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: m

Magazine Advertising

Definition: Print ads that run in local or national magazines

Mailing List

Definition: A collection of names and addresses used by a company to send material to multiple recipients. On the internet, mailing lists include each person's e-mail address rather than a postal address.

Manufacturer's Representative

Definition: An independent sales agent who works on commission

Market Research

Definition: The process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a market, about a product or service to be offered for sale in that market, and about the past, present and potential customers for the product or service; research into the characteristics, spending habits, location and needs of your business's target market, the industry as a whole, and the particular competitors you face

Market Surveys

Definition: The study of the spending characteristics and purchasing power of the consumer who are within your business's geographic area of operation; a research method for defining the market parameters of a business.

Market Testing

Definition: To test multiple marketing scenarios and select the most promising for expansion.

Marketing Campaign

Definition: A specific, defined series of activities used in marketing a new or changed product or service, or in using new marketing channels and methods

Marketing Materials

Definition: The printed pieces, such as brochures, letterhead and business cards, you'll use to market your business

Marketing Plan

Definition: The written document that describes your advertising and marketing efforts for the coming year; it includes a statement of the marketing situation, a discussion of target markets and company positioning and a description of the marketing mix you intend to use to reach your marketing goals

Media Planning

Definition: The process of establishing the exact media vehicles to be used for advertising

Mediation

Definition: A form of alternative dispute resolution in which the involved parties bring their dispute to a neutral third party, who helps them agree on a settlement; mediation is generally nonbinding, unless the parties agree to a resulting settlement

Medicare Taxes

Definition: The tax you withhold from your employees' paychecks to cover the cost of Medicare expenses

Mentoring

Definition: Educational and/or professional development support provided by experienced colleagues

Merchant Status

Definition: The relationship between a company and a bank or credit card company that allows the company to accept credit card payments from its customers

Mergers

Definition: The combination of one or more corporations, LLCs, or other business entities into a single business entity; the joining of two or more companies to achieve greater efficiencies of scale and productivity

Microloan

Definition: A SBA loan program that helps entrepreneurs get very small loans, from less than $100 to $25,000

Minimum Wage

Definition: A wage below which employers may not legally pay employees for specific kinds of employment

Mission Statement

Definition: A sentence describing a company's function, markets and competitive advantages; a short written statement of your business goals and philosophies

Motivating Employees

Definition: Using both tangible and nontangible rewards to keep employees enthusiastic, loyal and interested in continual improvement

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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