Monday, August 27, 2012


The way to your dreams, your goals lies not just in charting a good action-plan, but also equally in decluttering your life, the way all great men have done


“Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature...” – Thomas Kempis

In today’s world, where we live in an environment of clutter, chaos and confusion, the person who is able to de-clutter and simplify his life is the one who can achieve the maximum. Most of us are doing too much – speaking too much, connecting too much (thanks to Facebook and other networking sites), multitasking too much, aiming for too many goals, filling our workday with too many commitments, and the list goes on. It’s time to hold back, think, and simplify things. It’s time to focus on the essential and de-clutter, and de-stress our life. All successful people have done it.

However, simplicity is the most difficult thing to achieve. The ones who can achieve it have been the most successful. Charlie Chaplin was one such legend. He simplified films. All his films were immaculately constructed. He understood human psychology perfectly and depicted it in the simplest manner in his films, which is why even today, they are as enjoyable to watch. Come to think of it, simplicity can be pretty complex. Only if you have a deep understanding of the problem can you think of a simple explanation or a simple solution. As Lao Tzu once said “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” The one who can master these three virtues is sure to succeed.

Look at the world of advertising; even here, simplicity works the best. The commercials we remember the longest are the ones that tell a simple story. Remember the Zoozoos of Vodafone, or the little pug of the Hutch advertisements? Almost all of us remember them even though the ads have stopped being aired on TV. A great advertising guru is one who has the knack to understand the pulse of the consumer. Ask any advertising man and he will tell you that the toughest challenge is getting ‘customer insight’, i.e. trying to figure out what will motivate the consumer to buy. Most of the times, the answers are the simplest. When Rasna was launched (sometime around 1983), the ad agency Mudra used one simple headline, ‘Home Magic’, and below it put a photograph of 32 glasses filled with Rasna with a straw in each glass. A simple idea, but the housewives loved it for the visual embodied the value-for-money proposition. One pack could make 32 glasses. So successful was this simple depiction that the visual remained the brand’s identity for 23 years. A great advertisement is one, which very simply articulates what the consumer wants. This requires great skill but once you have found your message, you do not require expensive locations, celebrities or expensive sets to make your ad stand out and get noticed. The right message is remembered and people never get tired of watching the ad. Amul’s advertisements are another example of the power of simplicity. They pick up a topic that is in the news and build an ad around it. In 1967, the first hoarding of Amul went up in Mumbai and till today, people wait for Amul’s next ad. Look what a simple idea can do!

Prof Rajita Chaudhuri
Rajita Chaudhuri
It’s said that the greatest truths are the simplest. The same can be said of the greatest men. William Wordsworth was a great poet who wrote about the simple joys of nature; and even today, his poems remain as popular. He said, “How many undervalue the power of simplicity! But it is the real key to the heart.” Mahatma Gandhi, one of the greatest men India has seen, believed deeply in the virtues of simplicity. He said, “Live simply, so that others may simply live.” The moment we ‘clutter’ our life with too many unnecessary wants and needs, we forget to enjoy its true beauty; and it’s this greed, this insatiable hunger that leads to more problems for not just us but those around us also.

In a nutshell, great things start with simple ideas; and truly great people have achieved their greatness by believing in simplicity. They lived simple lives and found simple solutions to every complicated problem. Very simply put, if you want to lose weight, the simple solution is to eat less. If you want to do well in studies, study daily. If you want to become a good musician or sportsman, get up every morning and practise. If you want India to really change, go ahead and vote for the most deserving candidate. If you want to achieve something, just do it!


The temptations of time wasters are everywhere and are the causes of a lot of procrastination. The television and YouTube are two mediums causing the biggest wastage of time. Hours evaporate into a mist of undone tasks before we know it. These temptations are the greatest when we have the most to do. The less time we have, the more the temptation to waste it doing things, which could easily have been avoided.

In his book Eat the Frog, author Brian Tracy gives one simple advice. He says that according to an old saying, if you eat a live frog in the morning, nothing bad will happen to you for the whole day. However, the ‘frog’ that he speaks about is actually the one thing that you find the most difficult to do in your ‘to-do’ list. It means the task, which is the most important; and it is generally the most demanding task that we try to procrastinate the most. It is this ‘frog’ that should be attacked first and finished the moment we start our day. This will ensure that the job is done when you have the maximum energy and time in hand, leaving you feeling happy and satisfied for the rest of the day; and perhaps, because of this, one is encouraged to do even more things in lesser time. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is it comes one day at a time.” What he meant was that we write our future ‘one day at a time’; so if each day is planned well and if each day is made productive, the future is bound to be good. Live each day to its fullest, by planning it well and starting the day by doing the most important things first.


Give up something. Abstain from certain things. Have the courage to say ‘No’, for it gives you strength and prevents you from giving in... from succumbing to pressure. Great people managed to achieve the impossible by making a promise to themselves of abstaining from certain things till they accomplished what they wanted. Chanakya refused to tie his hair till he had avenged his father’s death. Draupadi refused to tie her hair till she had taken her revenge. Gandhi refused to eat (and undertook indefinite fasts) till the British agreed to his demands. Giving up something to attain a greater goal has been the foundation of Indian culture. It gives one immense power. Fasting makes us stronger. Giving up non-vegetarian food makes us increase our self-control. You could start by giving up one activity that wastes time and use that time to do something productive.

One of the greatest qualities of a leader is his ability to overcome temptations. It’s his ability and courage to say a ‘no’ which gives him greater control over his life and his thoughts, for every time he says a ‘no’ to the temptation, he keeps the focus on his goals and that increases his determination and willpower. You say a ‘no’ for you refuse to take ‘not possible’ for an answer; because when you are obsessed with an idea and think only about it and nothing else, all your energy and life starts revolving around it. Once that happens, you are bound to succeed.

A person who can control his thoughts, a person who has a strong mind is the one who achieves the most. As someone said, “As you think, so shall you become.” Think about what you are planning to do today, for your thoughts become your actions. If your thoughts match your plans, only then will you succeed. The book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill says that if you have a burning desire to achieve something, you will get it, for that [burning desire] will help you overcome all obstacles and opposition. Thoughts become things, and as Hill puts it, “All achievements, all earned riches have their beginning in an idea!” So find that idea which will engulf you and make you work towards it like a man possessed, and you will never look back.

Both your thoughts and actions finally decide your future. So think right – this will help you to plan right. Before that, de-stress and declutter your life; simplify it so that you can focus on the really important stuff. Finally, once you have decided on something, don’t let anybody in the world change it... Just do it!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Chapter 1: The purpose of Business Activity

The economics problem: needs and wants.

Basically, all humans have needs and wants. Needs are things we can't live without, while wants are simply our desires that we can live without. We all have unlimited wants, which is true, since all of us want a new PC, a car, new graphics card, etc. that we actually do not need to live. Businesses produce goods and services to satisfy needs and wants.

Although we have unlimited wants, there are not enough resources for everyone. Resources can be split into 4 factors of production, which are:

- Land: All natural resources used to make a product or service.
- Labour: The effort of workers required to make a product or service.
- Capital: Finance, machinery and equipment required to make a product or service.
- Enterprise: Skill and risk-taking ability of the entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs are people who combine these factors of production to make a product.

With these discussed, lets move on to the economic problem. The economic problem results from limited resources and unlimited wants. This situation causes scarcity, when there are not enough goods to satisfy the wants for everybody. Because of this, we will have to choose which wants we will satisfy (that will be of more benefit to us) and which we will not when buying things. For any choice, you will have to would have obtained if you didn't spend that money. For example, you would have got a book if you didn't buy the pen, or you would have a burger if you didn't buy the chips. Basically, item that you didn't buy is the opportunity cost. Make sure that the opportunity cost isn't higher than what you bought!

"Opportunity cost: the next best alternative given up by choosing another item."
Here is a diagram showing the whole economic problem:

Division of labour/Specialisation

Because there are limited resources, we need to use them the most efficient way possible. Therefore, we now use production methods that are as fast as possible and as efficient (costs less, earns more) as possible. The main production method that we are using nowadays is known as specialization, or division of labour.

"Division of Labour/Specialisation is when the production process is split up into different tasks and each specialized worker/ machine performs one of these tasks."

  • Specialized workers are good at one task and increases efficiency and output.
  • Less time is wasted switching jobs by the individual.
  • Machinery also helps all jobs and can be operated 24/7.
  • Boredom from doing the same job lowers efficiency.
  • No flexibility because workers can only do one job and cannot do others well if needed.
  • If one worker is absent and no-one can replace him, the production process stops.
Why is business activity needed? (summary)
- Provides goods and services from limited resources to satisfy unlimited wants.
- Scarcity results from limited resources and unlimited wants.
- Choice is necessary for scarce resources. This leads to opportunity costs.
- Specialisation is required to make the most out of resources.

Business activity:
  1. Combine factors of production to create goods and services.
  2. Goods and services satisfy peoples wants.
  3. Employs people and pays them wages so they can consume other products.

Business Objectives:
All businesses have aims or objectives to achieve. Their aims can vary depending on their type of business or these can change depending on situations. The most common objectives are:
  1. Profit: Profit is what keeps a company going and is the main aim of most businesses. Normally a business will try to obtain a satisfactory level of profits so they do not have to work long hours or pay too much tax.
  2. Increase added value: Value added is the difference between the price and material costs of a product. E.g. If the price when selling a pen is $3 and it costs $1 in material, the value added would be $2. However, this does not take into account overheads and taxes. Added value could be increased by working on products so that they become more expensive finished products. One easy example of this is a mobile phone with a camera would sell for much more than one without it. Of course, you will need to pay for the extra camera but as long as prices rise more than costs, you get more profit.
  3. Growth: Growth can only be achieved when customers are satisfied with a business. When businesses grow they create more jobs and make them more secure when a business is larger. The status and salary of managers are increased. Growth also means that a business is able to spread risks by moving to other markets, or it is gaining a larger market share. Bigger businesses also gain cost advantages, called economies of scale.
  4. Survival: If a business do not survive, its owners lose everything. Therefore, businesses need to focus on this objective the most when they are: starting up, competing with other businesses, or in an economic recession.
  5. Service to the community: This is the primary goal for most government owned businesses. They plan to produce essential products to everybody who need them.
These business objectives can conflict because different people in a business want different things at different times.

Stakeholders are a person or a group which has interest in a business for various reasons and will be directly affected by its decisions. Stakeholders also have different objectives and these also conflict over time.

There are two 6 types of stakeholders, and these types can be classified into two groups with similar interests.

Group 1: Profit/Money
  • Owners:
  1. Profit, return on capital.
  2. Growth, increase in value of business.
  • Workers
  1. High salaries.
  2. Job security.
  3. Job satisfaction.
  • Managers
  1. High salaries.
  2. Job security.
  3. Growth of business so they get more power, status, and salary.
Group 2: Value
  • Customers
  1. Safe products.
  2. High quality.
  3. Value for money.
  4. Reliability of service and maintenance.
  • Government
  1. Employment.
  2. Taxes.
  3. National output/GDP increase.
  • Community
  1. Employment.
  2. Security.
  3. Business does not pollute the environment.
  4. Safe products that are socially responsible.
So... That's the first chapter guys. I realised that doing summaries in this format takes so much time, so the next chapter I will do it more in note form, making this less of a study guide but a revision guide or summary. Chapter two coming out soon!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Chapter 2: Types of business activity

Levels of economic activity

In order for products to be made and sold to the people, it must undergo 3 different production processes. Each process is done by a different business sector and they are:
  • Primary sector: The natural resources extraction sector. E.g. farming, forestry, mining... (earns the least money)
  • Secondary sector: The manufacturing sector. E.g. construction, car manufacturing, baking... (earns a medium amount of money)
  • Tertiary sector: The service sector. E.g banks, transport, insurance... (earns the most money)
Importance of a sector in a country:
  • no. of workers employed.
  • value of output and sales.
Industrialisation: a country is moving from the primary sector to the secondary sector.
De-industrialisation: a country is moving from the secondary sector to the tertiary sector.
In both cases, these processes both earn the country more revenue.

Types of economiess

Free market economy:
All businesses are owned by the private sector. No government intervention.

  • Consumers have a lot of choice
  • High motivation for workers
  • Competition keeps prices low
  • Incentive for other businesses to set up and make profits
  • Not all products will be available for everybody, especially the poor
  • No government intervention means uncontrollable economic booms or recessions
  • Monopolies could be set up limiting consumer choice and exploiting them
Command/Planned economy:
All businesses are owned by the public sector. Total government intervention. Fixed wages for everyone. Private property is not allowed.
  • Eliminates any waste from competition between businesses (e.g. advertising the same product)
  • Employment for everybody
  • All needs are met (although no luxury goods)
  • Little motivation for workers
  • The government might produce things people don't want to buy
  • Low incentive for firms (no profit) leads to low efficiency
Mixed economy:
Businesses belong to both the private and public sector. Government controls part of the economy.

Industries under government ownership:
  • health
  • education
  • defence
  • public transport
  • water & electricity
Privatisation involves the government selling national businesses to the private sector to increase output and efficiency.

  • New incentive (profit) encourages the business to be more efficient
  • Competition lowers prices
  • Individuals have more capital than the government
  • Business decisions are for efficiency, not government popularity
  • Privatisation raises money for the government
  • Essential businesses making losses will be closed
  • Workers could be made redundant for the sake of profit
  • Businesses could become monopolies, leading to higher price
Comparing the size of businesses
Businesses vary in size, and there are some ways to measure them. For some people, this information could be very useful:
  • Investors - how safe it is to invest in businesses
  • Government - tax
  • Competitors - compare their firm with other firms
  • Workers - job security, how many people they will be working with
  • Banks - can they get a loan back from a business.
Ways of measuring the size of a business:
  • Number of employees. Does not work on capital intensive firms that use machinery.
  • Value of output. Does not take into account people employed. Does not take into account sales revenue.
  • Value of sales. Does not take into account people employed.
  • Capital employed. Does not work on labour intensive firms. High capital but low output means low effiency.
You cannot measure a businesses size by its profit, because profit depends on too many factors not just the size of the firm.

Business Growth
All owners want their businesses to expand. They reap these benefits:
  • Higher profits
  • More status, power and salary for managers
  • Low average costs (economies of scale)
  • Higher market share
Types of expansion:
  • Internal Growth: Organic growth. Growth paid for by owners capital or retained profits.
  • External Growth: Growth by taking over or merging with another business.
Types of Mergers (and main benefits):

- Horizontal Merger: merging with a business in the same business sector.
  • Reduces no. of competitors in industry
  • Economies of scale
  • Increase market share
- Vertical merger:
Forward vertical merger:
  • Assured outlet for products
  • Profit made by retailer is absorbed by manufacturer
  • Prevent retailer from selling products of other businesses
  • Market research on customers transfered directly to the manufacturer
Backward vertical merger:
  • Constant supply of raw materials
  • Profit from primary sector business is absorbed by manufacturer
  • Prevent supplier from supplying other businesses
  • Controlled cost of raw materials
Conglomerate merger:
  • Spreads risks
  • Transfer of new ideas from one section of the business to another
Why some businesses stay small:
There are some reasons why some businesses stay small. They are:
  • Type of industry the business is in: Industries offering personal service or specialized products. They cannot grow bigger because they will lose the personal service demanded by customers. E.g. hairdressers, cleaning, convenience store, etc.
  • Market size: If the size of the market a business is selling to is too small, the business cannot expand. E.g. luxury cars (Lamborghini), expensive fashion clothing, etc.
  • Owners objectives: Owners might want to keep a personal touch with staff and customers. They do not want the increased stress and worry of running a bigger business.
Thats the end of chapter two! Chapter 3 coming soon!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chapter 3: Forms of business organisation

Almost every country consists of two business sectors, the private sector and the public sector. Private sector businesses are operated and run by individuals, while public sector businesses are operated by the government. The types of businesses present in a sector can vary, so lets take a look at them.

Private Sector

Sole Traders

Sole traders are the most common form of business in the world, and take up as much as 90% of all businesses in a country. The business is owned and run by one person only. Even though he can employ people, he is still the sole proprietor of the business. These businesses are so common since there are so little legal requirements to set up:
  • The owner must register with and send annual accounts to the government Tax Office.
  • They must register their business names with the Registrar of Business Names.
  • They must obey all basic laws for trading and commerce.
There are advantages and disadvantages to everything, and here are ones for sold traders:

  • There are so few legal formalities are required to operate the business.
  • The owner is his own boss, and has total control over the business.
  • The owner gets 100% of profits.
  • Motivation because he gets all the profits.
  • The owner has freedom to change working hours or whom to employ, etc.
  • He has personal contact with customers.
  • He does not have to share information with anyone but the tax office, thus he enjoys complete secrecy.
  • Nobody to discuss problems with.
  • Unlimited liability.
  • Limited finance/capital, business will remain small.
  • The owner normally spends long hours working.
  • Some parts of the business can be inefficient because of lack of specialists.
  • Does not benefit from economies of scale.
  • No continuity, no legal identity.

Sole traders are recommended for people who:
  • Are setting up a new business.
  • Do not require a lot of capital for their business.
  • Require direct contact for customer service.


A partnership is a group consisting of 2 to 20 people who run and own a business together. They require a Deed of Partnership or Partnership Agreement, which is a document that states that all partners agree to work with each other, and issues such as who put the most capital into the business or who is entitled to the most profit. Other legal regulations are similar to that of a sole trader.

  • More capital than a sole trader.
  • Responsibilities are split.
  • Any losses are shared between partners.
  • Unlimited liability.
  • No continuity, no legal identity.
  • Partners can disagree on decisions, slowing down decision making.
  • If one partner is inefficient or dishonest, everybody loses.
  • Limited capital, there is a limit of 20 people for any partnership.

Recommended to people who:
  • Want to make a bigger business but does not want legal complications.
  • Professionals, such as doctors or lawyers, cannot form a company, and can only form a partnership.
  • Family, when they want a simple means of getting everybody into a business (Warning: Nepotism is usually not recommended).
Note: In some countries including the UK there can be Limited Partnerships. This business has limited liability but shares cannot be bought or sold. It is abbreviated as LLP.

Private Limited Companies

Private Limited Companies have separate legal identities to their owners, and thus their owners have limited liability. The company has continuity, and can sell shares to friends or family, although with the consent of all shareholders. This business can now make legal contracts. Abbreviated as Ltd (UK), or Proprietary Limited, (Pty) Ltd.

  • The sale of shares make raising finance a lot easier.
  • Shareholders have limited liability, therefore it is safer for people to invest but creditors must be cautious because if the business fails they will not get their money back.
  • Original owners are still able to keep control of the business by restricting share distribution.

  • Owners need to deal with many legal formalities before forming a private limited company:
o The Articles of Association: This contains the rules on how the company will be managed. It states the rights and duties of directors, the rules on the election of directors and holding an official meeting, as well as the issuing of shares.
o The Memorandum of Association: This contains very important information about the company and directors. The official name and addresses of the registered offices of the company must be stated. The objectives of the company must be given and also the amount of share capital the owners intend to raise. The number of shares to be bought b each of the directors must also be made clear.
o Certificate of Incorporation: the document issued by the Registrar of Companies that will allow the Company to start trading.
  • Shares cannot be freely sold without the consent of all shareholders.
  • The accounts of the company are less secret than that of sole traders and partnerships. Public information must be provided to the Registrar of Companies.
  • Capital is still limited as the company cannot sell shares to the public.
Public Limited Companies

Public limited companies are similar to private limited companies, but they are able to sell shares to the public. A private limited company can be converted into a public limited company by:
  1. A statement in the Memorandum of Association must be made so that it says this company is a public limited company.
  2. All accounts must be made public.
  3. The company has to apply for a listing in the Stock Exchange.
A prospectus must be issued to advertise to customers to buy shares, and it has to state how the capital raised from shares will be spent.

  • Limited liability.
  • Continuity.
  • Potential to raise limitless capital.
  • No restrictions on transfer of shares.
  • High status will attract investors and customers.
  • Many legal formalities required to form the business.
  • Many rules and regulations to protect shareholders, including the publishing of annual accounts.
  • Selling shares is expensive, because of the commission paid to banks to aid in selling shares and costs of printing the prospectus.
  • Difficult to control since it is so large.
  • Owners lose control, when the original owners hold less than 51% of shares.
Control and ownership in a public limited company:

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held every year and all shareholders are invited to attend so that they can elect their Board of Directors. Normally, Director are majority shareholders who has the power to do whatever they want. However, this is not the case for public limited companies since there can be millions of shareholders. Anyway, when directors are elected, they have to power to make important decisions. However, they must hire managers to attend to day to day decisions. Therefore:
  • Shareholders own the company
  • Directors and managers control the company
This is called the divorce between ownership and control.
Because shareholders invested in the company, they expect dividends. The directors could do things other than give shareholders dividends, such as trying to expand the company. However, they might loose their status in the next AGM if shareholders are not happy with what they are doing. All in all, both directors and shareholders have their own objectives.


Cooperatives are a group of people who agree to work together and pool their money together to buy "bulk". Their features are:
  • All members have equal rights, no matter how much capital they invested.
  • All workload and decision making is equally shared, a manager maybe appointed for bigger cooperatives
  • Profits are shared equally.
The most common cooperatives are:
  • producer co-operatives: just like any other business, but run by workers.
  • retail co-operatives: provides members with high quality goods or services for a reasonable price.
Other notable business organizations:

Close Corporations:

This type of business is present in countries such as South Africa. It is like a private limited company but it is much quicker to set up:
  • Maximum limit of 10 people.
  • You only need a simple founding statement which is sent to the Registrar of Companies to start the business.
  • All members are managers (no divorce of ownership and control).
  • A separate legal unit, has both limited liability and continuity.
  • The size limit is not suitable for a large business.
  • Members may disagree just like in a partnership.
Joint ventures

Two businesses agree to start a new project together, sharing capital, risks and profits.

  • Shared costs are good for tackling expensive projects. (e.g aircraft)
  • Pooled knowledge. (e.g foreign and local business)
  • Risks are shared.
  • Profits have to be shared.
  • Disagreements might occur.
  • The two partners might run the joint venture differently.

The franchisor is a business with a successful brand name that recruits franchisees (individual businesses) to sell for them. (e.g. McDonald, Burger King)

Pros for the franchisor:
  • The franchisee has to pay to use the brand name.
  • Expansion is much faster because the franchisor does not have to finance all new outlets.
  • The franchisee manages outlets
  • All products sold must be bought from the franchisor.
Cons for the franchisor:
  • The failure of one franchise could lead to a bad reputation of the whole business.
  • The franchisee keeps the profits.
Pros for the franchisee:
  • The chance of failure is much reduced due to the well know brand image.
  • The franchisor pays for advertising.
  • All supplies can be obtained from the franchisor.
  • Many business decisions will be made by the franchisor (prices, store layout, products).
  • Training for staff and management is provide by the franchisor.
  • Banks are more willing to lend to franchisees because of lower risks.
Cons for the franchisee:
  • Less independence
  • May be unable to make decisions that would suit the local area.
  • Licence fee must be paid annually and a percentage of the turnover must be paid.
Public Sector

Public corporations:

A business owned by the government and run by Directors appointed by the government. These businesses usually include the water supply, electricity supply, etc. The government give the directors a set of objectives that they will have to follow:
  • to keep prices low so everybody can afford the service.
  • to keep people employed.
  • to offer a service to the public everywhere.
These objectives are expensive to follow, and are paid for by government subsidies. However, at one point the government would realise they cannot keep doing this, so they will set different objectives:
  • to reduce costs, even if it means making a few people redundant.
  • to increase efficiency like a private company.
  • to close loss-making services, even if this mean some consumers are no longer provided with the service.
  • Some businesses are considered too important to be owned by an individual. (electricity, water, airline)
  • Other businesses, considered natural monopolies, are controlled by the government. (electricity, water)
  • Reduces waste in an industry. (e.g. two railway lines in one city)
  • Rescue important businesses when they are failing.
  • Provide essential services to the people (e.g. the BBC)
  • Motivation might not be as high because profit is not an objective.
  • Subsidies lead to inefficiency. It is also considered unfair for private businesses.
  • There is normally no competition to public corporations, so there is no incentive to improve.
  • Businesses could be run for government popularity.
Municipal enterprises

These businesses are run by local government authorities which might be free to the user and financed by local taxes. (e.g, street lighting, schools, local library, rubbish collection). If these businesses make a loss, usually a government subsidy is provided. However, to reduce the burden on taxpayers, many municipal enterprises are being privatised.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Chapter 4: Government and economic influences on business

The impact of business activity on society

All business activity has benefits and undesirable effects on society. These reasons are why governments want to have some control over business activity:

Possible benefits:
  • Production of useful goods to satisfy customer wants.
  • Create employment/increases workers living standards.
  • Introduction of new products or processes that reduces costs and widen product range.
  • Taxes help finance public services.
  • Business earn foreign currency in exports and this could be spent on imports.
Possible undesirable effects:
  • Business might ruin cheap but beautiful areas.
  • Low wages and unsafe working conditions for workers because businesses want to lower costs.
  • Pollution
  • Production of dangerous goods.
  • Monopolies
  • Advertising can mislead customers.
Governments tend to pass laws that restrict undesirable activities while supporting desirable activities.

Governments and the economy

Government economic objectives:

Governments all have aims for their country, and this is what they are:
  • Low inflation.
  • Low unemployment.
  • Economic growth.
  • Balance of payments.
Low inflation:

Inflation occurs when prices rise. When prices rise rapidly many bad thing could happen:
  • Workers wages buy less than before. Therefore their real income (how much you can buy with so much money) falls. Workers will be unhappy and demand for higher wages.
  • Prices of local goods will rise more than that of other countries with lower inflation. People may start buying foreign goods instead.
  • It would cost more for businesses to start or expand and therefore it does not employ as many people.
  • Some people might be made redundant so that the business can cut costs.
  • Standards of living will fall.
This is obviously why governments want to keep inflation as low as possible.

Low levels of unemployment:

When people are unemployed, they want to work but cannot find a job. This causes many problems:
  • Unemployed people do not work. Therefore national output will be lower than it should be.
  • The government will have to pay for unemployment benefits. This is expensive and money cannot be use for other purposes.
If the level up unemployment is low, it will increase national output and improve standards of living for workers.

Economic growth

A country is said to grow when its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is increasing. This is the total value of goods produced in one year. The standards of living tends to increase with economic growth. Problems arise when a country's GDP fall:
  • The country's output is falling, fewer workers are needed and unemployment occurs.
  • Standards of living will fall.
  • Businesses will not expand because they have less money to invest.
Economic growth is not achieved every year. There are years where the GDP falls and the trade cycle explains the pattern of rises and falls in national GDP.

The trade cycle has 4 main stages:
  • Growth: This is when GDP is rising, unemployment is falling, and the country has higher standards of living. Businesses tend to do well in this period.
  • Boom: Caused by overspending. Prices rise rapidly and there is a shortage of skilled workers. Business costs will be rising and they are uncertain about the future.
  • Recession: Because overspending caused the boom, people now spend too little. GDP will fall and businesses will lose demand and profits. Workers may lose their jobs.
  • Slump: A long drawn out recession. Unemployment will peak and prices will fall. Many firms will go out of business.
After all of this happens the economy recovers and begins to grow again. Governments want to avoid a boom so that it will not lead to a recession and a slump. Currently, the government of China is spending a lot of money so that their economy would continue to grow and avoid a boom.

Balance of payments

Exports earn foreign currency, while imports are paid for by foreign currency (or vice versa). The difference between the value of exports and imports of a country is called balance of payments. Governments try to achieve a balance in imports and exports to avoid a trade deficit, when imports are higher than exports. Of course, the government will lose money and their reservoir of foreign currency will fall. This results in:
  • If the country wants to import more, they will have to borrow foreign currency to buy goods.
  • The country's currency will now worth less compared to others and can buy less goods. This is called exchange rate depreciation.
Government economic policies

Governments want to influence the national economy so that it would achieve their aforementioned objectives. They have a lot of power over business activity and can pass laws to try to achieve their goals. The main ways in which governments can influence business activity are called economic policies. They are:
  • Fiscal Policy: taxes and public spending.
  • Monetary policy: controlling the amount of money in the economy through interest rates.
  • Supply side policies: aimed at increasing efficiency.
Fiscal policy

Government spending could benefit some firms such as:
  • Construction firms (road building)
  • Defense industries (Iraq war)
  • Bus manufacturers (public transport)
Governments raise money from taxes. There are Direct taxes on income and Indirect taxes on spending. There are four common taxes:
  • Income tax
  • Profits tax
  • VAT (Value Added Tax)
  • Import tariffs
Income tax

Income tax is based on a percentage of your income. Income tax is usually progressive, meaning that the percentage of tax you have to pay rises with your income. Effects on business and individuals if there was a rise of income tax:
  • People will have less disposable income.
  • Sales fall because people have less money to spend.
  • Managers will cut costs for more profit. Workers might be made redundant.
  • Businesses producing luxury goods will lose the most, while others producing everyday needs will get less affected.
Profits tax or corporation tax

This is a percentage of the profit a business makes. A rise in it would mean:
  • Managers will have less retained profit, making it harder for the business to expand.
  • Owners will get less return on capital employed. Potential owners will be reluctant to start their own business if the profit margin is too low.
Indirect taxes

These taxes are a percentage on the price of goods, making them more expensive. Governments want to avoid putting them on essential goods such as foods. A rise it it would mean:
  • The effect would be almost the same as that of an increase in income tax. People would buy less but they would still spend money on essential goods.
  • Again, real incomes fall. Costs will rise when workers demand higher wages.
Import tariffs and quotas

Governments put tariffs on imports to make local goods look more competitive and also to reduce imports. When governments put import tariffs on imports:
  • Sales of local goods become cheaper than imports, leading to increased sales.
  • Businesses who import raw materials will suffer higher costs.
  • Other countries will retaliate by putting tariffs on the country's exports, making it less competitive.
Quotas maybe used to limit the amount of imports coming in.

Monetary policy and interest rates

Governments usually have to power to change interest rates through the central bank. Interest rates affect people who borrow from the bank. When interest rates rise:
  • Businesses who owe to bank will have to pay more, resulting in less retained profit.
  • People are more reluctant to start new businesses or expand.
  • Consumers who took out loans such as mortgages will now have less disposable income. They will spend less on other goods.
  • Demand will fall for businesses who produces luxury or expensive goods such as cars because people are less willing to borrow.
  • Higher interest rates will encourage other countries to deposit money into local banks and earn higher profits. They will change their money into the local currency, increasing its demand and causing exchange rate appreciation.
Supply side policies

These policies aim to make the countries economy more efficient so that they can produce more goods and compete in the international economy. In doing so their GDP will rise. Here are some policies:
  • Privatisation: Its aim is to use profit as an incentive to increase efficiency.
  • Improve training and education: This obviously increases efficiency. This is crucial to countries with a big computer software industry.
  • Increase competition: Competition causes companies to be more efficient to survive. Governments need to remove any monopolies.
Government controls over business activity

Government also influence major areas of business activity:
  • what goods can be produced
  • responsibilities to employees and working conditions
  • responsibilities to consumers
  • responsibilities to the natural environment
  • location decisions
Undesirable effects created by business activity make governments want to control business activity:
  • Business might ruin cheap but beautiful areas.
  • Monopolies.
  • Advertising can mislead customers.
Why government control business activity

Production of certain goods and services:

Governments can pass laws to restrict and ban certain dangerous goods such as:
  • Weapons like guns and explosives.
  • Drugs
  • Goods that harm the environment
Consumer protection:

Consumers are easily misled by advertising. It is because consumers lack the technical knowledge and advertising can be very persuasive. In the UK, these laws are passed to protect customers from being exploited by businesses:
  • Weights and Measures Act: to stop underweight goods being sold to customers.
  • Trade Descriptions Act: all advertisements must be truthful.
  • Consumer Credit Act: makes it illegal to not give customers their copy of the credit agreement to check how much money they really have.
  • Sale of Goods Act: Makes it illegal to sell:
- Goods which have serious flaws or problems.
- Products that are not fit for the purpose intended by the consumer.
- Products that do not function as described on their label or by the retailer.
  • Consumer Protection Act: Make false pricing claims illegal. Consumers can now sue producers or retailers if their products cause harm to them.
Competition policy: Control of monopolies

Monopolies could cause a lot of harm to an economy because there are nobody to compete against them:
  • They exploit consumers with high prices.
  • They prevent new firms from starting up.
  • Monopolies are not encouraged to be efficient because there are no competitors.
In some countries, monopolies are banned and must be broken up into smaller firms. In the UK, monopolies can be investigated by the Competition Commission. This government body reports two main types of problems:
  • Business decisions that are against consumer interests, such as trying to eliminate all competitors.
  • Proposed mergers or takeovers that will result in a monopoly.
Protecting employees:

Employees need protection in the following areas:
  • Unfair discrimination
  • Health and safety at work
  • Unfair dismissal
  • Wage protection
Protection against unfair discrimination:

Often workers are discriminated in a job because of various reasons. There are laws that protect the employee from such reasons to be discriminated against:
  • Sex Discrimination Act: people of different genders must have equal opportunities.
  • Race Relations Act: people of all races and religions mush have equal opportunities.
  • Disability Discrimination Act: it must be made suitable for disabled people to work in businesses.
  • Equal Opportunities Policy: That is what everything is all about.
The UK is currently working on an age discrimination act.

Health and Safety at work:

Laws protect workers from:
  • protect workers from dangerous machinery.
  • provide safety equipment and clothing.
  • maintain reasonable workplace temperatures.
  • provide hygienic conditions and washing facilities.
  • do not insist on excessively long shifts and provide breaks in the work timetable.
Managers not only provide safety for their employees only because laws say so. Some believe that keeping employees safe and happy improves their motivation and keeps them in the business. Others do it because it is present in their moral code. They are then considered making an ethical decision. However, in many countries, workers are still exploited by employers.

Protection against unfair dismissal

Employees need protection from being dismissed unfairly. The following reasons for the employee to be dismissed is unreasonable:
  • for joining a trade union.
  • for being pregnant.
  • when no warnings were given beforehand.
Workers who thing they have been dismissed unfairly can take their case to the Industrial Tribunal to be judged and he/she might receive compensation if the case is in his/her favour.

Wage Protection

Employers mus pay employees the same amount that has been stated on the contract of employment, which states:
  • Hours of work.
  • Nature of the job.
  • The wage rate to be paid.
  • How frequently wages will be paid.
  • What deduction will be made from wages, e.g. income tax.
A minimum wage rate is present in many Western countries and the USA. There are pros and cons of the minimum wage:

  • Prevents strong employees to exploit unskilled workers who could not easily find work.
  • Encourages employers to train unskilled employees to increase efficiency.
  • Encourages more people to seek work.
  • Low-paid workers can now spend more.
  • Increases costs, increases prices.
  • Owners who cannot afford these wages might make employees redundant instead.
  • Higher paid workers want higher wages to keep on the same level difference as the lower paid workers. Costs will rise.
Location of Industry

How governments want to locate businesses:
  • They encourage businesses to move to areas with a high level of unemployment, or called development areas.
  • They discourage firms from locating in overcrowded cites or sites noted for their natural beauty.
How governments will influence the decisions of firms to locate:
  • Businesses will be refused planning permission (permit to build in a place) if they wish to locate in overcrowded cities or beautiful areas. Building in these areas might be banned altogether.
  • Governments can provide regional assistance, such as grants and subsidies to encourage firms to locate in undeveloped areas.
Governments can help businesses too

Governments can help businesses to:
  • to encourage businesses to locate in poorer regions.
  • to encourage enterprise by helping small businesses set up and survive.
  • to encourage businesses to export.
Regional Assistance:
  • Governments want development to be spread evenly over the whole country.
  • Grants and subsidies can be used to attract firms to an area.
Small firms

Small firms are important for and economy because:
  • They provide most of the employment because they are usually labour intensive.
  • Small firms operate in rural areas where unemployment tends to be high.
  • They can grow into very important businesses employing thousands of workers and producing output worth millions of dollars.
  • Provides more choice for customers. They compete against bigger companies.
  • They are often managed in a very flexible way, and is quicker to adapt to changing demands.
Governments help them by:
  • Lower rates of profits tax, so they can have more retained profit.
  • Giving grants and cheap loans.
  • Providing advice and information centres to small firms.
Exporting goods and services

Why governments want businesses to export:
  • Exports earn foreign currency, which can be use to buy imports.
  • More exports means more people needed to produce them, increasing employment and standards of living.
  • Successful exporters earn more money and have to pay more profits tax.
Governments can support exporters by:
  • Encourage banks to lend to exporting businesses at lower interest rates.
  • Offering subsidies or lower taxes to firms. However, other countries would retaliate and there would be no overall advantage.
  • Trying to keep the local currency as stable as possible to make it easier for businesses to know how much they are going to make from exports.
  • Organising trade fairs abroad to encourage foreign businesses to buy the country's exports.
  • Offering credit facilities. This means that if a foreign customers refuses to pay for goods, the company could be compensated by the government.
Businesses in the economic and legal environment

Businesses could not ignore the power of the government in controlling business activity. Multinationals are an exception although normally businesses cannot afford to move to other countries. Government decisions create the environment in which businesses will have to operate and adapt to. The environment created by legal and economic controls are one of the constraints to managers when making decisions.

Whew! What a long chapter! I know there are a lot of redundant stuff but they are necessary for the text. Chapter 5 will be coming out next week!

Chapter 5: Other influences on business

External constraints and constraints on business activity

Businesses cannot survive by neglecting the "real world", which includes influences that forces a business to make certain decisions or constraints that limits or controls actions. External constraints are things that businesses cannot control, these are:
  • Technological change: New products.
  • Technological change: New production processes.
  • Increased competition.
  • Environmental issues.
Here is a table from the book giving examples and the possible impacts on business activity:
Technological changes
Technological change bring about constant changes in consumer products and production processes. By using R&D to develop new products, companies could open up new markets and make huge amounts of money. Such companies include Microsoft, Sony and Apple. However, new products quickly replace old ones just like how machines are replacing workers in production processes.
There are two general things a firm could do when facing technological change:
  • Ignore the changes and operate in the "traditional and old fashioned way". However, they can only sell to a small and limited market.
  • Compete by welcoming changes and have an access to huge mass markets.
Here are some pros and cons of technological change:
  • New products encourage customers to buy more.
  • If a business comes up with a new product first, they gain a huge competitive advantage.
  • "High-tech" production methods make production more efficient.
  • Fewer workers are required.
  • New production methods can be adapted very quickly which gives businesses more flexibility in meeting consumer wants.
  • E-commerce opens up new markets and the Internet is a medium of advertising.
  • R&D is expensive, without guaranteed success.
  • Businesses that do not develop new products will fail, leaving workers unemployed.
  • New production methods and machines are expensive.
  • Workers will need retraining which is expensive. They might be reluctant to learn or fear that they will not do well. This could lead to a fall in motivation.
  • E-commerce lacks personal customer service.
  • Smaller businesses cannot afford these things.
Introducing technological change successfully

Workers and managers may fear change. Workers might think:
  • Will I be able to operate the new machines?
  • Will I lose my job because the machines are more efficient?
Older workers are especially afraid of loosing out to younger and better trained workers. Managers also fear change, since recruiting technology experts will make them look more inferior in some way.

To make these changes work better, workers need to be involved in the changes. Workers might be told why the new machines are necessary and how they will be trained to use them, as well as letting them suggest ways to make work more efficient with the machines. It leads to more opportunities for trained and skilled staff and can lead to new ideas and products.


Most businesses have competitors. Most business decisions are based on:
  • What competitors are doing?
  • How they might react?
When you develop a successful product, other businesses will undoubtedly copy you. Therefore, you will need to research and develop even more products, keeping ahead of them. Competition is a major influence on business activity.

Environmental constraints on business activity

There are two general opinions on caring about the environment:

- Opinion A: Keeping the environment clean is too expensive. We want to keep prices low and this is what consumers want too.
  • Protecting the environment is too expensive and reduce profits.
  • Increased prices mean increased costs.
  • Firms could become less competitive compared to others who are not environmentally friendly.
  • Governments should pay to clean it up.
- Opinion B: Consumers are now starting to prefer businesses with social responsibility. Cleaner and more efficient machinery benefit the business in the long-run.
  • Environmental issues affect us all and businesses have a social responsibility to deal with them.
  • Using up scarce resources leaves less for future generations and raise prices.
  • Consumers are becoming more socially aware. More now prefer firms that are environmentally friendly which could become an marketing advantage.
  • If a business damages the environment, pressure groups could protest and damage its image and reputation.
Ways to make a business more environmentally friendly

Governments make these business activities illegal:
  • locating in environmentally sensitive areas.
  • dumping waste products into waterways.
  • making products that cannot be easily recycled.
Manufacturers often complain that these laws raise prices. Therefore, some governments usually do not make these laws strict with the hope of increasing output and in turn employment.

Financing penalties, including pollution permits

Pollution permits are licences given to a business to pollute up to a certain level. If "dirty" businesses pollute over the permitted level, they either have to buy permits from "cleaner firms" or pay heavy fines. This encourages firms to be cleaner and sell their permits to dirtier companies for more money. Other penalties include additional taxes.

Consumer action and pressure groups

Consumers are becoming more socially aware, and many of them will stop buying goods from companies which pollute the environment, harming a business' reputation and image. Bad publicity means lower sales. If they want to keep their sales revenue up firms would have to adapt to more environmentally friendly production processes again.

Pressure groups are becoming very powerful nowadays. They can severely damage businesses that are not socially responsible.

These are their powers:
  • Consumer boycotts
  • Protests
  • Blocking waste pipes.
These are times when they are likely to take action:
  • They have popular public support and has a lot of media coverage.
  • The group is well organised and financed.
These are times when they are less likely to take action:
  • What a company is doing is unpopular but not illegal. (e.g. testing drugs on rats)
  • The cost of making the company cleaner is more than losses that could be made by losing image and sales.
  • The firm supplies other firms and not customers, public support will be less effective.
Environmental issues and cost-benefit analysis

Governments are increasingly concerned about the social and environmental effects of business activity. They have started to use a new type of analysis on businesses and government proposals which will not only take into account financial costs but also external costs.

Cost-benefit analysis requires and awareness of external costs (costs to the rest of society) and external benefits (gains to the rest of society). Here are some examples.

Decision: A new chemical plant will be built.

Social costs are worked out from private costs and external costs.
Social benefits are worked out from private benefits and external benefits.

In other words:
  • Social costs = private costs + external costs.
  • Social benefits = private benefits + external benefits.
Woohoo! Chapter five finished in one day!
Chapter six coming soon!

Sunday, August 19, 2012



She was born into a family of jhum cultivators of Manipur. She helped her parents till the fields and looked after her siblings. Brought up in such a modest background, she never imagined that she would one day win a medal for her country at the Olympics. The woman I am talking about is Mary Kom, a true winner who, without any formal training and money, has won six gold medals at World Championships. This year, she made India proud by winning a bronze for the country. While better and more popular athletes crashed out, this woman put up a tough fight and achieved victory. Her story is the story of a woman who never gave up.

Rajita Chaudhuri
Prof. Rajita Chaudhuri
Every cartoon this boy submitted was rejected by his high school yearbook staff. Later on, even Walt Disney refused to hire him. Yet, he never gave up. Finally, in 1950, his dream of becoming a professional cartoonist was fulfilled as his comic strip Peanuts was published. It soon became a big hit and Charles Schulz was soon earning $30,000 a year by 1953. The characters of his cartoon strip became virtual heroes and soon they were adorning cards, books, clothes, lunchboxes, et al. Snoopy, one of Schulz’s creations, was such a big hit that he soon became the mascot of NASA in 1969. NASA’s lunar excursion on the Apollo 11 mission was called Snoopy! Ford used the characters from the cartoon strip Peanuts to sell the Falcon. The characters of Peanuts were also used for 15 years to sell the products of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. A man who faced a lot of rejections and misery, but all the time kept his focus on what he loved, Schulz finally showed the world that ‘quitters never win and winners never quit’.


In life, things may not go as planned, but great minds have the ability to rise to the occasion and take up the challenge. As Washington Irving once said, “Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, but great minds rise above them.” It’s these people who have achieved true greatness. John Milton lost his eyesight, but it did not deter him from writing Paradise Lost almost 16 years after losing his eyesight. Van Gogh sold only one painting during his lifetime, that too, to one of his sister’s friends for $50. Yet, he never gave up painting and completed 800 paintings without feeling dejected; and all the time totally believing in what he was doing. Persistence pays, and is the deciding factor between winners & losers.

The exhibitions of the ‘Impressionists’ artists were routinely rejected by the Paris Salon. They thought it was not art and refused to acknowledge it. The artists never gave up and continued their work. Today, there is hardly anyone who remembers the name ‘Paris Salon’, but anybody interested in art knows about the ‘Impressionist’ artists. In June 2008, the auction house Christie’s London sold its most expensive painting, that of Impressionist master Claude Monet, for more than 40 million pounds. Never ever in Europe had a painting been sold at an auction for such a price. The ‘Impressionist’ painters never let the judgment of Paris Salon pull them down. They never gave up on what they believed in till the world gave them their due.

He did not speak until he was four years old, and couldn’t read until he was seven. His parents thought he was ‘sub-normal’. He was expelled from school and his teachers described him as “mentally slow, unsociable and adrip forever in foolish dreams.” Those were these ‘foolish dreams’ of his that transformed the world. From opening a whole new world of ‘Quantum Physics’ to answering the question “Why is the sky blue?”, he changed the way people understood the world! Albert Einstein looked at things differently and saw what others could not see. Even the ‘God particle’ would not have been discovered had it not been for Einstein and the support he gave to our own Indian scientist Satyendra Bose.

This boy failed in sixth grade and he was defeated in every office he stood for. But he did not give up till at 62, he became the Prime Minister. His name was Winston Churchill.

These and many more such success stories have one thing in common; the people never succumbed to adversity and never lost focus. They relentlessly pursued their goals and believed in themselves even when the world gave up on them. These people had the courage to fight all odds.

Cartoonist Charles Schulz
Cartoonist Charles Schulz


As Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen”. If success comes with listening to your ‘inner voice’ and not letting other’s opinions overpower this voice, it also comes when you have the courage to listen to other people – especially those who don’t agree with you. Success also comes when you have the humility to accept you were wrong and change your course of action. The most difficult words to say are “I am sorry” and ‘I was wrong”. People who have the courage to use these words win in the long run.

Indian Boxer M. C. Mary Kom
Indian Boxer M. C. Mary Kom
In fact, it’s so important to accept your failures that kings of medieval times kept court jesters, who were allowed to comment on the king’s failures; something others dared not to do. But kings realized that it was important to have someone point out their mistakes. Great kings had great jesters. In Persia, the autocratic Shah Naser al-Din had all his courtiers quaking except the jester Karim Shire’i. He would ridicule the whole court, including the Shah. Once, the Shah asked whether there was a shortage of food, and the jester said “Yes, I see that Your Majesty is eating only five times a day!” Be it Tenali Rama, who was the favourite jester of King Krishna Deva Raya or Birbal, who was the favourite of Emperor Akbar; these people made the kings realize their mistakes through their wit and intelligence and the kings rewarded them amply. Everybody makes mistakes, but it takes great strength of character to accept them. Only great leaders have the humility and courage to do so.

John Burroughs once said, “A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” When you blame others, you learn to find an easy way out to justify your mistakes. This takes away the cutting edge from your fight, which is what makes true winners succeed in the long run.

Noted Painter Vincent Van Gogh
Noted Painter Vincent Van Gogh
When I have the courage to blame myself, I learn to take personal responsibility. When I blame myself, I close all escape routes, which helps me to keep a focus on my goals and work harder to achieve them. Richard Branson started Virgin Cola. Failed. He started Virgin Credit Cards. Failed. Yet, he never gave up. He accepted his mistakes and moved on.

There is no success without failure. The truly successful ones are those who have mastered the art of handling failure. They have the courage to accept their mistakes and sit down.


Everybody fails, but you become a ‘failure’ if you refuse to get up after a fall. There is a Japanese proverb that describes success in a simple line: “Fall down seven times, get up eight (times).” The Campbell Soup Co. was one of America’s most successful brands, but by 2002, it had lost its charm. When Douglas Conant was appointed its new CEO, he was not scared to put up a fight and even though sales were declining and new competitors were closing in, he kept the faith. After eight years, he changed this company, which was once labeled as “a beleaguered old brand”, into an ‘extraordinary’ one. Today, the company is once again going strong and is back on its feet because there came a leader who refused to give up.

Former British PM Winston Churchill
Former British PM Winston Churchill
Everything that could possibly have gone wrong went wrong with Chrysler, from a federal bailout to bankruptcy to takeover by the Italian automaker Fiat. Yet, the company did not give up and this year, it’s back. In fact, it has reported its first annual profit since 2005.

Edwin Land co-founded the Polaroid Corporation in 1937. By 1960, it became so popular that half of America owned a Polaroid camera at that time. However, when mobile phones with built-in cameras came in, the definition of ‘instant photography’ changed, and the corporation had to stop the manufacturing of its instant cameras. The company was down and out, for it failed to assess the changing needs of the market in time and lost out to new and better technology. However, as the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” A group of passionate photography lovers are reinventing the Polaroid. They have called it the “Impossible Project”. They feel that there still exists a market for their product. They have a new peg for their instant films. They say that it’s carefully manufactured to develop slowly in the palm of your hand. Maybe this initiative succeeds and Polaroid reinvents itself to suit the demands of the new market, but the fact is that here is a company that refuses to give up. It will not be defeated so easily. That is what success is all about.

Edwin Land Cofounder of Polaroid Corporation
Edwin Land Cofounder of Polaroid Corporation
The people who succeed are those who don’t take no for an answer.

You too, must not let failures affect you. Believe in yourself, for no one else will till you do so. Have the courage to follow your dreams, but at the same time, have the courage to accept your mistakes and correct them; and at every stage that you fall down, do not forget to get up and once again start working towards your goals. Everyone who has seen success will tell you this, for all success stories have one common thing – they never, never, never gave up!