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Essay on Contemporary Business Practices and Globalization

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    This sample essay touches on the contemporary business landscape, arguing how recent technological developments have helped alter global trade and the distribution of wealth. Business analysis is one of the many custom writing services offered by Ultius.

    Today’s Business Environment: An Overview

    As business entities have changed drastically in the last few years, this has created many opportunities, challenges and standards that have been adopted. This analysis will review the overall importance of businesses in a globalized world as well as the domestic economy. Standard and critical functions of businesses that will be explored include:

    • Employee relations
    • Business type
    • Marketing
    • Consumer outreach and support
    • Challenges faced in modern business
    • The social responsibility required in business
    • The impact of technology
    • Entrepreneurship

    Case studies of companies will serve as important examples to supplement the information provided. 

    Globalization - business as usual

    Ultimately, businesses provide the ecosystem for consumers to spend money and for companies to continue operating by creating value for:

    • Consumers
    • Investors
    • Employees

    Further, many US companies also compete internationally for market share. Companies like Apple, Inc. and Microsoft have set the standard for personal computing in the last thirty years and consistently strive to outdo one another. Their legacies result from their eagerness to compete in international markets. More importantly, the example of the tech industry highlights the very dynamic nature of business. Because technology changes very rapidly, it is a great example of how business as a whole has changed rapidly. Not only are businesses important aspects of our economy, but they also face distinct challenges and opportunities in the globalized economy. 

    How businesses operate

    Motivation and leadership: managing employees

    Businesses have to make a continuous effort to motivate and train new employees. Because the younger ones are going to be the leaders of tomorrow, this means that there is more emphasis on it. For many businesses, internal organizations such as human resources are responsible for making sure that employees are happy. They also coordinate with other parts of the company for recruiting purposes. In order to be successful however, businesses must emphasize teamwork and communication that empowers individual employees and does not burden middle managers. Overcoming this kind of strife in the workplace is an essential facet of proper management. 

    Corporate structure and type

    As there are different types of businesses, there are also different business structures that meet different needs:

    1. Corporations are entities where there are shareholders and there are separate rules regarding reporting, shareholder rights and more that need to be abided. This is attractive for larger companies with complex shareholder relations.
    2. Limited Liability Companies are business entities that protect the owner in the case of any legal issues that may happen. If an LLC owner were to be sued, his personal assets would not be at risk.
    3. Sole Proprietorship takes on personal liability for any damages that result from their business activity.

    These different structures show the different facets of business entities and how they are unique to the needs of the individual and entity in general. There are also different tax rules associated with the entities. Within corporations, the entity can choose to be a C or S Corp which dictates whether the company gets double taxed for Internal Revenue Service reporting at the end of the fiscal year. 

    Marketing and consumer outreach

    Customer support has become as important as marketing in today’s business climate. With the rise of social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook, businesses are subject to public praise or criticism in a way that has never existed before. This is a strength for businesses because they can market on many different avenues in order to reach their customers. Businesses have come to rely heavily on social media through advertising with Google and Facebook. However, businesses have also had to focus their new-found channels of marketing for support as well. Many companies openly use their twitter accounts or Yelp pages in order to respond to any questions or criticisms that consumers may have. This shows the public that they are committed to delivering exceptional customer service. For businesses that do not stay on top of it, however, this can be a serious challenge.

    Zappos

    One company that does a really good job of providing great service is Zappos, an online retail outlet that uses customer service as a unique selling proposition. They have been praised in the media for their persistent and relentless efforts to please consumers with fast shipping, personable and knowledgeable sales people and freebies such as discount codes. This relates to the changing nature of business where having great products is only of the core functions that need to be met. With so much competition, especially online, businesses like Zappos are being innovative in the sense that they are using other means by which they retain customers. 

    Enduring challenges due to globalization - ethical and social responsibility.

    Businesses also face many challenges when competing in a globalized world. Maintaining a high standard of social and ethical responsibility is surely an important aspect. As capitalistic companies work towards profit, their interests can sometimes be in contrast with that of the general public. This creates issues when companies are personified as being greedy and their reputations suffer. To exemplify, many companies began to outsource manufacturing and customer service overseas; consequently, this took many jobs away from US workers. While it may not have been in the best interest of the public, the companies saved money on overhead because the labor and materials were much cheaper. This illustrates the kinds of challenges that businesses have with ethical and social justice. The same was true of what recently happened with BP and the Gulf Oil Spill. The theme of social responsibility was highlighted as the company suffered a damaging blow resulting from the negative media attention from the accident. Social and ethical responsibility is always at the forefront of issues for large companies as there is a spotlight on them. 

    Integrating technical innovations

    Another major challenge that highlights the dynamic nature of business is the IT sector. Most businesses, one way or another, have to rely on software and technical innovation in order to be competitive. However, as the technological landscape changes at a very rapid pace, this can be an expensive, time-consuming and complicated ordeal to deal with. Using technology to manage information has become the new way in which companies can get an advantage and as a result it has created many new markets for enterprise service providers. Companies like Oracle and Salesforce.com are integrating many new innovative technologies that are relevant with the advent of social media within the enterprise as technology and IT have become very important in terms of communication. Mobile devices and electronic mail have become ubiquitous pieces of innovation that almost every business will use. 

    Entrepreneurship and small businesses.

    Undoubtedly, the small business has an important role in the overall US economy for many reasons. While many think of small businesses as being clouded by bigger companies, the reality is that most companies are small businesses with less than twenty employees. These entities are very important because they:

    • Create jobs
    • Stimulate the economy
    • Support the nation through taxes

    However, small business owners face many challenges. As our nation faces a jobs crisis, it is small businesses and entrepreneurs that have the quickest ability to make an impact by starting a business. In doing so, they also face challenges when it comes to financing and government regulations. The reason that so many fail is because they either run out of money or cannot jump through hoops to meet the government’s demands. Nonetheless, small businesses play an integral role in stimulating our economy and more entrepreneurship is surely a strong catalyst for the creation of new jobs. 

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