6 Eras of American Business
Pre-Colonial to Civil War Era. Rural and agricultural production. Towns were small and they functioned as marketplaces for farmers. Economic focus centered on rural areas. Families lived and worked together.
Post Civil War – late 1800’s. Moved business operations from an emphasis on independent skilled workers who specialized on building products one by one to a factory system that mass produced items by bringing together large numbers of semi skilled workers. factories profited from the savings created by large scale production, and increasing machine support. Specialization of labor, limiting each worker to a few specific tasks in the production process, also improved production efficiency.
Late 1800’s – Western Expansion, Gold Rush. The entrepreneurial spirit of this golden age in business did much to advance the us business system and raise overall standard of living of its citizens. That market transformation, in turn, created new demand for manufactured goods. Raised capital, almost always locally from relatives, friends or members of their church; had to understand the latest methods for building & powering machinery & the most up-to-date techniques for performing the work; had to know how to market their goods.
Late 1800’s – 1920’s. Goods produced in mass. Working conditions and business ethics regarding children and workers often sketchy. More goods were made due to the increasing demand for manufactured goods. Assembly lines were created and efficiency in production was everything.
1920’s – 1980ish. Technology allowed for companies to get the word out about their productsConsumer orientation was discovered and people began to advertise to appeal to certain groups or people businesses began to analyze consumer desires before beginning actual production.
1980ish – present day. Companies look for ways to engage clients and build relationships that garner loyalty and return business. Companies realize that keeping a customer is more cost effective and business wise than trying to attract new customers.