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Essential business acronyms

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No matter which sector you hope to graduate into, there are essential business acronyms it's best to know. They could even crop up in interviews – don’t get caught out.

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B2B – Business to Business

A commercial transaction between two businesses. As opposed to B2C (business to consumer) where a business will provide a service or product directly to the consumer.

BD - Business Development

The process of developing growth opportunities in a business. Usually, a company will have teams or individuals with the goal of generating new business.

CEO – Chief Executive Officer (or Chief Exec.)

The most senior corporate officer, in charge of managing an organisation. The CEO will report directly to the board of directors.

Other managerial positions:

  • CTO – Chief Technology Officer
  • CFO – Chief Finance Officer
  • COO – Chief Operations Officer

COB - Close of Business

A term usually used when referring to a deadline for finishing a task or sending a document to someone. Sometimes referred to as COP (Close of Play).

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FTSE – Financial Times Stock Exchange

The FTSE is the British stock index and gauges the performance of public corporations. The FTSE 100 tracks the top 100 companies active in the UK in terms of market capitalisation.

FY – Financial Year

A 12-month accounting period. Traditionally the Financial Year will start at the beginning of April and be split into quarters.

GDP – Gross Domestic Product

GDP is a monetary measure of a nation’s economic activity, taking into account investment, government spending and consumer spending – amongst other factors. It’s calculated by measuring the value of all finished goods and services within a country. 

IPO – Initial Public Offering

The first time a company offers stocks to the public by floating on a stock exchange. An IPO is often used by smaller organisations to raise significant capital.

KPI – Key Performance Index

A KPI is a measure set by a business, which will be used to benchmark the success of a certain project or activity.

NDA – Non-Disclosure Agreement

A Non-Disclosure Agreement is a legal document between two organisations or an individual and an organisation that outlines confidential information and knowledge that they wish to share but keep restricted to other parties.

P&L - Profit and Loss

A financial statement that summarises revenues, costs and expenses during a specified time period.

PR – Public Relations

The management of communication and interaction with the public and media, with the aim of presenting an organisation or person in a certain light.

R&D - Research and Development

The innovative activity carried out by a business to develop or improve services or products.

ROI – Return on Investment

A measure of the effectiveness of an investment. Calculated as a percentage, it will indicate the potential return relative to how much the activity cost.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

SEO is a strategy used to improve search engine rankings, with the aim of increasing organic traffic to a website. There are a number of techniques to show as high as possible in Google for relevant search terms. 

SME – Small and Medium-size Enterprise

According to the EU, this is a company which has less than 250 employees and a turnover that doesn’t exceed €50 million. These are often start-ups and high-growth businesses.

UX – User Experience

UX is the process of improving the usability of a product or service to enhance customer satisfaction.  

YTD – Year to Date

The Year to Date refers to the first day of the financial calendar to the present date. It gauges current performance against the beginning of the year.

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