The word “business” is an exciting one. It basically means trading goods or services for money. To understand business, you should understand the ideas of exchange, goods and services, and money and how they all work together. It’s also helpful to be good at math, since business involves dealing with amounts of money.
Exchange is a very simple concept: It is giving one thing and receiving another. The thing you give may be a product or a service. A product could be something you make or something that you buy from someone else to be resold. An example of a product would be a piece of clothing or a toy. Products are also called goods. A service is something done for someone else. An example of a service would be fixing another person’s car.
When goods and services are exchanged between countries, it is called importation and exportation. To import something is to bring it in from another country. To export something is to send it to be sold or used in another country. There are a lot of laws to be followed when a business imports or exports its goods or services. You might wonder why countries need to import things: Why can’t they just buy or make the things in their own country? But a country may not have what it needs to make or build an item it needs. For instance, some fruits can only be grown in certain climates. If a country is too warm or cold to grow the fruit they want, they have to buy it from a country that can grow it.
It is easier to understand why a business or country would want to export goods and services because the thing exchanged is usually money. Money is what drives the economy of a business and of a country. Businesses must have enough money to produce their goods and services in order to sell them to make a profit. Profit is the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent: For instance, if it costs you $5 to make something and you sell it for $7, you’ve made a profit of $2. The amount of profit earned is one way that businesses determine how successful they are.
Money has been a part of history for more than 3,000 years. Before that time, people used other things to pay for goods and services with systems such as bartering. Bartering is when you trade a good or service for another good or service. This was more difficult to do, though, as you’d have to find someone who wanted what you had and had what you wanted. Also, some things people traded could be hard to carry around in large amounts. Using money made doing business much faster and easier.
In about 600 B.C., the first currency was minted. These early coins were made from a mixture of silver and gold called electrum. The coins had different pictures on them to indicate how much each coin was worth. Not long after, the Chinese began using paper money in addition to coins. It took the rest of the world a little more time to also begin using both types of currency. As the world shifted to the use of paper money, international trade happened more and more. International trade is the process of importing and exporting between countries.
A big part of doing business is being able to handle money, so it’s important to know how to do math and count money. You need to know the value of coins and paper bills and how to add and subtract the values to pay or get paid for items and services. Some people have jobs that center on counting money and keeping track of how it is spent, like accountants and bankers, but knowing about money and business aren’t just for people with those jobs. Everyone in every job has experiences with money every day. When you buy a doughnut in the morning or new clothes for school or when you eat at a restaurant with your family, business and money skills are being used. And the more you know about how business works, the better you’ll be at managing your money.
- Counting Money
- Papa’s Bakeria
- Adventure Capitalist Game
- Business Simulator
- Mini Market Tycoon
- Cookie Tycoon
- 30 Days Honey
- Bear Dinner Restaurant
- Financial Soccer
- Public Speaking: A Skill for Business
- Economics of Competition
- Creating Your Own Career
- Could You Start a Business?
- Introducing Entrepreneurs
- Making Spending Decisions
- Introduction to Credit
- Allowances and Spending Plans
- Money in Our Community
- Ultimate Money Web Quest
- Getting Down to Business Web Quest
- 4th Grade Entrepreneur Web Quest
- Business Buddies
- Running Your Own Business
- Money “Cents”
- Credit Cards
- Money Web Quest