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The Meaning of Business

The Meaning of Business

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Excerpt from The Meaning of Business: Or the Science of Service

The object of the writer of this pamphlet was to show that men thrive by mutual spoliation. He justifies the prosperity of those engaged in making or distributing goods by showing the contribution of each to the general welfare. The American Credit-Indemnity Company accepts the challenge conveyed by his argument and offers for the consideration of business men the following vindication of its usefulness.

The problems of business are numerous and perplexing. The seller and buyer seldom stand face to face. The seller must rely in marketing his goods upon capital and credit ratings which in the nature of things cannot be so accurate as to preclude mistakes. The unexpected is always happening. A buyer may be prosperous today and bankrupt tomorrow; however efficient a credit department may be, losses on sales are inevitable. The aggregate liabilities of firms which have become bankrupt in a single decade in the United States have amounted to about two billion three hundred million dollars.

Failures are due to all sorts of causes: to inexperience, insufficient capital, over-burying, false credit, speculation, fraud, a violent fall in prices, seasonal changes, crop failures, neglect of business, extravagance, competition, endorsing for others, or a commercial crisis; and any shocking disaster of any sort, or any sudden derangement of commercial affairs from any cause may arrest a tide of prosperity. Mortality in business is constant, if variable.

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