Business Language – Building Your Business Knowledge
Image – It is important to take note of how the market views your services. Your image comprises the visibility of your business, your logo, the uniform of your employees, the signage on the road, your reputation on the market. Image is everything. I have seen small companies grown to large conglomerates all because they managed their image consistently and excellently. If there is anything that seeks to damage the image and outlook of the organization, there are people designated to repair and remove the impact of any such image dents. Your image speaks for you in your absence.
Impact – This refers to the positive effect your product, service or your company has made in the lives of others. The reason a company is to grow and make a positive impact on the lives of its stakeholders which includes the shareholders, customers and employers. Companies that spend on corporate social responsibility make so much impact even with the little they spend on the under privileged. After all, what is success if it does not touch one that has not access to success and also make them great.
Implementation – This is putting to action all that has been planned. In most situations, corporates emphasize planning and preparation and fail at the point of execution and actually doing the planned activities. Implementation is equally important. It requires a consistent follow through the suggested action plans. Most failure is not because there is no dream; it is at the point of putting all the dreams to action. When the rubber faces the road, when the pain comes in, when the unanticipated difficulties come, that is when quitting seems to be the only route to follow. However, those who decide to persevere and implement all that is carefully planned become successful. Start implementing what you plan and always finish implementing what you start.
Import – This is the movement of goods and services from one nation that has the resources into the nation that has need for the goods and services. In cases where it costs more to make the item within a country, most companies choose to bring in the items either as raw materials or finished products into their own countries. Every country has its own import regulations, duties, import levies and taxes for each category of goods. It is important to acquaint yourself with such laws as you may import substances or goods that are prohibited without your knowledge.
Incentive – this is an element that increases an employee to achieve more and increase in effort and delivery. Usually companies that provide production bonuses or other gratuities outside of salaries stand a better chance to retain employees and have consistency in production than places where no additional incentive is ever talked about or implemented. An incentive is not merely monetary but can be a gesture such as giving an employee time off, extra recognition of good performance etc. As leaders, you need to be creative about how to incentivize your employees. In countries where access to basic commodities is a problem, leaders choose to procure these items in others countries and make them available to employees thus adding the convenience employees need.
Income – This is money that is received on a consistent and regular basis either through salary payments or through interest accrued from investments made. In any situation, the endeavor is for the income to always outweigh the expenditure. Income should be budgeted. As a company you must be able to budget where all your income comes from or where the anticipated inflows are coming from. One way to guarantee regular income that is predictable is to go into sales and maintenance agreements which become a consistent form of income.
Incorporation – this is a process by which a company or organization is constituted as a as a legal corporation. In some countries, companies have Inc after their name which means Incorporated. A company is a legal entity which can be sued, it is a legal persona. It is therefore important to ensure that the organization sticks to the confines to the conditions of the incorporation or registration.
Independence – This is a state by which a company or business entity has capacity to stand on its own without the continual injection of capital by the shareholder. It is the dream and desire of every investor that at some point they get a return on what they have invested over time. When a company has enough funds to finance its orders, monthly expenditure and any such costs, it is independent and mature. There are varying durations that companies take to come to a place of freedom and independence. Some companies depend on the shareholder for many years. This can also refer to the state of a nation. When a nation is under colonial rule it is dependent. When the colonizer eventually leaves the nation then Independence is declared.
Industry – this is economic activity and structures that a focused on the processing of raw materials and manufacture of goods in factories and plants. The activities in the industries of any country determine the economic status of that nation. A nation will not be able to export or make goods for its own people if the conditions given to industry owners are not conducive for them to operate profitably. No economy can thrive based on goods and services imported from other nations. Only when a country or community begins to manufacture and sells its own goods do we see the standards of living improve. They can then trade their goods for cash which is in turn used to sustain the communities and families.
Information – This refers to your access or exposure to facts and knowledge (information). Sometimes this is learned through attending formal education or in other instances information is obtained through news sources like radio, newspapers etc. Your access to information determines how far you go in life. Information is what separates the informed and the ignorant. The ignorant will never realize that they lack information until someone who has the information shares it with them. A company or country must always endeavor to keep its people informed of what is going on in the country or company so that no one is caught by surprise. People fail to move in the same direction in situations where the direction is only known to a few individuals. Only when education, explanation and illustration are done will people buy-in.
Infrastructure – these are basic physical and organizational structures (such as roads, buildings, drainage, etc) necessary for the operation of a country or society or business enterprise. Companies invest in immovable assets because of the nature of their stability and consistency to maintain value. It is wisdom for any corporate or country to invest in infrastructure. That is legacy for generations to come. Descendants after your will still find the company warehouse standing and not need to build one from scratch. Invest in infrastructure as much as possible.
Innovation – This is also referred to as creativity which is the ability to create new ideas, products and services. There is no limit set as to which products a company can make. Sometimes innovative ideas are simply modifications or remodeling of existing ideas. Innovation helps organizations to stay on the cutting edge of development. We can both make a bicycle but because I am more innovative, I will add value and put other small gadgets on the bicycle I make, my innovation will make me stand heads and shoulders above my competition.
Intentionality – This is a deliberate and calculated move by leaders of a company to do something for the benefit of stake holders. The leaders have to have intentionality in dealing with employees. They have to be deliberate about salary increments, benefits, health care of the employee and general welfare. There are things a country needs to be intentional and deliberate about for the livelihoods of its people to be lifted. It must be something that is imposed upon the leaders but something the leaders are willing to do without any coercion or force being applied.
Interest – In business this can mean the money that you get charged for borrowing money. Usually it is a percentage per annum. It can also relate to the areas concern or areas of focus. One can say “I have business interests in that country”. The same person can say “the bank charged me interest on the loan I borrowed”. In the case of money charged on borrowings, my advice is that the company finance staff has to keep an eye on this figure as oversight can actually lead to bankruptcy. I have watched with great shock how a company seems to be doing well until the lender demands their money and repossessions of property start.
International – this is when a business or service exists across nations. There is a need for a business to uphold high standards whenever there are international transactions. Companies strive to get into international markets as they may outgrow their own market within the country of origin. International existence of a company is governed by the respective laws of the land on which the company is registered. With the existence of the internet, companies’ resources and services are available to a more global client base. Import and export is the main activity in international business.
Internet – this is also referred to as the World Wide Web (www). This is the connection of computers all over the world for the purpose of information and resource sharing. It becomes the electronic way of handling information, news etc. With the advent of this technology, we now have e-news, e-business, e-health, e-commerce, e-education etc the e- standing for electronic. Businesses have been revolutionized as they have become available to international markets through websites or web pages. This phenomenon has changed the way business is done between nations and communities. News is transmitted faster and cheaper to the intended audience in a more efficient manner. Solutions to common problems one faces are available on the internet. One just has to search for the information. With the right keywords you can get access to all the information resources you ever need.
Intranet – this is almost similar to internet above except the fact the reach is more restricted to internal customers. It enhances intra company communication. This becomes the company notice board.
Invention – this is linked to innovation above. It is when something is discovered for the first time e.g. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, Henry Ford invented the motor vehicle. There is no limit as to what can be invented. There are new things being invented every so often. Some are quite significant while others are not so significant and worth mentioning. Inventions make the life of mankind on this earth more pleasurable, smoother, more efficient and effective. There are also some inventions made which go against humanity’s existence e.g. some weaponry and poisons etc.
Inventory – this is a complete list of items such as goods in stock or the contents of a building. It is important to always take stock of what items the company owns or what items the company has in stock in order to enable leadership to make a decision on ordering more items to replace those lost, damaged or non functional. The inventory is then summed up in dollars on a balance sheet to reflect the residual value of equipment and also value of goods in stock which can be converted into cash through sales.
Investment – this is when someone put away money into something that has a promise to bring the same money back with return on it. No one puts away money expecting no return or growth on the initial investment. You always invest or put money into something that promises a good return in the future. No return promised, no investment otherwise is merely charity work. Some investment vehicles are more profitable than others. In some cases, the investment portfolios that promise a bigger return have a bigger risk factor. High risk, high turnover.
Invoice – this is a list of goods or services provided by a company or individual. The invoice has an invoice number unique in the organization where originating it, who is supposed to pay, a breakdown of the actual items that have been sold, quantities, unit price, taxes (if any) and all other charges such as handling, shipping etc. The full amount due is also reflected with payment options and conditions also spelt out. This is a legal document which can be used in the courts to demand payment. No invoices should ever be verbal as people tend to become a problem when time to pay comes.