Let’s start by defining probability..
Probability is a fundamental branch of statistics, which helps predict an event’s likelihood – the possibility of an event or set of events occurring. Thus, probability deals with uncertainty e.g., the probability that a certain brand will penetrate a new market.
Several real-life outcomes including businesses involves uncertainty – risk, hence the application of probability theories and distributions in different business areas helps to make informed decisions towards the long-term profitability and success of a business. The various applications of probability in different areas of business are discussed below.
- Finance: The profitability of every business relies on how effective its financial and other resources are invested/allocated. Analysis of the probabilities of gains and losses associated with each investment or allocation decision is a precursor to the success or failure of that business. Some of the tools implored include scenario and sensitivity analysis, sales forecasting, risk evaluation.
- Marketing: In marketing, the probability that consumers will purchase a product or service is constantly changing. Probability is therefore employed in marketing models which attempt to predict customer behaviour. Marketing strategies are dynamic and marketing decisions must be made with probability in mind to ensure the target market is availed the right product and at the right time. For example, marketers use a variety of techniques to increase their chances of selling more items on Black Friday e.g. offering discounts and coupons on deals only for a limited time.
Probability theory helps determine the possible outcomes of each marketing strategy aiding the marketing executives decide on the best course of action to increase sales. The probability technique also helps to forecast future sales.
- Logistics and Operations: To ensure efficient operation of business activities, decision-makers develop a strategy and plan for production, quantity, pricing, marketing, and handling. An understanding of the risks, logistics challenges and costs beforehand allows the company a better opportunity to reach its objectives and be profitable.
- Managerial decision: Decision-making is a critical function of every business manager. The process involves analyzing all possible situations, gathering information, evaluating alternative solutions, and monitoring the outcome. A successful business reflects the effective decision-making of its managing team.