This information hub contains a list of some of the most common terms containing the word ‘business’. Each term has a hyperlink to a comprehensive article that explains its meaning in more detail.
The modern English word ‘business’ comes from ‘bisignis’, an Old English word which meant ‘occupation, care, anxiety.’ ‘Bisig’ meant ‘careful, anxious, diligent, occupied, busy.’
Over time, the word gradually evolved into ‘busyness’, with the ‘y’ eventually changing to ‘I’.
Business in German is Geschäft, French – entreprise, Spanish – negocios, Portuguese – o negócio, Italian – affari, Russian – бизнес, Japanese – ビジネス, and Chinese – 业务.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) – a North American organization consisting of 112 local BBBs in Mexico, Canada and the United States. Its aim is to foster honest and responsive relationships between companies and customers, contribute towards a trustworthy marketplace, and instill consumer confidence.
Business – a term with several meanings, including the act of purchasing and selling products and services, a firm, a market sector, to be unavailable or occupied, to be very serious about something, an issue that needs to be addressed, and a bowel movement (pets only).
Business Acumen – a skill that some people believe is innate, but experts say can be learned. Those with business acumen have the ability to see the ‘big picture’, make accurate and good judgments, and make decisions rapidly that generally lead to successful outcomes.
Business Agent – a man or woman who manages the business affairs of a person, firm, trade union or organization. All successful professional sports people, authors, actors, musicians and artists have a business agent. The individual may also manage the client’s travel arrangements, personal investments and public relations.
Business Angel – a rich person who invests his or her own money in start-up companies in return for a stake in the business. While some simply invest money but remain as sleeping partners, others become actively involved in the business and share their experience, knowledge and contacts. Also called an angel investor.
Business Case – an explanation of how carrying out an action will improve a business or product. The aim is to persuade decision-makers to agree or release funds. A business case may be presented either in writing, verbally or both. In most cases it describes a problem, lists possible steps that could be taken to solve it, and why one of them is the best. The case will also include a warning on what could happen if no steps are taken.
Business Cycle – the term refers to the alternating periods of recovery and then recession caused by fluctuations in production, trade and economic activity. Also called the boom-bust cycle.
Business Driver – something that influences (drives) a company’s performance. We can control some drivers, but not all of them. For example, political unrest and trade embargoes are business drivers that are beyond our control.
Business Finance – the funds (money) needed to set up a business, expand a company, as well as the financing required to run it.
Business Hours – usually refers to office hours, i.e. the hours during which office employees work, which in most advanced economies is from 9am to 5pm. The term may also refer to the opening times of shops and banks.
Business Intelligence (BI) – a series of tools and techniques that are utilized to convert unintelligible raw data into information we can understand and use. Company managers and directors use BI to give their businesses an edge in the marketplace.
Business Liability Insurance – a kind of insurance that protects companies from costly claims for damages or injury due to negligence. There are three types: General Liability Insurance, Product Liability Insurance, and Professional Liability Insurance.
Business Manager – a person who is in charge of a large company’s division, unit or department. The term may also refer to an individual who manages all the operations of a small business.
Business Model – a way to describe how a company makes money. It shows how a business creates value for itself while delivering goods or services to customers.
Business Park – a large area of land with office buildings, parking areas and often landscaped gardens and ponds with wildlife. Business parks are located just outside cities or in suburban areas. Also called an office park.
Business Plan – a document explaining what a company’s goals are, its strategies and financial forecasts.
Business School – a degree or postgraduate level school that teaches either business management, business administration, or other business-related topics. Also known as a school of business, school of management, or school of business administration.