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"Businessman" redirects here. For other uses, see Businessman (disambiguation).
While most past and current Fortune 500 executives have been men, women are increasingly winning executive positions. One example is Marissa Mayer, the current president and CEO of Yahoo!, a position she has held since July 2012. In 2014, Mayer was ranked sixth on Fortune‍ '​s 40 under 40 list,[1] and was ranked the 16th most-powerful businesswoman in the world that year according to the same publication.[2]

A businessman (plural businessmen) is someone involved in business, where in particular undertaking of activities, commercial or industrial, for the purpose of generating cash flow, sales, and revenue from a combination of human, financial, intellectual and physical capital that further fuels economic development and growth. An entrepreneur is an example of a businessman. Though the term usually refers to founder, owner, or majority shareholder of a business, the term is sometimes interchangeably used to describe a high level executive who does the everyday running and management of the business even though the executive is not the owner.[3] it may sometimes mean someone who is involved in the upper-level management role of a corporation, company, enterprise, firm, organization, or agency.[4] This can especially apply to the founder, an owner, a manager, an executive, or an administrator in charge of total management of a corporation, company, organization, or agency.[5][6]


In the business world, changes can be hard to predict. A fundamental change is one such as the Industrial Revolution which brings about a significant change in the working of a business. On the other hand, incremental changes are changes that do not change the nature, role, or operations of a business and are often more predictable.

An ancient Persian business woman named Irdabama, was a major landowner and had an immense workforce. She ran her own wine and grain business during the reign of king Xerxes the Great. The fortification tablets at Persepolis contain information about her wealth, workshops and hundreds of workers. She had her own seal which meant great prestige and power. Irdabama was just one of the many successful and powerful business women in the ancient Persian Empire. Most of them had the power to use their own seals and letterheads indicating not only their autonomy and independence, but the existence of an equal social system which accepted the authority and independence of women. Irdabama is commonly used as an example of how one can achieve their dreams with hard work and determination.[7]

The world today is changing at a much more rapid pace as compared to ancient times. E.g.: The Iron Age around 1000 BC which lead to the emergence of gigantic empires in the middle east would essentially be considered as a fundamental change with respect to business. However, on closer observation, it becomes evident that this was not the case. Although farming techniques improved, the Iron Age did not improve marginal role of business, change business practices or lead to the emergence of new industries. By contrast, the second great change – the invention of coinage – altered the role and practice of business in the Greek world. Over the course of the 6th century, the coins became smaller and more useful as a medium of exchange. Coins increased the Greek purchasing power. With passage of time, coins replaced the barter system, facilitating economic changes and leading to an increase in the consumer demand. The money-based markets spread to such an extent that they became central to many city-state economies.

Two of the most radical changes taking place currently are globalisation and information technology (IT). It has led to various changes in the US and European labour markets, international competition, international investment opportunities as well as opening of new markets as barriers have been removed. However, these changes are considered to be normal in the business world and hence globalisation may not represent a fundamental change for business as it did not alter the role of business in modern economies or fundamentally change the nature of business activity.

On the other hand, the computer revolution that started in the 1960s may be considered as a fundamental change as it made many scientific calculations possible which in turn led to the emergence of vital new industries. The instant communication and information capabilities provided by computers have transformed modes of buying, selling, innovation, marketing and business organisation. It has led to an increase in credit transactions by providing hedging instruments and credit instrument portfolios. It provides rapid and massive evaluations of consumer credit worthiness and helps to predict future repayment.

Thus, computers make it rational to provide credit to customers and businesses leading to an increase in the purchasing power that fuels business activity.[8]


There are no prescribed educational qualifications, rules or guidelines which one may follow and expect to become a successful businessman. Much of the business education gained is related to real life experience and on the job learning rather through a textbook or a classroom. A person owning a small gas station in a local market is as much as a businessman as a person who owns and leads a large Silicon Valley technology conglomerate. There are many paths to becoming a businessman. Some aspiring businessmen complete a two-year business diploma in a college, a four-year Bachelor of Commerce degree, a two-year Master of Business Administration degree or a degree in a specialized area related to their business (e.g., a mining business executive might complete a Bachelor of Engineering or a chemical company CEO might complete a Bachelor of Science degree). On the other hand, since much of business skills is related to real life experience, there have been heads of major companies who lack formal education that were university drop-outs or who have never attended college. Hence, no rigid formal educational qualification requirements can be stated for becoming a businessman. However, there are certain attributes that successful businessman must possess, such as:

  • A businessman should have tact, financial and business knowledge, courage, vision, imagination, and organizing ability.
  • He should be a person of attention, time sense, and punctuality because these are essential for successful business.
  • He should be well-balanced and should apply consistency in their approach.
  • He should be friendly towards the employees and the customers.
  • He should be imbued with social interest.[9]

Besides this, there are also certain traits or characteristics that most businessmen possess:

Initiative and capacity to take prompt decision: The business world is highly volatile and changes are taking place at a rapid pace. Hence, a businessman should have the ability to take prompt decisions.

Determination, courage and perseverance: They must have strong will power and determination and must have the courage to protect the business of the company under unforeseen circumstances.

Intelligence and alertness: The businessman should be alert and aware of the possible changes taking place in the external environment otherwise they will fail in the business. They should be intelligent enough to utilize available business opportunities and use them to the advantage of the business.

Quality of leadership: They should be an ideal leader and should be a role model to others because today's business requires loyalty and co-operation by all employees.

Morality and integrity: The businessman should be honest, straightforward, fair in dealings, dependability, and of a moral character to ensure long-term survival of the business.

Training and education: The businessman should learn the intricacies of modern business through training and education and should pass this onto their subordinates.[10]


On an average, a business manager in United Kingdom earns £42,500 per annum, with £32,500 p.a. being the lower end and £52,500 p.a. being the upper end.[11]

However, these figures may vary depending on which sector the businessman operates in such as Retail & Wholesale (£32,500 p.a.), Banking, Insurance & Finance (£47,500 p.a.), IT and Internet (£47,500 p.a.), Sales (£40,000 p.a.) or Accountancy (£42,500 p.a.) [12]

Moreover, these figures change significantly across nations. For example, in the USA, the average salary if $96,900 p.a., with $79,800 p.a. being the average starting salary and $114,000 p.a. being the average high salary.[13]

The salaries of the top CEOs in the US can be millions of dollars per year. For example, Discovery Communications' head, David M. Zaslav, made $156 million in 2014.[14]

Roles and responsibilities[edit]

The growth of a nation is strongly influenced by the economic activities taking place in the country. Businesspeople perform various functions and duties, which contribute towards this growth and development. Although there are many different types of business professionals and all have duties distinct to their own positions, many share a number of common duties as well:

1. Research: Businesspeople are expected to conduct research in various fields that aid the company to grow and develop. In some organisations, there may be professionals hired to conduct research, but in smaller organisations, businesspeople perform this function by themselves. They conduct analysis on the basis of the information gathered and this helps to take informed decisions for the betterment of the company.

2. Planning: Another common duty of the average businessman is to plan business strategy as well as conduct the day to day planning in the organisation. In larger organisations, a specialised department makes such plans.

3. Management: Business managers define superior-subordinate relationships and typically direct the actions of other employees by delegating responsibilities in various projects and business endeavours.

4. Organisation: Businesspeople take part in activities that require them to organise and coordinate efforts of all the employees of the company to achieve the various business plans. Organization can include delegating responsibility to employees who can carry out tasks or outsourcing the required tasks.

5. Representation and networking: Many businesspeople play the key role of company representation. They help in the development of the business by establishing deals on the basis of their goodwill and reputation in the industry. They network with other businesses and help to expand the base of their own company.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fortune Most Powerful Women in Business". Retrieved November 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Fortune Most Powerful Women in Business". Fortune. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ "BUSINESSMAN". Audioenglish. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Sam Ashe-Edmunds,. "Entrepreneur Vs. Executive". Globalpost. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Difference Between CEO and Owner". Differencebetween. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "Entrepreneur vs. CEO: Understanding the Difference Can Save Your Business". Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Roberts, Keith. "The Origin of Business, Money and Markets". Admin. Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  9. ^ Sharma, Girish. "What are the qualifications for a successful businessman?". Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Swain, Radhakanta. "What are the qualities that make a man to a good businessman?". publishyoursrticles. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  11. ^ total jobs. "Salary results for Business Manager in London". total jobs. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  12. ^ total jobs. "Salary results for Business Manager in London". Totaljobs. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  13. ^ businessmansalary. "Businessman Salary Ranges". Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  14. ^

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