Small Business Encyclopedia

About Encyclopedia

No matter what business topic you're interested in, you'll find our category list is an easy way to navigate our small-business encyclopedia. From Accounting and Advertising to Location and Operations, every topic offers information on the terms that matter most. And if you can't find what you need here, our "Terms A - Z" list makes tracking down terms a snap.

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Terms starting with: c

Cafeteria Plan

Definition: An employee benefit arrangement allowed by IRS Code Section 125, under which employees are allowed to pay for certain employee benefits on a pre-tax rather than an after-tax basis.

Capital Equipment

Definition: Equipment that you use to manufacture a product, provide a service or use to sell, store and deliver merchandise. This equipment has an extended life so that it is properly regarded as a fixed asset.

Cash Flow

Definition: The difference between the available cash at the beginning of an accounting period and that at the end of the period. Cash comes in from sales, loan proceeds, investments and the sale of assets and goes out to pay for operating and direct expenses, principal debt service, and the purchase of asset

Cash Flow Statement

Definition: A financial statement that reflects the inflow of revenue vs. the outflow of expenses resulting from operating, investing and financing activities during a specific time period

Cash-Basis Accounting

Definition: An accounting system that doesn't record accruals but instead recognizes income (or revenue) only when payment is received and expenses only when payment is made. There's no match of revenue against expenses in a fixed accounting period, so comparisons of previous periods aren't possible.

Cash Float Accounts

Definition: A bank account specifically set up by a business owner to float money through from Business A to enhance the perceived value of Business B

CDC-504 Loan

Definition: An SBA loan program that provides long-term, fixed-rate loans of up to $1 million for financing fixed assets, such as land and buildings

Collateral

Definition: The asset(s) used as security in order to obtain a loan

Company Spokesperson

Definition: A person who represents a company, industry or cause in the media

Compensation

Definition: In financial terms, the salary and wages you pay to your employees for the work they do. Other, nonfinancial forms of compensation can also be offered to attract and retain staff.

Competition

Definition: Rivalry in business, as for customers or markets

Competitive Analysis

Definition: Identifying your competitors and evaluating their strategies to determine their strengths and weaknesses relative to those of your own product or service

Competitive Intelligence

Definition: The process of gathering actionable information on your business's competitive environment

Competitive Matrix

Definition: A chart that compares your product or service to your competitor(s)

Compound Interest

Definition: Interest computed on the sum of the principle and the accrued interest

Consultants

Definition: A person engaged to provide professional advice or services for a fee, but not as an employee of the business that engages him or her

Contracts

Definition: A legal document between parties that clearly spells out just what is expected and required of each party

Co-Op Advertising

Definition: Advertisements by retailers that include the specific mention of manufacturers, who---in turn---repay the retailers for all or part of the cost of the advertisement

Copyright

Definition: Exclusive legal rights that protect works of authorship, composition or artistry. A copyright protects the publication, production or sale of the rights to a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or computer program or to the use of a commercial print or label.

Corporate Culture

Definition: A blend of the values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals and myths all companies develop over time

Corporation

Definition: A form of business operation that declares the business as a separate, legal entity guided by a group of officers known as the board of directors

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Definition: A process by which you weigh expected costs against expected benefits to determine the best (or most profitable) course of action

Credit Cards

Definition: A bank-issued card that allows people to purchase goods or services from a merchant on credit

Credit Policy

Definition: Guidelines that spell out how to decide which customers are sold on open account, the exact payment terms, the limits set on outstanding balances and how to deal with delinquent accounts

Credit, Extending

Definition: Offering your customers the option of paying for the products and services they purchase from you at a later date instead of upfront

Crime Prevention

Definition: Steps you can take to minimize the risk that your business may be the victim of either an internal or external crime

Cross Training

Definition: Teaching your employees the skills and responsibilities of another position at your company to increase their effectiveness

Customer Relationships

Definition: The ways in which your company communicates and deals with existing customers

Customer Service

Definition: The degree of assistance and courtesy granted those who patronize a business

Free Business Tools

Forms

Forms

Download and customize these free forms:

Partnership Agreement

Cashflow Worksheet

Employment Application

Calculators

Calculators

Evaluate and analyze your financials:

Cash Flow

Starting Costs

Discounted Cash Flow

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