Families survived before the industrial revolution by farming, as well as other crafts and trades, such as cloth production and metalwork, which were based on proximity to resources and materials. In this context, trade refers to an occupation. Cottage industries were a great way for families to make a living. The family was the enterprise in this system – they manufactured the products in their home workshop. Merchants brought raw materials home and sold the products at markets. Agents and entrepreneurs would “put forth” their work to these workshops which were, in effect, their subcontractors.
Journeymen were craftsmen who had completed apprenticeships in such areas as metalwork and carpentry. Journeymen were able to travel between communities, and could charge a fee per day for their work. Apprentices were young practitioners who were enrolled in programs to train for their career.
As the industrial revolution advanced, workers were moved from their homes to factories when the machinery required was too expensive or too large. Decentralized production was transformed into a centralized system that created opportunities for factory workers.
In the beginning, workers were considered subcontractors and became employees by using the “put in” system. The working conditions in factories were often very harsh. Labor movements were started to defend workers’ rights. From these struggles, today’s labor and employment laws have been developed.
The economy evolved from being family-oriented to becoming more commercial and industrial, which created new employment opportunities. Entrepreneurs were able to create new markets with new products or services. This innovation allowed for the development of new industries.
Enterprises are entities that have their own identity apart from their owners and founders. An enterprise is an undertaking to win or benefit a cause. Over time, business entities like partnerships and joint stock corporations emerged. Finally, the concept was created of a corporate entity – a legal entity that is distinct from its shareholders.
Markets were the place where trading took place. The term “trade” is used to refer to selling and buying in this context. A market is a group of potential buyers and/or real buyers (customers), and potential and/or current sellers (suppliers) who are motivated and willing to make transactions. Motivated buyers are those who have the authority, desire or need to buy a product/service and can act on that demand. Motivated sellers possess the ability to sell and supply a product or service. A marketplace is a place where buyers and sellers can meet in order to complete transactions. Street markets were popular in small towns, such as those that lined streets and squares with covered buildings. In bourses (or exchanges), financial transactions were carried out by brokers and dealers.
The scale of units manufactured has been dramatically increased by improvements in manufacturing techniques like automation and production lines. The reach of telecommunications, energy and transportation technologies have improved to allow for the expansion of markets in order to acquire materials and supplies and deliver end-products.
Over time, there were many chains of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and merchandisers (wholesalers or retailers) that emerged. Some enterprises made the decision to buy or make raw materials on a case-by-case basis. Some enterprises became “vertically integrated” when they owned and controlled all or most of their supply and/or demand chains. This makes hand-offs between processes easier and more efficient. Entrepreneurs could make a lot of money by being part of chains that create value through sales and production.
As companies grew larger, governance, administrative, as well as operational disciplines, emerged. Managers, supervisors and staff were required. This led to the creation of executive, administrative, technical, vocational, and other clerical positions. Such enterprises became reliable sources of employment. These enterprises were called “firms” because they were stable sources of employment. This term is still used today, particularly for professional service partnerships like engineering, accounting, consulting, and engineering. Trust and integrity are key factors in these areas.
Companies can be “horizontally integrated” by acquiring or merging with other companies. This means they can offer the same products/services in different markets. Enterprises can become corporate “giants” through horizontal integration. While the offerings of the largest companies in the world may be the same, they have scaled up by doing the same thing across multiple markets.
Many industries, including construction, energy, financial and manufacturing, have a few large, global players that have grown through mergers and acquisitions. There are also many small players that focus almost exclusively on local markets. Joint ventures, which share resources, risk, and expertise, are common.
Not only did the construction industry contribute to the growth of economies by building infrastructure, but it participated in globalization trends through the development of large enterprises, such as Bechtel, Halliburton, Black & Veatch, and CH2M Hill, that have worldwide reach.
With the development of corporate, commercial, industrial and residential real estate, construction activity boomed. Construction and manufacturing became interconnected with the advent of prefabricated and modular structures.
The aerospace and automotive industries have driven globalization in energy production and manufacturing, with companies like Honeywell, Ford, and Royal Dutch Shell. With such companies as JP Morgan Chase and HSBC, the financial services industry has become more global. Globalization was essential to reach scale and serve global customers. By being able to move resources across multiple markets, global financial services companies may be better equipped to manage risk than their local counterparts.
Food service and hospitality have been partially globalized through franchising. However, the merchandising sector is still primarily local although products can be sourced internationally.
Industrialized societies have been stabilized by enterprises that create steady income streams from jobs that pay food, housing, education, taxes, transport, and entertainment income. These enterprises fund the lower levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
As a result, the need for sales and marketing capabilities increased and media communication vehicles like magazines, newspapers and radio relied on advertising revenue as a means to cover their expenses. Many websites today rely on advertising revenue to pay their costs. As mobile devices become more common, there is a shift from physical media to electronic media.
Structure of the industry
The economy of today is based on either production-driven or market-driven industries. An industry is defined as a group or companies that share the same activities, products, and/or distribution methods.
The market-driven approach includes both service-providing and goods-producing industries. However, production-driven approaches include product-driven as well as service-driven industries. The following industries are good-producing: construction, natural resources, mining, and manufacturing. The service-providing industry includes: wholesale and retail, transportation (and warehousehousing), information, financial activity, utilities, information and financial services. Product-driven industries are those that have inventories that can be sold as primary activities, regardless of whether or not they turn them into something else. This is how the retail, wholesale and food service industries are product driven.
Commerce is a broader term than trade. It refers to buying and selling commodities, merchandise and services as well as the associated warehousing distribution and transportation. Commodities refer to products that can be used interchangeably with other commodities of the same type, and are therefore indistinguishable from each other. Commodities can include natural products like oils, minerals, or produce. Merchandise is a combination of manufactured and commodity products that are sold to consumers for retail.
Both individuals and businesses are consumers of products or services. Entrepreneur consumers can be either in the emerging or mature stages of their business or they can be institutional. They may include sole proprietors, partnerships or limited liability companies. Sole proprietors are considered natural persons. However, partnerships, limited liability corporations and corporations are juristic people. They are non-human (business entities) with the same status as natural persons for legal purposes. Legally, juristic persons could be separated from their shareholders, members, and partners. Juristic persons can enter into contracts, have assets, be sued, and incur liabilities.
Light manufacturing, merchandising and retail are all areas of commercial enterprises. They are small to mid-sized businesses located in downtown shopping centers, malls, office parks, and on Main Street. Commercial enterprises are usually held in a small amount.
Industries are those that deal with heavy and high-volume manufacturing, as well as related industries like chemicals and energy. They are generally larger than other enterprises and can be found in specific facilities like factories and refineries.
Large service providers in entertainment, finance, health care and transportation are corporate enterprises. They also include administrative activities of industrial concern. Typically, corporate enterprises are widely held.
For entry-level and mid-level positions, commercial enterprises are a major source of employment in the local community. Both skilled and unskilled employees are employed by industrial and corporate companies, which also offer professional career opportunities.
Employment is a policy that provides stability for the economy. A repetitive activity provides steady employment opportunities, such as in food processing and service and manufacturing in the growth industries. Entrepreneurship and sales activities are more susceptible to uncertainty. In order to promote stability in sales, compensation is incentivised for salespeople to encourage results on a regular basis.
The government has encouraged home ownership which increases stability. The majority of people consider their job their main source of income. However, their home is their most valuable asset. In fact, their monthly income includes their mortgage payment and any related expenses. Many families are able to create wealth through home value appreciation. The home can also be considered a liability if the owner is unable to move to another area to pursue better opportunities. Down markets can cause home values to decline by as much as the mortgages which finance them. This is a stressful and often irrecoverable situation.
Future challenges for employment
Employment opportunities can decrease as industries mature. Current positions could be eliminated. A strategic repositioning initiative can result in a change in an organization’s activities, new methods of doing the same activity, and streamlining existing activities to lower costs. Technology can be used to create jobs in new areas or eliminate them altogether. Globalization trends have altered the cost structure for certain activities by outsourcing to providers that offer economies of scale or low-cost production markets, such as third-world countries.
This has meant that employment markets have changed drastically and that the old assumptions about employment are no longer valid. Because industries, businesses, and types change rapidly, it is no longer possible to work for one employer forty years.
The methods of finding work have changed. It is not about what you know or who it is that you know. What matters most is who knows you. Finding a job is a marketing initiative that requires individual experience. Many people don’t have any experience in promoting products or services. If individuals are unable to promote themselves, how will they be able to promote others? To find work in today’s economy, it is important to create a personal marketing campaign.
An individual’s marketing campaign begins the same way as an enterprise’s: it starts with a strategy to address opportunities, threats and strengths. It also includes setting goals and objectives.
The first step is to understand the power and potential of your own knowledge and abilities – the personal and professional, technical, entrepreneurial and leadership skills that others will desire to learn and use.
For entry-level positions in businesses and subsequent promotions, it is essential to have strong personal and professional skills. The key to long-term success is entrepreneurship, leadership and management skills. This includes influencing others and transforming ideas to value.