Starting and Running a Business/Functions of a Business

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Functions of a business[edit | edit source]

Most businesses must accomplish similar functions regardless of size, legal structure or industry. These functions are often organized into departments. Common departments include (but are not limited to):

typically responsible for financial reporting, financial controls and the raising of the capital necessary to run the business.
Human Resources
typically responsible for hiring, firing, payroll, benefits, etc.
Marketing and sales
responsible for selling the business' goods or services to the customer and for managing the relationships with the customer
typically responsible for promoting interest in, and generating demand for, the business' products or services, and positioning them within the market
finding likely purchasers and obtaining their agreement (known as a contract) to buy the business' products or services
makes the product or delivers the service
Production, costs, and pricing|Production
produces the raw materials into the delivered goods, if they require processing
Customer service
supports customers who need help with the goods or services
responsible for acquiring the goods and services necessary for the business. Sometimes organized as:
Strategic sourcing
determines the business' needs and plans for acquiring the necessary raw materials and services for the business
processes the purchase orders and related transactions
Research and Development
tests to create new products and to determine their viability (e.g. pilot plants)
Information Technology
manages the business' computer and data assets
Communications/Public Relations
responsible for communicating to the outside world
provides administrative support to the other departments (such as typing, filing, etc)
Internal Audit
an independent control function typically accountable to the Board of Directors for reporting on the proper functioning of the other departments

Management is sometimes listed as a "department" but typically refers to the top level of leadership within the business regardless of their functional role.