Introduction to Business Environment
The formula for business success requires two elements - the individual and the environment. Remove either value and success becomes impossible. Business environment consist of all those factors that have a bearing on the business. The term 'business environment implies those external forces, factors and institutions that are beyond the control of individual business organisations and their management and affect the business enterprise. It implies all external forces within which a business enterprise operates. Business environment influence the functioning of the business system. Thus, business environment may be defined as all those conditions and forces which are external to the business and are beyond the individual business unit, but it operates within it. These forces are customer, creditors, competitors, government, socio-cultural organisations, political parties national and international organisations etc. some of those forces affect the business directly which some others have indirect effect on the business.
Features of business environment
•Totality of external forces: Business environment is the sum total of all things external to business firms and, as such, is aggregative in nature.
•Specific and general forces: Business environment includes both specific and general forces. Specific forces affect individual enterprises directly and immediately in their day-to-day working. General forces have impact on all business enterprises and thus may affect an individual firm only indirectly.
•Dynamic nature: Business environment is dynamic in that it keeps on changing whether in terms of technological improvement, shifts in consumer preferences or entry of new competition in the market.
•Uncertainty: Business environment is largely uncertain as it is very difficult to predict future happenings, especially when environment changes are taking place too frequently as in the case of information technology or fashion industries.
•Relativity: Business environment is a relative concept since it differs from country to country and even region to region. Political conditions in the USA, for instance, differ from those in China or Pakistan. Similarly, demand for sarees may be fairly high in India whereas it may be almost non-existent in France.
TYPES OF ENVIRONMENT
On the basis of the extent of intimacy with the firm , the environmental factors may be classified into different types-internal and external.
The internal environment is the environment that has a direct impact on the business. Here there are some internal factors which are generally controllable because the company has control over these factors. It can alter or modify such factors as its personnel, physical facilities, and organization and functional means, like marketing, to suit the environment.
The important internal factors which have a bearing on the strategy and other decisions of internal organization are discussed below.
The value system of the founders and those at the helm of affairs has important bearing on the choice of business, the mission and the objectives of the organization, business policies and practices.
Mission and vision and objectives
Vision means the ability to think about the future with imagination and wisdom. Vision is an important factor in achieving the objectives of the organization. The mission is the medium through which the objectives are achieved.
Management structure and nature
The structure of the organization also influences the business decisions. The organizational structure like the composition of board of directors , influences the decisions of business as they are internal factors . The structure and style of the organization may delay a decision making or some other helps in making quick decisions.
Internal power relationships