What are the most important concepts discussed in business meetings? How do business people talk about these concepts in an effective manner? This lesson will discuss the main points and give you a better idea as to how they are discussed in real-world business environments.

Discussing Key Business Concepts

Vocabulary – Expressions – Phrasal Verbs – Idioms:

Profit – The key business concept – the difference between costs and revenues.

Loss – You make a loss when your costs are greater than your revenues.

Balance sheet – Financial record of the activities of a company.

Supply and demand – The amount of goods or services in a particular market, and the demand for those goods or services in that market.

Competitive advantage – That very special thing that your company has which makes it stand out from potential competitors. For example, you sell hot dogs, but you are the only outfit selling them outside the factory at the end of the midnight shift.

Strategy – What you intend to do – it must be measurable. For example, produce the lowest cost office cleaning service in town.

Tactics – How you intend to achieve your strategic objective – for example, by using state of the art, highly efficient equipment.

Risk – The chance that your well-laid plans will fail due to factors seen or unseen.

SWOT Analysis – A popular technique for analyzing business situations, stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat. Strength and Weakness are internal factors, Opportunity and Threat, external.

Marketing – The function of stimulating desire to buy, and supply goods and services to, the end consumer. Incorporates, advertising, product design, promotion, pricing, channels of distribution and selling. (See Marketing).

Time Management – This refers to the effective and productive use of time, especially management time.

Leadership – Strong and effective company leadership is important for a business to thrive. The leadership of a company can set the tone for the way employees carry out their duty, and how they interact with the community outside of the company.

Investment – Usually in the form of money, by private owners or shareholders, but can also refer to, for example, and investment of time.

Shareholders – Those individuals and organizations which have invested money in a company.

Equity – The amount of money which shareholders have invested in a company.

Teamwork – The practice of working together happily and effectively to achieve the aims of the organization.

Production – The creation of goods and services from raw materials and human input.

Employees – Those people who are employed by a company to carry out the objectives of the company.

Research – The activity of discovering the likes, dislikes and behaviour of competitors and customers, both potential and existing.

Discussing Key Business Concepts Live Example

Live Example:

White Rock Holdings was doing well, and the shareholders could expect a good return on their investment. The reason the company was succeeding was considered to be excellent leadership, very dedicated and skilled employees, and a distinctive and clear competitive advantage.

In a market where supply and demand can fluctuate unpredictably, a strategy of segmenting the market and focusing on the most profitable sectors has paid off for the company. White Rock Holdings has a particularly strong marketing department, which carries out continuous research in a fast moving business environment.

Discussing Key Business Concepts Live Conversation Example

Live Conversation Example:

Jane: The SWOT Analysis shows that we are well placed to move into the cheese market.

Dave: That is great – the research is really interesting – it shows that there is a good profit to be made.

Jane: I wasn’t sure what our competitive advantage was, but it shows clearly that our brands are strong, and with our existing delicatessen business, we have the right channels of distribution.

Dave: There will be a risk of course.

Jane: Yes, but with teamwork, and of course, good leadership, we can move into this new venture and really get some good results for the shareholders.

Dave: Can we find the right kind of skilled employees for this venture?

Jane: That’s always a problem.

Discussing Key Business Concepts Practice


Conduct a SWOT Analysis of your company

What makes for good leadership within a company?

Who is the most important to a company – the employees or the shareholders?

What kinds of things make for competitive advantage?

Explain supply and demand in an industry which you know well.

What are the key elements of a strong marketing strategy?

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