Business has built your comfortable home. Provided you with the clothes you wear, fashioned the plates that you use for breakfast/lunch/dinner, manufactured the chair in which your family sits and produced the food which your family eats.
One phase of business activities is agriculture. Farms produce the food for our tables, materials for our clothing and raw materials for other things. Thanks to modern machinery produced by other businesses, farms are able to produce enough materials for us and for exporting to other countries. Various types of businesses work together and assist each other, not only in one country but throughout the world.
Lumbering and Fishing make up another of the basic industries which supply raw materials to our business system. It produces wood pulp for paper, limber for our houses and furniture, fish for direct consumption and for canning. Another basic industry is Mining. Many things we use everyday have some sort of metal in them but mineral ores cannot be used in their natural state in making the products we need and want. They have to be refined and fabricated by various industries, and even when iron ore has been transformed into sheet steel, it still is not in the form of a product commonly used.
What is needed to create your toaster for example is sheet steel and the work of another type of business. The fourth of our major industries and the real heart of business activities is manufacturing. It allows more people to obtain more things they want and in so doing, provides jobs for millions of workers. The assembly line shows how business brings about the cooperation of many people to supply the wants of all. The toaster is manufactured by the men and women working in the various parts. It is then assembled into a finished product. Thus any business concern is dependent of many others. Some of which are in the distant parts of the world. Each business is a customer of the various concerns which produced the materials it needs and each in turn serves its own customers with the goods it makes.
We’ve examined the production phase of business activities which includes Farming, Lumbering, Fishing, Mining and Manufacturing. But it’s not enough for business merely to produce goods. The toasters for example, must reach the homes of the people who want them. Production is but one phase of business activity, the second is distribution.