The 4 Functional Areas of Business

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Broadly speaking, the operation of a business can be split into 4 areas. Here is a quick look at the 4 functional areas of business. All businesses are different, of course. Many organizations have specialist departments.

  • Operations

Operations management ensures that the resources and personnel of a company are used to create products and services well. These products and services can be tangible – like a phone – or intangible – like healthcare. Streamlined operations management is inherently important in the fulfillment of broad strategic aims. Operations managers are part of the quality control apparatus within a business. Without them, faulty products or poor services could make their way out into the world: something that inevitably damages a business’s ability to make a profit

  • Management 

Managers and management teams control the activities of people and systems. Managers are essential conduits communicating between strategic planners and staff carrying out tasks. Some areas of management are routinely outsourced by smaller companies. IT services management, for instance, is often entrusted to companies that specialize in remotely solving technology management issues. 

Good management is absolutely essential to the success of any business. Managers motivate, set goals, solve interpersonal issues, and ensure that strategic aims are kept in mind by all members of a team. They act as small-scale project managers. In the best companies, managers are given a large degree of autonomy to pursue strategically significant projects – similar to a military NCO corps. Managers design controls that allow them to assess the success of strategies and individual projects as they continue. Increasingly, this has involved the collection of numerical performance data. 

  • Marketing

Marketing is a rather broad area of business. Marketers are concerned with the identification of consumer needs and the tailoring of promotional materials and products to fit these needs. This is no simple task. Marketers increasingly rely on data science to identify the needs of consumers and client businesses. Forecasts are constructed using extremely varied and vast datasets. These forecasts are used to guide marketing strategies. 

Marketing is always evolving. Influencer marketing has taken on a completely new meaning in the internet age. Savvy marketing teams with a good understanding of their target audiences can now employ social media influencers as direct mouthpieces. Search engine optimization is an area of marketing concerned with the tailoring of online content for search engine ranking success. Innovation is the name of the game in the marketing sector. 

  • Accounting and Finances

Accounting is all about balancing the books – providing accurate information about the income and outgoings of a company. This information is incredibly important for successful financial planning – as well as the correct filing of complex taxes. Both financial accountants and managerial accountants are essential in the running of a successful company. 

Finance involves the management of a company’s funds. This is a multifaceted role that involves budgeting, liaising with other departments, investment research, market forecasting, and a whole host of other tasks. Financial planners help to keep a company in a perpetual state of growth and, in the perfect scenario, making a profit.