Small Business Considerations, Economics and Research
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In addition, the forces of supply and demand determine how prices and quantities of goods and services behave in a free market. The political climate of a country is another critical factor for managers to consider in day-to-day business operations. The amount of government activity, the types of laws it passes, and the general political stability of a government are three components of political climate. For example, a multinational company such as General Electric will evaluate the political climate of a country before deciding to locate a plant there.
Is the government stable, or might a coup disrupt the country? How restrictive are the regulations for foreign businesses, including foreign ownership of business property and taxation? Import tariffs, quotas, and export restrictions also must be taken into account. In the United States, laws passed by Congress and the many regulatory agencies cover such areas as competition, minimum wages, environmental protection, worker safety, and copyrights and patents.
For example, Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of to deregulate the telecommunications industry. As a result, competition increased and new opportunities arose as traditional boundaries between service providers blurred.
Today the dramatic growth in mobile technology has changed the focus of telecommunications, which now faces challenges related to broadband access and speed, content streaming, and much-needed improvements in network infrastructure to address ever-increasing data transmissions. Federal agencies play a significant role in business operations. When Pfizer wants to bring a new medication for heart disease to market, it must follow the procedures set by the Food and Drug Administration for testing and clinical trials and secure FDA approval.
Before issuing stock, Pfizer must register the securities with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These are just a few ways the political and legal environment affect business decisions.
States and local governments also exert control over businesses—imposing taxes, issuing corporate charters and business licenses, setting zoning ordinances, and similar regulations. We discuss the legal environment in greater detail in a separate appendix.
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Demographic factors are an uncontrollable factor in the business environment and extremely important to managers. Demographics help companies define the markets for their products and also determine the size and composition of the workforce. Demographics are at the heart of many business decisions. Businesses today must deal with the unique shopping preferences of different generations, which each require marketing approaches and goods and services targeted to their needs.
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For example, the more than 75 million members of the millennial generation were born between and The marketing impact of millennials continues to be immense. These are technologically savvy and prosperous young people, with hundreds of billions of dollars to spend. Other age groups, such as Generation X—people born between and —and the baby boomers—born between and —have their own spending patterns.
Many boomers nearing retirement have money and are willing to spend it on their health, their comforts, leisure pursuits, and cars.
As the population ages, businesses are offering more products that appeal to middle-aged and senior markets. In addition, minorities represent more than 38 percent of the total population, with immigration bringing millions of new residents to the country over the past several decades. By the U. Census Bureau projects the minority population to increase to 56 percent of the total U.
Companies recognize the value of hiring a diverse workforce that reflects our society. Social factors—our attitudes, values, ethics, and lifestyles—influence what, how, where, and when people purchase products or services. They are difficult to predict, define, and measure because they can be very subjective. They also change as people move through different life stages. People of all ages have a broader range of interests, defying traditional consumer profiles.
Small Business Economics
Changing roles have brought more women into the workforce. Analyzing more than 10 million company reviews by employees, Indeed researchers identified the top 20 firms with the best work-life balance. Wolfe says companies that demonstrate empathy and work diligently to provide personal time for all employees tend to take the top spots on the work-life balance list.
Surprisingly, none of the tech companies known for their generous work perks made the top 20 list in The application of technology can stimulate growth under capitalism or any other economic system. Technology is the application of science and engineering skills and knowledge to solve production and organizational problems.
Productivity is the amount of goods and services one worker can produce. Our ability as a nation to maintain and build wealth depends in large part on the speed and effectiveness with which we use technology—to invent and adapt more efficient equipment to improve manufacturing productivity, to develop new products, and to process information and make it instantly available across the organization and to suppliers and customers.
Many U. For example, advances in cloud computing provide businesses with the ability to access and store data without running applications or programs housed on a physical computer or server in their offices. Zahra Governance in entrepreneurial ecosystems: venture capitalists vs. Herrmann Tough on criminal wealth? Differential effects for low, medium and high performing franchisees by Maryse J. Robinson Are minority-owned businesses underserved by financial markets? Jackson Bite me! Kim Are growth expectations being met? Economic literature: papers , articles , software , chapters , books.
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