★☆☆Words and Their Stories: Let’s Do Business

2012年09月25日 ★☆☆, 2013年6月以前の記事, Education, News Articles, VOA.

Read and understand the article. If you may have any difficult words to pronounce and words you cannot understand, always ask your teacher.

*Teachers will divide the article into 2-3 paragraphs to help you understand and check the pronunciation of the difficult words.


*Read the words carefully.

  1. profit /ˈpräfit/ (n.) a financial gain, especially the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something
  2. expense /ikˈspens/ (n.) the cost required for something; the money spent on something
  3. build up /bild əp/ (vb.) to develop or increase something as time passes
  4. big gun /big gən/ (n.) the most powerful people, companies or organizations
  5. cut back /kət bak/ (n.) the act of reducing the number or amount of something


Words and Their Stories: Let’s Do Business

* Read the text below

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(1) There are many special terms in the world of business.

(2) The following story is about a sweetheart deal which I made last week. I made the deal with a friend, and we both made a profit.

(3) I had started a small company several years ago. I worked hard to make it successful. It was a sign-making business. It was a small company, not a blue chip company. It was not known nationally for the quality of its signs. It did not make millions of dollars in profits. And it was private. It was not a public company with shares traded on the stock market.

(4) Still, I worked hard building up my business. I did not work only a few hours each day — no banker’s hours for me. Instead I spent many hours each day, seven days a week, trying to grow the company. I never cut corners or tried to save on expenses. I made many cold calls. I called on possible buyers from a list of people I had never seen. Such calls were often hard sells. I had to be very firm.

(5) Sometimes I sold my signs at a loss. I did not make money on my product. When this happened, there were cut backs. I had to use fewer supplies and reduce the number of workers. But after several years, the company broke even. Profits were equal to expenses. And soon after, I began to gain ground. My signs were selling very quickly. They were selling like hotcakes

(6) I was happy. The company was moving forward and making real progress. It was in the black, not in the red. The company was making money, not losing it.

(7) My friend knew about my business. He is a leader in the sign-making industry – a real big gun, if you know what I mean. He offered to buy my company. My friend wanted to take it public. He wanted to sell shares in the company to the general public.

(8) My friend believed it was best to strike while the iron is hot. He wanted to take action at the best time possible and not wait. He offered me a ball park estimate of the amount he would pay to buy my company. But I knew his uneducated guess was low. My company was worth much more. He asked his bean-counter to crunch the numbers. That is, he asked his accountant to take a close look at the finances of my company and decide how much it was worth. Then my friend increased his offer.

(9) My friend’s official offer was finally given to me in black and white. It was written on paper and more than I ever dreamed. I was finally able to get a break. I made a huge profit on my company, and my friend also got a bang for the buck. He got a successful business for the money he spent.


*Let’s talk about the article base on the questions below

  1. Are you interested in opening a business? If yes, what kind of business do you want to open?
  2. What kind of business do you think will be very popular in your country?
  3. Is it common to transfer to different companies in your company?


English Compositions

*Let’s make English compositions using the expressions from the article.

(1) It did not (verb) millions of (noun) in profits.

EX) It did not make millions of dollars in profits.

(2) The (noun) was moving forward and (verb) real progress.

EX) The company was moving forward and making real progress.