Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling goods or services. Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit. It does not mean it is a company, a corporation, partnership, or have any such formal organization, but it can range from a street peddler to General Motors." The term is also often used colloquially (but not by lawyers or public officials) to refer to a company, but this article will not deal with that sense of the word.
To those who run businesses, profits are obviously desirable and losses deplorable. But economics is not business administration. From the standpoint of the economy as a whole, and from the standpoint of the central concern of economics — the allocation of scarce resources which have alternative uses — profits and losses play equally important roles in maintaining and advancing the standards of living of the population as a whole.