recipe for mighty success.  

Ensuring all departments of the business work in tandem should be the main focus.

Many businesses around the world seek this focus, and inevitably have become global brands. 

Any comments on what view you pose would be much welcomed.