QUESTIONS AND TOPICS ABOUT BUSINESS, TRADE
AND MARKETING COLLEGES
QUESTIONS AND TOPICS ABOUT LIVING,
SURVEYORS AND ARCHITECTS COLLEGES
QUESTIONS AND TOPICS ABOUT HOSPITALITY AND
CULINARY ARTS COLLEGES
QUESTIONS AND TOPICS ABOUT OPTICIANS AND
QUESTIONS FOR THE ORAL EXAMINATION
1) What is a text?
2) What do we mean by the words coherence and cohesion?
3) Which kind of texts can we have?
4) Which are the main features of a text?
5) Which are the main features of a scientific text?
6) What is a "topic sentence"? (main concept)
7) What are "linkers" or "connectors"? They are grammatical words
that signal the logical relationships within a sentence and between
sentences and paragraphs.
8) Make an example of linkers for "Addition", "Result", "Time
Sequence", "Purpose", "Concession", and so on.
9) How would you define the kind of education you receive at school
? (Excellent, Good, Unsatisfactory, Very bad).
10) What is the cause of your answer? (Inadequate teaching methods,
Uninteresting subjects, Too much discipline, Too many students in a
single classroom, Other reasons).
11) Do you think the subjects you are studying, or you have studied
are - or will be - of some use to understand the world in which you
live or to find a job?
12) At the end of the secondary school, are you planning to...a) go
to the university? b) look for a job?
13) Should anyone who wants to go to the university be allowed to?
MONEY, MATTERS AND COMMERCE (Include
the ten golden trading rules)
10. Payments in International Trade.
Risk assessment. More risk is involved in international trade than
in home trade and exporters have to take into account a number of
factors when specifying payment methods. These include the
importer’s credit standing, the country in which he operates and the
degree of trust the seller has in him. If the buyer is rated
negatively for any of these factors, the exporter will select a
method of payment which makes the transaction safer for him, such as
payment in advance. If the buyer is rated positively, the exporter
will usually grant a more favourable form of payment, such as open
account. Exporter Higher risk decreasing methods of payment are as
follows: open account; bank transfer; clean bill collection;
documentary collection; letter of credit; payment in advance. On the
contrary importer higher risk decreasing methods of payments are:
payment in advance; letter of credit; documentary collection; clean
bill collection; bank transfer; open account.
Open Account. Open account terms are the least secure form of
payment for the exporter. They are only granted to regular, reliable
customers who agree to pay within a specific time. This is usually
30, 60, or 90 days after the invoice date. When goods are delivered
at regular intervals, a customer may be granted monthly or quarterly
credit terms. He will receive a statement of account S/A, a document
which contains a list of all the transactions that have taken place
during a fixed period of time and shows the amount owed by the buyer.
Payment in advance. This form of payment is generally used with
contracts which require large investments, such as the construction
of dams, pipelines or motorways. It isn’t used very much in
international trade because it is particularly unfavourable to the
buyer. For small orders from new customers, two methods can be used,
cash with order (CWO) and cash on delivery (COD). You state when and
how your customer must pay by giving payment terms. The main terms
relating to these payment are:
- Cash With Order (CWO): payment is due when the order is placed.
This tends to be used for small orders or goods made to order as the
buyer risks the order not arriving, being substandard or late;
- Cash On Delivery (COD): the importer pays the invoice when it
arrives with the order, which is delivered at the exporter's expense.
It is a popular means of payment for trade within the EU as it
avoids complicated bank transactions, but it involves some risk for
- Documentary Collection: when shipping documents are required in an
international transaction, the method of payment is known as
documentary collection. For this payment method the exporter still
draws a B/E, which has to be signed and accepted by the importer
before any goods are sent. Once the goods have been despached,
however, the exporter sends the B/E plus all the relevant shipping
documents: the invoice (fattura); the bill of landing (B/L) (polizza
di carico) and the insurance policy to his bank. The exporter’s bank
forward the shipping documents to the importer’s bank when the B/E
has been paid (Documents against payment D/P), or payment has been
guaranteed at a later stage (Documents against acceptance D/A).
this is advantageous for both the importer and the exporter: • the
importer pays for the goods or accepts the draft` when the goods are
ready to be shipped and he can examine the documents and check if
the order has been correctly fulfilled; • the exporter carries out
the order and ships the goods knowing that the importer will collect
them only after paying the invoice, or undertaking to pay by
accepting a draft. As soon as the supply is ready for shipping, the
exporter gives his bank the documents relating to the goods (the
shipping documents) and a Bill of Exchange.
There are two types of Documentary Collection: • Documents against
Acceptance (D/A): this states that on shipping the goods the
exporter will be paid at a future date. The customer receives the
shipping documents when he accepts the Bill of Exchange; • Documents
against Payment (D/P): this states that when the buyer receives the
documents (the invoice, the transport documents and the insurance
policy) which give him ownership of the goods, he pays the Bill of
Exchange; - Documentary Credit, also known as Letter of Credit
(L/C). A letter of credit is a letter from a bank guaranteeing that
a buyer’s payment will be received on time and for the correct
amount. If the buyer is then unable to pay for the purchase, the
bank has to cover the payment. The letter of credit specifies all
the terms of trade involved in the transaction: a detailed
description of the goods, the time and place of delivery, the
documentation required, etc. When these sales terms have been met
and the documents have been submitted to the importer’s bank, the
credit is released and the supplier is paid. This method of payment
is secure for both the importer and the exporter because the banks
involved have to check the documents carefully and then make the
payments in accordance with the terms specified in the L/C. Letters
of Credit are expensive and so not used for small sums of money or
for regular and trusted customers, but are among the most secure and
financially flexible instruments available to international traders
because: • the importer knows that the bank will check the documents
to make sure that the order has been filled correctly; • the
exporter fills the order knowing that he will be paid without delay
if the documents he gives to the bank satisfy the credit terms. A
confirmed irrevocable letter of credit gives the maximum protection.
This is because the buyer cannot cancel it without the exporter’s
permission. It is especially useful in high risk markets where
payments might be restricted by events such as economic crisis or
- Open Account: this allows trusted customers to pay periodically
for goods already supplied. There is no pre-payment or other form of
security to protect the exporter: the importer receives the goods
and pays after a specified number of days. If deliveries are
regular, the exporter issues a statement of account detailing the
transactions for that period and the amount due. The statement of
account is often used as a polite reminder that some payments are
overdue. As well as the statement of account, customers may receive:
• a Credit Note which is sent to customers who are owed money,
either because they have paid more than they should have, or because
they have returned goods they have already paid for; • a Debit Note
which is a written record showing that the customer owes money, for
example because they have been invoiced for less than the correct
Methods of Payment
The final operation of a sales transaction is payment. The Bill of
Exchange (B/E) or draft. Usually a bill of exchange is a document
that orders a bank (the importer’s bank) to pay a sum of money to
another bank (the exporter’s bank). The B/E also specifies when the
payment must be made. This can be made at sight (sight draft, tratta
a vista) or at a fixed future date, a term draft (tratta a
scadenza). It can also be used as a form of credit for the importer
because he can receive the goods but pay for them at a later date.
It is a very common method of payment in international trade because
it is a relatively simple procedure and doesn’t require the
attachment of any shipping documents. It is a written order whereby
a person, the drawer (traente), requires another person, the drawee
(trattario), to pay on demand, or at a future date, the sum of money
stated to a third person, the payee. The drawer is the person who
issues the order of payment. If he puts his name on the draft, he is
the beneficiary. If he puts another person's name, he wants the
money to be paid to that person.
The drawee is the person who pays the sum of money. He is the debtor.
The payee is the beneficiary, the person who will cash the money.
The payee and the drawer may be the same person.
The time of payment, called the maturity, may vary: • a draft at
sight can be cashed at any time; • a draft at 30/60/90 days can be
cashed 30/60/90 days after receiving it; • if a date is written on
it, that is when it can be cashed. The acceptance is an essential
requirement of the draft. You can't demand payment if the drawee
doesn't agree to pay. When you have drawn up a draft, you send it to
the drawer. The drawee writes accepted followed by his signature
across the face of the draft. The acceptance is the official
engagement to pay the draft when it falls due. If the drawee writes
the name of a bank on the draft, the draft is domiciled with that
bank and the payee will have to go to that specific bank to collect
the money. The Bill of Exchange is negotiable: it can be transferred
by endorsement to another person who becomes the new beneficiary.
The payee (the endorser) transfers his rights to another person (the
endorsee) by signing the back of the bill. The payment The payee can
dispose of a draft in different ways: he can wait for maturity and
then ask the drawee to honour it; lie can rise it to pay a debt by
endorsing it to another payee; he can discount it with the bank,
i.e. he can sell it to his bank which will give him cash less a
percentage. The bank transfer is the most common, fastest, and one
of the simplest - and cheapest in terms of banking charges - ways of
making a national or international payment. It Is an irrevocable and
unconditional order of payment. The money is taken directly from the
debtor's account and put into the creditor's. If the payment is
urgent, the most common means for banks to transfer money nowadays
is through SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial
Telecommunications), a non-profit organisation with a computer
system allowing same-day transfers. The debtor goes to his or her
bank (or, increasingly, this can be done online) and fills in a form
stating how much money has to be transferred and who it is to go to.
For this the payee's bank details are necessary:
- Bank and branch - BIC (Bank Identifier Code) - IBAN (International
Bank Account Number) - BBAN (Basik Bank Account Number) for national
Cheques are used only for small sums and are not considered a very
secure method of payment as they may bounce - in other words, not be
covered, which means that the person who tries to cash the cheque is
not paid. It is also a slow method of international payment as
exporters generally wait until a cheque has been cleared before
shipping goods, and this can take weeks.
Credit cards are used particularly when buying on the Internet or by
phone, as it is sufficient to give the card number and expiry date
to make a payment. This, of course, means that there is considerable
risk of fraud: cards can be stolen or cloned, or card numbers and
other details may be copied. The risk, along with the fact that
credit card companies charge the seller a percentage of the sum paid,
means that cards are only used for relatively small payments.
Ebanking. Electronic banking, or ebanking as it is widely known, is
an umbrella terns for the system whereby people perform banking
transactions electronically, instead of having to go to the
brick-and-nlortar institution. Most traditional banks nowadays also
offer I an ebanking option for slaking payments, transferring money
or just keeping an eye on the balance in accounts. There are various
types of ebanking, for example: Internet or online banking, done, as
its name suggests, through the Internet; computer or home banking,
carried out via a customer's computer
which connects to the bank's software, or phone banking. Many banks
offer a combination of these services, but the most important and
widely used forni of ebanking nowadays is Internet. "I 'his is an
offshoot of computer banking and allows users to perform banking
operations 24/7 front anywhere in the world where there is an
Internet connection. No special software is needed, but security is
still a major concern. Protection through single-password
authentication, as in most secure Internet shopping sites, is not
considered secure enough for banking applications in sonic countries,
as passwords can be copied or lost, so many online banks inpose a
second layer of security, often single-use passwords or devices
generating single-use passwords. "There has been considerable growth
in the number of virtual or Internet banks which only exist via the
Web and do not have physical branches. They generally have lower
operating costs than brick-and-mortar ones and are thus often able
to offer their customers higher-yielding accounts on investments and
Financing Services for International Trade. International commerce
needs financing as exporters often have to wait a long time before
being paid and may have considerable expense during that period. The
following are ways in which exporters can finance their activities.
Export financing. If exporters receive a large order, but need
financial support as it may be necessary to buy new machinery or a
big stock of raw materials, their bank may help by providing a loan
on which it will obviously be necessary to pay interest. The bank
will want to check the contract of sale and will demand security.
The exporters will pay the loan back when they are paid by their
Factoring . Often referred to as accounts receivable financing,
factoring is when exporters sell the money they are owed (in the
form of invoices) to a "factor", usually a pool of banks, insurance
companies or private factoring companies, for the face value of the
sold accounts receivable, less a factor's fee. The factor then
recovers the full amount from the importer. This can be done with or
without recourse: without recourse means that the factor cannot
claim money from the exporters if the debtor does not pay.
Leasing. This is a form of financing used in both domestic and
international trade and means the buyer pays for consumer durables
like cars or computers in instalments. An international leasing
company pays the exporter for the goods in advance, and thus becomes
the new owner. The company then leases the goods to the importer,
who pays for the right to use them for the duration of the lease.
Insurance. The purpose of insurance is to cover risks like fire and
theft, but also injury to employees and third parties (liability
insurance). In international trade, insurance allows trading
partners to obtain compensation if goods get lost or damaged. In the
warehouse, goods are usually covered by general property insurance.
When they leave the warehouse, however, special cover must be taken
out because of the new risks they run while in transit.
Who pays for insuring the goods? The INCOTERM
clause mentioned in the offer, order and confirmation of order (CIF,
CIP, Ex Works...) states this. However, it is usually the exporter
who insures the shipment. This cost is recouped by entering the
relative amount in the invoice, unless it was already included in
the quotation (CIF, for example). When the insurance is arranged by
the forwarders, it is included in their invoice together with the
cost of the other services they provide.
The contract stipulated with an insurance company is called an
insurance policy. The insurance policy is one of the shipping
documents (the others are the invoice and the document of carriage)
given to the importer's bank when Documents against Acceptance (D/A)
or Documents against Payment (D/P) terms (see Finance and payments,
p. 225) have been negotiated. The insurance company is referred to
as the insurers, or underwriters, the company taking out the
insurance is called the insured and the money paid for the insurance
is called a premium. In exchange for the premium, the insurers agree
to 1 compensate the insured if something happens to the goods
insured and they have to make a claim. The premium is calculated on
the basis of • the value of the goods, as declared by the insured; •
the risk: the premium on perishable or fragile goods, for example,
is higher than that applied to durable articles, as damage is more
probable; • the extent of the cover required. The more risks are
covered by the policy, the higher the premium. In general, the value
insured not only covers the value of the shipment, but also the
freight, the cost of the premium and the expected profit obtainable
from the sale of the goods. This means that the importer can be sure
not to lose money if something happens to the goods.
11. Documents in International Trade. Doing business internationally
requires more paperwork than trading within a single country. Some
documents used in home and international trade are the same, but
there are others required solely for import and export. The invoice.
The most important document in both national and international trade
is the invoice. This is the demand for payment for the goods
supplied. It is normally issued in several copies, as it is also
needed by those intermediaries (bankers, forwarders, carriers,
insurers) who provide their services in connection with the delivery
and payment operations. It contains: • the names and addresses of
all parties to the transaction, • a complete and precise description
of the goods with the price per unit, • the total price,
• the quantity or number of items being sold, • packing, transport
and payment data. In international trade, all information required
by customs must also be included.
The proforma invoice. The proforma invoice differs from an ordinary
invoice in that it does not refer to goods supplied, but to goods
that you will supply on the terms stated when the transaction is
finalized. Customers may need a proforma invoice to ask for an
import licence or to transfer money if payment is required in
advance, when it is too early for a real invoice to be issued. The
electronic invoice or e-invoice. The electronic invoice contains the
same information and has the same functions as a paper invoice, but
is, of course, quicker to send, store and retrieve as everything is
done electronically. Special software ensures that invoices are
read-only documents so they cannot be altered by the trader who
receives them and, for additional security, electronic signatures
can also be added.
Export documents. In exporting goods, various other documents are
required besides the invoice, depending on which countries are
involved in the transaction. Customs documents certify the origin
and composition of a shipment, so that the proper tariff can be
In the EU. As trade between member countries of the European Union
is free, no customs duties are imposed on goods circulating within
it. The only documents required are a VIES (VAT Information Exchange
System) form so authorities can check the correct amount of VAT has
been paid and a detailed INTRASTAT (International Trade Statistics)
return so national governments can compile statistics.
Outside the EU
• SAD: a Single Administrative Document, or SAD, is the customs
document that accompanies goods exported from or imported to the
European Union and the European Free Trade Area (Switzerland,
Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland). SAD can also be submitted
• Export licence: is only necessary for certain products or
countries in the case of restrictions or sanctions.
• Consular invoice: this document is sometimes required by the
customs authorities of the importer's country. By certifying the
current price of the goods in the exporter's country, the consular
invoice allows customs authorities to make sure that the importer
does not evade import duty through a false declaration of the value
of the goods.
• Certificate of Origin: certifies where the goods have been
produced. It is generally required by countries which have imposed
restrictions on imports, or grant certain selected countries
preferential trade tariffs.
• ATA carnet (Carnet de Passages en Douane for Temporary Admission):
must travel with goods that are not exported
permanently, but are sent or taken abroad to be shown to prospective
customers, displayed in fairs or exhibitions, or used in events. No
customs duties are levied, but the goods must be re-imported in
full. ATA carnets do not cover perishable or consumable items or
goods for processing or repair.
Transporting goods. Most companies use forwarding agents, often also
known as freight forwarders, to transport goods, rather than do it
On behalf oft the exporter, forwarders: • pack the goods in standard
or special export packages; • hire carriers or, in some cases,
transport the shipment themselves to the port or airport of
departure, or to the place of destination;
• contact the insurers and arrange to cover the goods against a
transport risks; • supervise export formalities.
On behalf of the importer, forwarders: • unload the goods from the
ship or plane and arrange transport to the final destination; • pay
customs duties and other taxes or bureaucratic expenses. In this
case the forwarders are also clearers; • supervise import
formalities; • in the event of missing or damaged goods, handle the
necessary procedures (e.g. contacting the insurers).
Packing. When packing goods, these factors must be considered: •
weight and size of goods (also see freight costs); • type of goods:
are they fragile, perishable, very valuable, etc.; • freight costs,
which may depend either on the weight or on the dimensions of the
package. Packers should therefore make sure not only that the goods
are efficiently packed, but also that the size and weight of the
package are minimized; • type of transport, and if the transport is
by road, for example, the conditions of the roads; • the importer's
instructions: importers sometimes give particular packing
instructions when placing the order. However, while standard packing
is usually included in the price of the goods, customers may be
charged extra for the cost of special packing; • the weather
conditions (for example, extreme humidity or dryness) that might
damage an insufficiently protected consignment; • the distance the
goods have to cover. Different packing containers. Goods can be
packed in different way using: • cartons or cardboard boxes - made
of cardboard for small and medium-sized articles; • drums - made of
metal, e.g. for chemicals and paint; • cases - made of wood or
plastic; • barrels - made of wood, e.g. for liquids; • crates - made
of wood or plastic, e.g. for fruit and vegetables • bales - for soft
goods (e.g. textiles) that are pressed together and wrapped in a
protective material. Goods shipped without packing travel in bulk.
Means of transporting goods. Goods may travel by land, sea or air.
Over short distances they usually travel by land. Otherwise, "intermodal"
carriage is used, i.e. they travel by various different means of
transport to their destination, for example by road to the port, by
ship and then by road again to the final destination.
- Means • Cost & Speed • Distance • Advantages • Disadvantage •
Types of goods
- Road • fairly cheap and fast • short & medium • completeness of
service (door-to-door) • speed subject to road, traffic & weather
conditions • small/medium.
- Rail • cheap and relatively fast over long distances • any
distance overland • not conditioned by road, weather & traffic
conditions • lack of flexibility as to times and routes; cargo
loaded & unloaded several times, risks & delays • large loads (e.g.
machinery); goods in bulk (e.g. coals)
- Air • expensive and very fast • medium & long • very few risks:
cargo transit time minimal • distance from airport may be a problem
• high value, low bulk; perishable; urgent items.
- Sea • cheap and slow • any distance • container ships: simplified
& cheap Loading and unloading fixed routes, distance from/to port •
any type of large and bulky, or containerised cargo.
Transport documents. Transport documents which must accompany the
goods in transit, all have different names, depending on what means
of transport is involved.
The International Road Consignment Note is • a receipt for the goods
• a contract of carriage between the exporter and the carriers. It
contains information about the shipper, the carrier and the buyer,
including where the goods are picked up and delivered, and a
description of the goods. If the goods the carriers received are
damaged, they may add details to the Consignment Note. These notes
are known as reserves. Copies of the note are kept by the sender (consignor),
the carriers and the buyer (consignee). The Railway Consignment Note
is a receipt for the goods issued by the railway station. This is
also given to the customs authority and to the stations the goods
leave from and arrive at. The Air Waybill is • a receipt for the
goods from the airline • a contract of carriage between the shipper
and the airline • a customs declaration • a bill for the freight.
It is a standard document used for air transport, printed in English
and the language of the carrier. It is not necessary for goods
travelling between countries in the EU but its use is nonetheless
The Bill of Lading (B/L) for shipments by sea is
• a contract obliging shipper and carrier to respect a number of
• a receipt stating that the goods have been loaded on a ship under
the responsibility of the carrier
• a document of title, stating who is the legal owner of the goods.
The B/L may be clean, when the carrier states that the goods were in
a good condition when received, or foul, when they were not in a
Although the B/L normally only covers transport by sea, a combined
B/L may occasionally be issued to cover the sea travel and the
transport to and from the port.
IMCOTERMS 2000. (International Commercial Terms). These are
expressions used in international trade contracts. They were listed
by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to avoid confusion
between people in different countries about what exactly is included
in the prices quoted.
Group E. Departure. The buyer collects the goods at the seller’s
premises. Term. EXW - Ex Works + named place. The price covers the
cost of the goods only. At the seller's premises, ownership is
transferred to the importer who bears all expenses (loading,
transport, insurance, customs duties) and risks connected with the
delivery o the goods. Prices appearing in price lists are normally
quoted EXW. The buyer is responsible for loading the goods on a
truck or container at the seller’s premises and for the subsequent
costs and risk. This term is the most advantageous for the seller.
Group F. International Carriage not Paid by Seller The seller
arranges and pays for the pre-carriage in the country of export.
Terms. FCA - Free Carrier (…..named place), unloaded at the seller's
dock OR a named place where shipment is available to the
international carrier or agent, not loaded. This term can be used
for any mode of transport. FAS - Free Alongside Ship + named port of
shipment. Ocean shipments that are NOT containerised. FOB - Free On
Board + named port of shipment. This term is used for ocean
shipments only where it is important that the goods pass the ship's
Group C. International Carriage Paid by Seller The seller arranges
and pays for the main carriage without assuning the risk. CFR - Cost
and Freight + named port of destination. This term is used for ocean
shipments that are not containerised. CIF - Cost, Insurance and
Freight + named port of destination. This term is used for ocean
shipments that are not containerised. CPT - Carriage Paid To + named
place of destination. This term is used for air or ocean
containerised and roll-on roll-off shipments. CIP - Carriage and
Insurance Paid To + named place of destination. This term is used
for air or ocean containerised and roll-on roll-off shipments.
Group D. Arrival at Stated Destination The seller makes the goods
available on arrival at an agreed destination in the buyer’s
country. DAF - Delivered At Frontier + named frontier of destination.
This term is used for any mode of transportation delivered by land,
not unloaded. DES - Delivered Ex Ship + named port of destination.
This term is used for ocean shipments only, not unloaded. DEQ -
Delivered Ex Quay + named port of destination. This terns is used
for ocean shipments only, unloaded, not cleared. DDU - Delivered
Duty Unpaid + named place of destination. This terni is used for any
mode of transportation, not unloaded, not cleared. DDP - Delivered
Duty Paid + named place of destination. This term is used for any
mode of transportation not unloaded, cleared. The seller is
responsible for most of the expenses, which include the cargo
insurance, import customs clearance, payment of customs duties and
taxes at the buyer’s end and the delivery of goods to the final
point of destination. The seller may opt not to insure the goods at
his/her own risk. This term is the most advantageous for the buyer.
12. Price, Supply and Demand. Products are made to be sold (supply)
and consumed (demand). Supply is how much of something is offered
for sale at a certain time. In most cases, producers can increase
supply when demand goes up, but this does not apply to everything,
especially raw materials. Market supply is the sum of all sellers'
individual supplies. Demand for a product means how much consumers
buy that product. Individually, a consumer's actions make little
difference. If someone decides to buy more or fewer beauty products
but everyone else goes on buying as before, then it will make no
difference. But if everyone starts to buy more, that will make a
difference and demand rises. Demand falls when people all decide
they want to buy less. The market forces of supply and demand set
the price at which sellers are willing to sell and buyers are
willing to buy. If something becomes scarce, prices go up. Oil
production, for example, cannot be increased beyond a certain limit,
at least in the short term, so when there are crises like the war in
Iraq, with a resulting drop in oil production which other countries
cannot compensate for, prices rise. In the same way, if there is a
lot of something available, prices go clown. The factors influence
each other: with products that are not considered basic needs, price
is an important factor in demand and, as supply is mostly a response
to demand, price also usually affects supply. A fall in price
usually makes you want to buy more, and a rise in price makes you
want to buy less. Basic needs arc referred to as "inelastic demand".
Things that we want, but can do without are classified as "elastic
demand".Business The occupation, work, or trade in which a person is
engaged. Commercial, industrial, or professional dealings. A
commercial enterprise or establishment. Volume or amount of
The business of America is business.
The organization of business. Sole traders. Partnerships. Limited
companies. Cooperatives (co-op)
The growth of business. Mergers. Takeovers. Acquisitions. Joint
The structure of a company. Board of directors. Managing director.
Sales manager. Marketing manager. Human resources manager.
Purchasing manager. Production manager. Finance Manager. Information
Business transaction. Speaking business. Writing business. Business
Communication. Enquiries and replies. Offers and replies. Orders and
replies, modification and cancellation of orders. Complaints and
replies. Reminders and replies. Methods of payments. See also
“factoring” and so on.
Synonyms: business, industry, commerce, trade, traffic. These nouns
apply to forms of activity that have the objective of supplying
commodities. Business pertains broadly to commercial, financial, and
industrial activity: decided to go into the oil business. Industry
entails the production and manufacture of goods or commodities,
especially on a large scale: the computer industry.
Commerce and trade refer to the exchange and distribution of goods
or commodities: laws regulating interstate commerce; involved in the
domestic fur trade.
Traffic pertains in particular to businesses engaged in the
transportation of goods or passengers: renovated the docks to
attract shipping traffic.
The word may also suggest illegal trade: discovered a brisk traffic
in stolen goods.
Trade restrictions and distortion. The importation and exportation
of goods may he subject to restrictions imposed for a variety of
reasons. These may include, commercial restrictions like tariffs -
and quotas which can be adopted either by national governments or by
trade blocs. • tariffs are taxes placed on imports by national
governments or trade blocs. By increasing the price of foreign goods
on the domestic market, tariffs protect local producers, as
consumers are discouraged from buying snore expensive imported
products; • quotas establish the maximum quantity of something which
can he imported and are again decided by national governments or
trade blocs to protect their own industries. If you wish to import
goods subject to quotas, you must first obtain an import licence,
i.e. an authorisation to introduce them into your country. Trade may
also be restricted for reasons that are not strictly commercial.
Sensitive technology and components that can be used to develop
armaments are usually exported
only under government supervision and the sale abroad of national
antiques is forbidden in most countries. The export of any
restricted goods requires an export licence. Non-commercial
restrictions include: • trade sanctions or embargoes, which are
usually imposed by governments as an expression of disapproval of a
country's policies. Restrictions may be general, i.e. involve all
types of product or specific, i.e. involve particular types of
product. For example, within the European Union, arms embargoes are
in force against several countries including Afghanistan, China,
Liberia, Libya, Sudan and Zimbabwe. Other restrictions can be to
protect health or consumers' rights and may take the form of: • bans,
when something may not be imported at all. An example of this type
of restriction is the ban on importing poultry from certain areas as
a result of the bird-flu scare; • regulations and standards, which
often apply to products destined for human consumption in one way or
another, either because it is felt that these could be a health risk
(as in some Chinese toys which do not respect EU safety regulations)
or because they do not match product descriptions. An example of
this latter case is Indian "whisky", which cannot be sold in the EU
as whisky because it is made froth sugar cane, and not malt. Trade
can also be distorted by: • government subsidies, which allow
companies to produce for less than cost price and therefore to
charge less than foreign competitors. These may be challenged by
appealing to the WTO, the World Trade Organization; • dumping, which
is selling at prices lower than cost or than the price in the home
market, to squeeze out competitors, win foreign customers or to
reduce excess stocks. Anti-dumping legislation makes this practice
Globalisation. The production and distribution of the same products
and services on a worldwide basis - in London, Lima or Lahore - has
been defined "globalisation". Every day news programmes are hill of
demonstrators protesting against the phenomenon. But is it really
all bad? In the view of no-global activists, the villains of the
story are multinational corporations, which are accused of putting
profit above all other considerations. There are a wide range of
accusations, from exploitation of child labour and pollution to the
loss of variety and identity. Let's take this final point first:
everyone has heard of globalization, but what about glocalization?
This is when a multinational thinks globally but acts locally. An
example could be the Swiss corporation, Nestlé. Among its many
products is instant coffee, but although the name and packaging are
always more or less the same, Nestlé produces over 200 different
varieties to cater for different local preferences.
Despite adapting their products to suit different markets,
multinationals still enjoy economies of scale from operating all
over the world. Moreover, with the amount of money needed for
research and development (R&D) nowadays, many discoveries would
never have been made without the potential sales from a global
market. Production has also been globalised, with benefits both for
multinationals, which have much lower production costs, and for
workers in the developing world. Countries like India, which have
become major outsourcing destinations, have made enormous progress
in reducing poverty, whereas countries like Sub-Saharan Africa,
untouched by globalisation, have seen their poverty rates unchanged.
The Pros and Cons of Globalisation FOR Who? • The World Trade
Organization • The International Monetary Fund • The World Bank Why?
There is evidence that inequalities in global income and poverty are
decreasing and that globalisation has contributed to this turnaround.
For example, the World Bank notes that China's income per head has
become four times greater since the country opened to world trade.
Poor countries that have lowered their tariff barriers have seen
increases in employment. In addition to providing jobs, companies
moving to developing countries often export higher wages and better
working conditions. AGAINST Who? • Environmentalist groups such as
Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace • Some Trade Unions • Left-wing
organizations such as the Social Forum
Why? The gap between rich and poor nations is increasing and rising
inequality is the inevitable result of market forces. Large
corporations invest in poor countries only because they can make
greater profits from low wage levels or because they can get access
to their natural resources.
13. Channel of distribution: Manufacturer, Wholesaler, Retailer,
Marketing - the exchange of goods for an agreed sum of money. The
commercial processes involved in promoting and selling and
distributing a product or service; "most companies have a manager in
charge of marketing". marketing - shopping at a market; "does the
weekly marketing at the supermarket". shopping - searching for or
buying goods or services; "went shopping for a reliable plumber"; "does
her shopping at the mall rather than down town".
What Marketing is About. Marketing is an important part of the
production cycle we saw in the chapter The economy. It is not just a
part of the sales process, but is often involved in the process of
creating a product before it is even designed. Market researchers
find out which people want to buy what and then, for the sales
campaigns, how much potential consumers are prepared to pay.
Successful marketing means getting the right product to the right
people: • at the right price, • at the right time
• in the right place • in the right packager • with the right
Through marketing producers can:
1. identify a market opportunity. This is when a producer
investigates what consumers want or need. This can be done through
questionnaires, focus groups or simply through tracking consumers'
preferences and buying habits;
2. design a product or service to meet those needs. Part of this
involves defining "the "target", i.e. which consumers will be
potential consumers (by age, gender, social status, etc.). The "new"
product will not usually be new - it will often be based on
something already on the market, but designed to appeal to a
different target or with new, updated features;
3. choose a price. Consumers assume that price is based upon what
something costs the producer, but that is not usually the case
nowadays. Modern businesses are market-oriented, whereas in the past
they were product-oriented. Pricing has become a science which aims
at deciding how much consumers can he persuaded to pay (and
marketing research looks at how to persuade them). Obviously this
also involves what competitors are charging- for similar products
4. decide the most appropriate presentation and packaging. Choice of
a name is very important here. The name and what the product looks
like must reinforce the image that is being sold;
5. design the promotional strategies. With toiletries, cosmetics and
perfumes, companies may often use testimonials: a beautiful,
sophisticated person with the right image who promotes the brand.
This would probably not be as appropriate for a video game or
6. decide on the most appropriate distribution channels. This means
whether a product should be sold on the Internet or in boutiques,
supermarkets or expensive department stores. Caviar would not be a
great success in a discount store!
Channel of distribution: Manufacturer, Wholesaler, Retailer,
Market Research. Market research can be divided into two basic types:
field or primary research and desk or secondary research. The type
of information collected can be quantitative, referring to numbers
and statistics (for example how many teenagers wear a particular
brand of sports shoes), or qualitative, with more in-depth
information like why people buy something, etc.
1. Field research involves collection of data directly from people
who may be customers or potential customers. The information can be
gathered through: interviews, either in person or on the phone; -
questionnaires, by post, at points of sale or, increasingly,
on-line; - focus groups.
2. Desk research uses data that has already been collected. Sources
can be internal, for example financial accounts, sales and customer,
reports or external, like statistics or reports from government
bodies or trade associations, trade journals and publications.
Nowadays much desk research uses data gathered electronically: for
example, externally and internally from the Internet where search
engines track the types of sites people visit, or internally through
the use of store cards which track what people buy, how often they
shop, how much they spend, etc.
Market Segmentation. Market segmentation is how a market is divided.
This is an important concept in marketing as a product i5 normally
designed with a target segment in mind.
Market segments can be defined according to:
• gender • age range • social status (based on income, profession or
education • family structure (families with children, single people,
etc.) • geographic area • interests.
The Marketing Mix.
Finance. 1. The science of the management of money and other assets.
the study or management of money affairs. (often in plural) the
money one has to spend.
2. The management of money, banking, investments, and credit.
3. finances Monetary resources; funds, especially those of a
government or corporate body.
4. The supplying of funds or capital.
tr.v. fi•nanced, fi•nanc•ing, fi•nanc•es
1. To provide or raise the funds or capital for: financed a new car.
2. To supply funds to: financing a daughter through law school.
3. To furnish credit to. The marketing mix covers all the activities
normally associated with marketing. These are often known as the
4Ps: • Product: finding the right product or combination of products
for that market (through research, design and development); • Price:
deciding the most profitable price possible, bearing in mind the
competition and demand; • Place: making the product available when
and where necessary; • Promotion: persuading customers to buy the
product, with suitable means of communication.
Product. Branding and packaging are two aspects of marketing
strategies that consumers hardly ever notice but that serv to
differentiate products, which may in fact be very similar. Branding
Brand-naming agencies specialise in evaluating the product, the
image the company wants to project to the consumer (perhaps its
high-tech or homely nature, its price advantage, or style) and
finding the best name for it. A good brand name should be memorable
and appropriate, it should be pronounceable and hay no unpleasant
connotations in any relevant language or culture where the product
may he sold. Successful brand names are often the most important
asset} a company may have as consumers will often pa; a lot more for
a brand that has a good reputation. Since it is very difficult,
time-consuming and expensive n create successful new brands,
companies often find it quicker and cheaper to take over companies
whose finance may not be in great shape, but whose products are
well-known to consumers.
Packaging The type of packaging a product is sold in is determined
by several factors: what best protects the characteristics of the
product, what is perceived by the consumer as being practical or
attractive, what the best size of packaging is for that product, how
the product may be made to look different from its competitors.
Price. Good marketing means putting a product on the market at a
price that is competitive (so in line with what competitors are
charging), but still profitable. The final price depends not only on
production and marketing costs, but also on the company's general
strategy: there are a lot of reasons for deciding on one price
rather than another.
Pricing strategies Definitions. Loss leaders - products sold at less
than cost to attract customers to buy other, more profitable
products. Capturing pricing - selling the equipment cheaply and the
consumable material necessary at a high price. Cost-plus pricing -
price based on costs and a profit margin. Market-led pricing -
setting prices according to competitors' pricing.
Market-oriented-pricing - used to influence customer behaviour.
Penetration pricing - cheap initial prices to gain market share.
Market skimming - charging a high initial price for an innovative
Place. The "right place" is where and how you sell your product. You
have to decide whether you want to distribute it directly to
consumers (for example, through the Internet), or through
wholesalers, agents or retailers. The choice will depend on the type
of consumers you are targeting, your competitors' choices, and your
company's resources (what you can afford).
Promotion. Promotion is used to: • launch new products; • increase
sales of existing products; • improve the company's image and/or
strengthen its brand, (or even to change it). Often more than one
type of medium will be used. Informational items. These make up the
company's official face. Information about a company is regularly
circulated in letterheads, business cards, on panels on the sides of
company vehicles, in leaflets, flyers and catalogues. Public
relations (PR). Another "informational" way of promoting a product,
brand or the company is through public relations. PR can be in the
form of press releases, sponsorships, advertisements (also called
ads or adverts), etc. Advertising Advertisers choose from the large
variety of available means the medium which best delivers their
message to potential customers in the most cost-effective way. This
can be done in various ways. There is usually one primary medium,
e.g. television or the press, which is used to lead the campaign,
and one or more other means support the campaign (secondary media).
These could be billboards (cartelloni pubblicitari) or the radio,
Advertising Media. Press. Advantages. • can be relatively cheap
depending on circulation and position in paper, etc. • can include
detailed information • can reach large numbers of consumers in right
segment (cultural level, gender, age group, etc.) Disadvantages •
being static may lack visual impact • lots of competing ads
especially in special-interest magazines. Direct Mailing Advantages
• can give lots of specific information
• target can be carefully selected • messages can be personalised
Disadvantages • can he thrown away without being read (junk mail) •
can cause irritation Telemarketing Advantages • as with direct
mailing, target can be carefully selected • messages can be
personalised • can give lots of specific information Disadvantages •
is expensive • can cause irritation Tv Advantages • has wide reach
with national TV (e.g. prime-time slots) • can reach specific
targets (local TV for local facilities/events & smaller companies) •
adverts can be repeated Disadvantages • are very expensive both to
produce and to air • viewers may zap during commercial breaks or
just not pay attention • viewers tire of ads quickly so they need to
change to maintain effectiveness.
Radio Advantages • is cheaper than TV • can reach specific targets (local
stations / particular programmes)
• can be repeated Disadvantages • has smaller audience than TV • has
no visual reinforcement so is no good for detail Product Placement
Advantages • can reach wide and/or specific audiences depending on
film, game, or programme • can he prestigious and enhance image
Disadvantages • can he very expensive, e.g. having James Bond drive
a Ford Mondeo • audience might be too involved in story to notice
product Outdoor Advertising Advantages • can be used as
reinforcement of primary medium • can reach a lot of people • is
relatively cheap Disadvantages • loses impact if not changed
regularly Sponsorship Advantages • can reach large numbers • can be
cost-effective Disadvantages • can be very expensive (e.g. Formula
1, America's Cup) Internet Advantages • is relatively inexpensive •
has growing reach and/or specific targets • is easy to update
Disadvantages • Internet users can ignore or close ads. • spam is
deleted without being read
Trade fairs. Trade fairs and exhibitions are enormously important in
international trade. They provide a showcase for companies to
publicise their products and an opportunity for potential customers
to see what is available in a particular sector and to compare
price, quality and product range all under one roof.
Channels of distribution. Choosing the most effective channel of
distribution is one of the many vital decisions that a company must
take to ensure that a product sells well.
Products can be sold: 1. directly to consumers. For example, some
farmers have a farm shop or market stalls where they can sell their
Some manufacturers display their products in a mail-order catalogue.
Customers choose the products on the basis of the pictures and the
descriptions, place their orders and pay for the purchase which is
delivered by mail or courier. Nowadays the Internet has made this
much easier and more popular.
Factory outlets are special points of sale where products displayed
for customers come directly from the factory skipping all
intermediate distribution channels. Sometimes they sell old lines or
2. to wholesalers. • Wholesalers buy goods in bulk then sell
retailers the smaller quantities that they need. • They provide
storage facilities. • They organise the delivery to the individual
retailers. • They may specialise in one type of product. • They may
also be in the form of "Cash and Carry" where retailers and smal
businesses collect the goods themselves.
3. to retailers. These are all kinds of shops and points of sale:
boutiques, supermarkets department stores or vending machines, etc.
They are responsible for fixing the price to the public, promoting
and advertising the product at their outlet.
4. via agents. Agents act as intermediaries. They secure orders for
the product and take commission. They are used particularly, but not
exclusively, in foreign markets.
The Internet as distribution channel. The Internet is a
revolutionary distribution channel. At the beginning there were
difficulties for both manufacturers and consumers, but the volume of
business carried out through the Net is constantly growing. Sectors
such as airline tickets and hotel bookings, etc. are the fastest
growing, followed by books and music. These sectors reflect the
relatively young age range of Internet users. Selling products and
services through the Internet has many advantages:
• The direct relationship with customers eliminates intermediaries
such as wholesalers or agents. This lowers costs and speeds up the
whole process of selling and getting paid.
• The need for stocks is limited. Some products can even be -
manufactured according to demand.
• Displaying the goods on a website is cheaper than producing 2
brochures and catalogues, and mailing them.
• Information on the products and price variations can be updated:
frequently and at relatively low cost.
• Customer care and after-sales follow-up can be implemented with
considerable efficiency For example, customer satisfaction can be
measured through questionnaires and the analysis of the replies
allows service to be improved.
• As costs are dramatically cut, lower prices can be quoted, and
this may result in larger volumes of sales.
The Internet is, however, not yet the infinite market square where
sellers display their products and cash their rewards. Consumers in
some countries are still wary (diffidente) and use it for their
purchases with extreme caution. Products whose quality needs to be
tested or that need to be tried on still have relatively little
chance of being sold on the Web. Payment security is another element
that requires caution. People obviously do not want to have their
credit card numbers roaming cyberspace, where they can be
intercepted and used by computer-literate crooks (truffatori).
14. Ways of Organizing Business The company. The various forms of
business ownership. Mergers, acquisitions and take-overs, three ways
for companies to grow. From centrally-planned economies to
free-market economies, the Government's role in the economy.
Commercial websites, not only a means of giving information about a
company, but also of selling its products. Companies. A company is a
unit of management. It is an organisation that carries out business
under a particular name and controls the way in which its resources
are used. It takes decisions on such matters as the methods of
production or the way products are marketed. A company is not a unit
of production, such as a factory, a farm or a mine. One company may
own and control one or more units of production.
Businesses may vary in size, from a single individual to large
companies employing thousands of people, an they may be organised in
different ways. Sole traders. The smallest type of business
organisation is a sole trader. Sole traders run their businesses in
their own names and for their own benefit an are responsible for
whatever happens to the company. A sole trader normally runs a small
business such as a small shop, or provides a service as a carpenter,
a window cleaner or a car mechanic, etc. Advantages. The sole trader:
• does not need to make complicated legal arrangements and does not
need a lot of money to set up the company. • has full control over
the business, takes all decisions on how to run it and does not have
to negotiate or agree with anyone else. The success or failure of
the business depends entirely on his/her skills, talents and
decisions. • does not have to share the profits with anyone. • can
have close personal relations with staff and customers.
Disadvantages The sole trader... • is entirely responsible for the
business's finances. If something goes wrong and the business runs
into debt or goes bankrupt, the sole trader loses his/her personal
assets together with the company. • cannot share the
responsibilities of running the business. • has limited capital as
no one else contributes resources. Extra financing must be found
through borrowing. • is in trouble if there are health or family
problems as the business may be seriously affected. Partnerships. A
partnership is when two or more people join together to form and run
a business. In a partnership each partner contributes to the capital
needed in equal or agreed parts and then shares the profits and the
losses according to the amount of capital they invest. Partnerships
are common in small retail and service businesses (e.g. restaurants).
There can be some partners - called sleeping partners - who do not
contribute to the management of the company. A partnership can be
unlimited or limited. In an unlimited partnership the partners are
like sole traders: they are liable to the full extent of their
personal properties if the business runs into debt. In the UK, a
limited partnership is called a limited liability partnership
because, in the case of bankruptcy, the partners lose only the
capital they contributed and not their personal assets. This is a
common arrangement, particularly in accounting and law firms. In the
USA, limited partnerships (the abbreviation is LP) also involve
limited liability for the partners, who are responsible for the
partnership's debts only up to the amount they invested. At least
one partner, however, must be liable without limitation.
Cooperatives. In cooperatives the business is owned and run by its
members, who provide the money to set up the business and share the
profits. Each member has a vote, regardless of the amount of capital
invested, unlike the situation in partnerships. Cooperative members
may he the people who work there (worker cooperatives) or groups of
traders who join together to buy, sell or produce in larger units.
Small shopkeepers, for example, may group together into retail
cooperatives to buy in bulk at better prices. An example of a
producer cooperative can be seen in Val d'Intelvi in the province of
Como, where farmers were having problems selling their milk because
of the high price of transporting it. The local dairy farmers formed
a cooperative which bought the milk they produced and made it into
mozzarella cheese for sale. Governments often offer privileges to
people who wish to set up cooperative societies as a means to fight
unemployment. Privileges may include low-interest loans,
simplification of accounting procedures and tax relief. Limited
companies. Limited companies are owned by shareholders. These people
invest their money in units of property of the company, called
shares. If the company gets into debt, shareholders are liable only
for the value of the shares they possess. This limits their risk as
their personal assets are not involved. Part of the profits of the
company are paid to shareholders in proportion to the number of
shares they hold. These payments are called dividends. There are two
kinds of limited company. Private limited companies have the
abbreviation "Ltd" after their name and are usually small companies,
owned by a minimum of two and a maximum of fifty shareholders.
Shares representing the capital of the company are bought or sold
privately by direct agreement, normally only with the permission of
the other shareholders. These companies are not quoted on the Stock
• Public limited companies (Plc) are usually very large. They have
at least two shareholders, but there is no upper limit, so they can
have thousands. They must have a minimum share capital and their
shares are offered freely on the Stock Exchange. Multinationals.
Multinationals are companies that own and control production
facilities} in more than one country. A company may decide to "go
global", i.e. to expand in other countries for a variety of reasons:
• to employ cheaper labour; • to process raw materials found in the
host country; • to meet the specific needs of each national market
and reduce transport and distribution costs; • to compete
successfully with rival companies in existing or potential markets;
• to take advantage of incentives offered by countries wishing to
attract foreign investments (e.g. tax rebates - sconti fiscali); •
to expand its held of activities. This may he done through merger,
acquisition or take-over operations resulting in the control of
Positive aspects for the host country. Countries in the developing
world act as hosts for a large number of multinationals. Why the
businesses do it is clear, but what benefits do the host countries
have? Obviously one of the key advantages in welcoming Nike,
Coca-Cola or any other world player is the fact that when a
multinational sets up a factory, jobs are created. Work is also
created more indirectly through the use of local suppliers who might
provide components or services. Some foreign investors also provide
services like health care for their employees, who also benefit from
learning new skills, being trained or even just gaining experience
in new technologies or work practices. In terms of the national
economy, the countrvs balance of payments may also be improved:
products that were previously imported from abroad are produced
locally (SEAT and FIAT's factories for the local markets in South
America, for example), reducing imports, and exports can increase if
the products arc sold outside the country producing them (as with
the many Japanese car producers with factories in Britain supplying
Negative aspects for the host country. Multinationals are frequently
seen today as organisations dedicated to the exploitation of the
developing world. Why is there this idea? Many multinationals have
far more money and power than the countries that host them and this
means they can often dictate government policy. If a multinational
needs a law changed, it can often he enough to threaten to leave and
the government has to oblige, rather than lose the income and work
the company provides. This can be the case with factories producing
dangerous products or using toxic ingredients. The rigid health and
safety laws in the multinational's country of origin are not applied
in the host country so the multinationals save a huge amount of
money but put the lives and environment of the local people at
serious risk. Profits from the multinational's business activities
do not stay where they are produced but are sent out of the country.
The competition from well-organised multinationals can even prevent
local initiatives from flourishing so although the multinational
provides jobs, it can actually stop other businesses growing up and
providing more work. How companies can grow. A merger takes place
when two companies "merge" together and a new, larger and more
powerful company is formed. This is usually clone between companies
operating in the same sector. For example, the merger in 2007
between the two Italian banks, Banca Intesa and San Paolo, created
the largest bank in Italy with around 20% of the market. An
acquisition is a simple purchase. A company may buy another company
operating in the same sector to get rid of a competitor, or a
company operating in a parallel field to diversify its activities. A
take-over occurs when a company buys enough shares of another
company to gain control of it."lake-avers can be friendly, when the
two companies negotiate the operation. A take-over is hostile when
the buying company buys enough of the other company's shares on the
Stock Market to acquire control, even if the other company does not
want to be controlled by the company taking it over. State-owned
businesses Governments provide a variety of services and are often
the largest employers in any given country. Governments may also run
enterprises which manufacture and sell products. The number of such
companies depends on what type of economy the country has: • in
centrally-planned economies, all the means of production are owned
and run by the government that decides what and how much of anything
consumers need. Production and distribution are planned centrally.
Prices are not subject to supply and demand but are set by the
government and consumers cannot affect them; • in free-market
economies, what services and goods are provided is dictated by
market forces. The state only runs those enterprises that are
essential for the public interest, such as social or national
security services; • in mixed economies, governments provide
services for the public interest and run enterprises that may
provide services or manufacture goods. Publicly-owned enterprises
are usually not run to make a profit, and the state intervenes to
cover any losses incurred. In the past, in many countries around the
world, governments owned a lot of companies, but the recent trend
has been to privatise these by passing ownership and control over to
private investors. Companies on the web No company, however small,
can afford not to be on the Internet today. Companies spend a
fortune developing websites and registering them with the most
important search engines to ensure that when a potential customer
searches the Internet for information about their products, their
sites will he listed along with the others related to the same
keywords. Commercial websites introduce the company and give
information about where it is haled, what products it manufactures
or what services it provides, contact names and numbers. Many
websites have a section with "FAQ's" - Frequently Asked Questions.
This section saves the company from having to give individual
replies to the most common queries.
Many commercial websites are not for giving information about the
company, but for selling its products. This type of activity is
called e-commerce and nowadays there are companies that only exist
on the Internet: they do not have physical points of sale where
people can go to buy their products. E-commerce can be divided into
different categories: • Consumer to consumer (C2C). This is when
consumers use the Internet as an Intermediary to sell to each other
and includes auction sites like eBay. • Business to business (B2B).
This describes the commercial transactions between a business and
its suppliers, distributors or retailers: all buying and selling
where consumers are not involved. • Business to consumer (B2C). This
is also known as electronic retailing when businesses like
amazon.com sell products or services directly to sell products or
services directly to consumers. Some of the businesses may be
dotcoms like Amazon, i.e. a company that only exists on the
Internet, but others may he "click and brick" businesses,
traditional businesses that have an Internet division for sales.
• Mobile commerce (m-commerce).This uses mobile phones and wireless
Internet access and is a sector many believe will grow as technology
becomes more sophisticated. Banking is increasingly done via
m-commerce and other key areas of activity for m-commerce include
downloading music or booking tickets.
15. Finance. 1. The science of the management
of money and other assets. the study or management of money affairs.
(often in plural) the money one has to spend. 2. The management of
money, banking, investments, and credit.
3. finances Monetary resources; funds, especially those of a
government or corporate body. 4. The supplying of funds or capital.
tr.v. fi•nanced, fi•nanc•ing, fi•nanc•es 1. To provide or raise the
funds or capital for: financed a new car. 2. To supply funds to:
financing a daughter through law school. 3. To furnish credit to.
The Stock Exchange. In basic ways the Stock Exchange operates in
much the same way as any other market. In fact it is often known as
the Stock Market. 1 It offers stocks, debentures- and bonds but,
unlike other markets where anyone can buy what they need, on the
Stock Exchange the buying and selling has to be done by
intermediaries - the broker.&. There are two main reasons for this:
a) buying and selling (normally known as trading) on the Stock
Exchange is a complex procedure; b) the Stock Exchange deals in
people's savings, which must be protected from fraudulent or
ignorant handling. Brokers belong to companies specialised in
trading stocks, and can also act as investment advisers to their
clients. Their profit comes from the commission they charge on the
operations they carry out on behalf of their clients. As the Stock
Exchange is a market, the price of the shares and other securities
changes every day. The "game" is to guess which way the prices will
move in the immediate future - up or down, on the basis of supply
and demand. When the value of shares goes up, investors may decide
to buy shares in the belief that the positive trend will continue,
or may sell their shares and make a profit based on the difference
between their buying and selling price. If share prices go down,
investors sell their shares at a loss, or buy shares anticipating
that they will go back up again. Most trading consists of long
periods of small winners and losers followed by a few huge winners
that make the difference between overall profitability and simply
breaking even or losing due to trading costs (commissions, spread,
and slippage). It is our ability to let the huge winners become just
that - huge - that determines how we will perform overall during the
year. And finally remember that most trading consists of long periods of small winners and losers
followed by a few huge winners that make the difference between
overall profitability and simply breaking even or losing due to
trading costs (commissions, spread, and slippage).
It is our ability to let the huge winners become just that - huge -
that determines how we will perform overall during the year.
10 golden rules give you the fundamental
guidelines to successful trading.
1. Plan your trade and trade your plan. You must have a trading plan
to succeed. But if you are good enough you can manage even without
it, provided you have a vision of the future. Making money in the
markets has almost nothing to do with how often you win — but
everything to do with how you manage your risk.
2. The trend is your friend. Do not buck the trend. When the market
is bullish, go long. On the reverse, if the market is bearish, you
short. Never go against the trend, if you are not good enough to do
so and if you can't wait the right moment again.
3. Focus on capital preservation. The most important step that you
must take when you deal with your trading capital. You main goal is
to preserve the capital. You should not trade more than 3-5% of your
deposit in a single trade. Some other traders advice never to risk
more than 2% of your account equity on any one investment, trade, or
4. Know when to cut loss. If a trade goes against you, sell it and
let go. Do not hold on to a bad trade hoping that the price will go
up. Most likely, you end up losing more money. Before you enter a
trade, decide your stop loss price, a price where you must sell when
the trade turns sour. It depends on your risk profile as of how much
you should set for the stop loss. Anyway, you can manage even
without a stop loss point, but you must buy at the right, perfect
moment. Anyway it's always better to use protective stops!
5. Take profit when the trade is good. Before entering a trade,
decide how much profit you are willing to take. When a trade turns
out to be good, take the profit. You can take profit all at one go,
or take profit in stages. Once you have covered the spread, you have
nothing to lose. In any case you must be able to le the profit run,
that's the real secret of a real good trader. Always remember that
how you exit a trade is as important, if not more important, than
how you enter it.
6. Be emotionless. Two biggest emotions in trading: greed and fear.
Do not let greed and fear influence your trading plan. That's very
important indeed, you must have, what we call an ice blood.
7. Be a really well informed trader. Trade
only when you have done your own research and analysis. Read all the
news and try to guess what is happening afterwards. Be very careful
and learn also how to Ignore the News when necessary.
8. Keep a trading journal. When you buy a currency or stock, write
down the reasons why you buy, and your feelings at that time. You do
the same when you sell. Analyze and write down the mistakes you have
made, as well as things that you have done right. By referring to
your trading journal, you learn from your past mistakes. Improve on
your mistakes, keep learning and keep improving. Anyway, feel free
also not to have one, if you have a very powerful memory, and if you
can learn from your previous mistakes.
9. When in doubt, stay out. When you have doubt and you are not sure
where the market or stock is going, stay on the sideline. Sometimes,
doing nothing is the best thing to do.
10. Do not overtrade. Ideally you should have 3-5 positions at a
time. No more than that. If you have too many positions, you tend to
be out of control and make emotional decisions when there is a
change in market. Do not trade for the sake of trading.
And finally remember to let
This simple rule is the key to being a successful trader. It is
three simple words that are very hard to actually implement. When we
get a profitable trade our natural fear of losing the unrealized
cash kicks in and we truly want to close it out now and take the
money. Most trading consists of long periods of small winners and
losers followed by a few huge winners that make the difference
between overall profitability and simply breaking even or losing due
to trading costs (commissions, spread, and slippage).
It is our ability to let the huge winners become just that - huge -
that determines how we will perform overall during the year.
The key to letting winners run is to have trailing stops that are
outside the daily noise of the market so that they are not tight
enough to get stopped out during 'normal' trading. This means being
prepared to give up a significant portion of a winning trade's open
profit and is the thing that makes this so hard to implement. In
fact, we should be adding to a winner and widening stops rather than
working out how tight our stops can be to capture maximum profit.
The trade has already shown you that it intends to be a winner, and
the chances are it is a low-risk idea to add to the position now
rather than 'strangle it' with stops that are too tight.
It is very important that your position management rules allow for
large winning trades, and that the rules are pre-defined and
understood before you place the trade. This will allow you (if you
have confidence in your method and discipline) to stick to your
rules when you do get the big winner.
the whole Living Commerce in Summaries pdf
QUESTIONS AND TOPICS ABOUT BUSINESS, TRADE
AND MARKETING COLLEGES N. 1
QUESTIONS AND TOPICS ABOUT BUSINESS, TRADE
AND MARKETING COLLEGES
QUESTIONS AND TOPICS ABOUT LIVING,
SURVEYORS AND ARCHITECTS COLLEGES
QUESTIONS AND TOPICS ABOUT HOSPITALITY AND
CULINARY ARTS COLLEGES
QUESTIONS AND TOPICS ABOUT OPTICIANS AND
HOW PEOPLE RELAX
Going to pubs is a very popular leisure-time activity. In a recent
survey seven out of ten adults said they went to pubs, one third of
them once a week or more often.
Types of pubs vary considerably from quiet rural establishments with
traditional games, such as skittles and dominoes, to city pubs where
different sorts of entertainment such as drama and live music can
often be found. The opening hours of pubs, which were previously
strictly controlled, have been relaxed and many pubs now serve food
as well as drink. Some pubs have become more welcoming to families
with younger children than in the past, although children under
fourteen are still not allowed in the bar.
British drinking habits have changed, with lager and continental
beers now more popular than traditional forms of British beer. In
cities, wine bars have appeared in competition with pubs. Although,
in general, people in Britain now drink more than they used to, new
types of drinks such as alcohol-free beer and wine have appeared and
there has been a general move to educate people more about the
dangers of drinking too much.
USING LEISURE TIME
Percentages Men Women
Out and about
Seaside 7 8
Country 3 3
Parks 3 4
Visiting historic buildings 8 8
Going to museums and art galleries 3 3
Going to fairs and amusement arcades 1 2
In the evenings
Going to the cinema 7 8
Going to the theatre, opera and ballet 4 5
Playing amateur music and drama 3 3
Going to evening classes 1 2
Going out for a meal 41 40
Going out for a drink 64 46
Dancing 10 12
Listening to records and tapes 65 62
Gardening 50 39
Sewing and knitting 2 48
House repairs and DIY 51 24
Reading books 50 61
British people now have more free time and holidays than they did
twenty years ago. The average number of working hours has fallen,
and by the mid-1980s almost all full-time manual employees were
entitled to four weeks holidays including Christmas and Easter.
The increasing number of pensioners and the number of unemployed,
particularly the young, means that large sections of the population
have found themselves with more leisure time. Typical popular
pastimes in the UK include listening to pop music, going to pubs,
playing and watching sport, going on holidays, doing outdoor
activities and watching TV.
The number of people playing sports has risen, partly due to the
availability of more sporting facilites such as local leisure
centres. As more people become aware of the necessity
for exercise, it is estimated that one third of the adult population
regularly takes part in outdoor sport and about a quarter in indoor
Among the most popular sporting activities are walking, swimming,
snooker and darts; fishing is the most popular country sport.
Football, cricket, horse racing and motor sports are all popular
spectator sports. Many magazines are published which relate to
popular and minority sports and interests.
Multi-screen cinemas have become more common and the number of
people going to the cinema increased in the mid-1980s, having fallen
by more than a half between 1971 and 1984. This was despite a large
increase in the popularity of home videos: Britain has one of the
highest rates of home video owenership in the world.
Pubs are an important part of British social life (more than
restaurants) and more money is spent on drinking than on any other
form of leisure activity. Holidays are the next major leisure cost,
followed by television, radio, musical instruments, and eating out.
If they have enough money, people travel more (the increase in
private cars is an influence) and take more holidays. The numbers
going abroad increased from 7 million in the early 1970s to 17
million in the mid-80s, with Spain still the most popular foreign
Use the information of the texts to answer the questions.
1 What free time and holidays do people in Britain have?
2 Why has sport become more popular?
3 How has cinema-going changed in recent years? What has helped to
4 What are the most popular leisure activities in Britain?
5 Which are the most popular destinations for British people going
abroad on holiday?
Discussion Work in pairs.
1 Do people have more spare time than they used to in your country?
When are the major public holidays?
2 What leisure activities do you prefer? How much time and money do
you spend on them?