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Jargon buster: Business speak

Run a businessContent supplied by Barclays

Behind every piece of seemingly meaningless jargon is a straightforward idea trying to get out. Here are a few of the most common business expressions explained

Business plan

Think of it as your business' CV. This document includes details about you, your start-up and your long-term goals. Terms you might find within a business plan include 'forecasts' (predicted sales, income, debts) and 'executive summary' (the most important points condensed into one page). There are many online resources that can help with the structure and content of your business plan.

Accounting and finance

There are many accounting terms but the most common ones include: 'capital' (money used for investment); 'cash flow' (the money coming in minus what you need to pay out); 'profit and loss' (how much money the business is making or losing); and 'risk analysis' ( which factors could affect the business).

Technology and digital

E-business: A very formal definition might be – the paperless exchange of business information using electronic data.
E-commerce: Includes internet shopping (obviously), but also the downloading and selling of software, documents, music, etc.
M-commerce: A type of e-commerce conducted through mobile devices such as smartphones.
Social networking: Websites where the content is created and shared by users. Okay, so maybe you knew that bit, but consider how sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and, yes, Mumsnet, can help your business reach new communities.
Podcasts: Audio broadcasts (such as a section of a radio show) which you can download to your computer/phone and listen to when you want.
Skype: A software application that allows users to make voice calls over the internet. Web conference: A real-time communication in which multiple users, all connected to the internet, see the same screen at all times in their web browser.
Webinar: An online audio or video meeting where you cannot see other participants. Wikis: Websites (like Wikipedia) where the content is created and edited by users.

Sales and marketing

'Positioning' your product or service in the marketplace is identifying where it sits against rival brands or products. Setting a 'price point' is deciding how much you plan to charge. Your USP is your product's 'unique selling point', 'Customer segmentation' is the art of splitting your customers into groups that share similar characteristics so you can advertise to them more precisely.  

  • Find out how to communicate your business idea in ways that make it clear to investors and customers at the Barclays Business Hub

BusinessLink training directory: © Business Link, 2011. Source: www.businesslink.gov.uk. The Economist glossary: © The Economist Group, 2011. Source: www.economistgroupmedia.com


Head to Barclays on Mumsnet for lots more:

  • Expert information on starting your own business
  • Family budgeting and saving tips
  • Money-saving videos and inspiring start-up videos


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Last updated: over 3 years ago