Small Business Encyclopedia

Category: Operations

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.

Fulfillment

Definition: The process of receiving, packaging and shipping orders for goods

Importing

Definition: The process of bringing goods from one country for the purpose of reselling them in another country

Depreciation

Definition: An expense item set up to express the diminishing life expectancy and value of any equipment (including vehicles). Depreciation is set up over a fixed period of time based on current tax regulation. Items fully depreciated are no longer carried as assets on the company books.

Distribution Models

Definition: The manner in which goods move from the manufacturer to the outlet where the consumer purchases them; in some marketplaces, it's a very complex channel, including distributors, wholesaler, jobbers and brokers.

Business Cycle

Definition: Periods during which a business, an industry or the entire economy expands and contracts

Economic Development Agency

Definition: An agency whose goal is to help develop and support economic growth within a specified city, region or state by providing necessary resources and assistance

Inventory

Definition: An itemized list or catalog of the stock of a business

Packaging

Definition: The wrapping material around a consumer item that serves to contain, identify, describe, protect, display, promote and otherwise make the product marketable and keep it clean

Permits

Definition: A legal document giving official permission to do something

Private Label Sales

Definition: Licensing your product to another company to sell under its own name, rather than under yours

Exporting

Definition: The selling of goods and services produced in one country in another country

Product Development

Definition: The overall process of strategy, organization, concept generation, product and marketing plan creation and evaluation, and commercialization of a new product

Relocation

Definition: The movement of a business from one region or location to another

Return on Investment (ROI)

Definition: A profitability measure that evaluates the performance of a business by dividing net profit by net worth

Outsourcing

Definition: The practice of having certain job functions done outside a company instead of having an in-house department or employee handle them; functions can be outsourced to either a company or an individual

Overhead

Definition: The indirect costs or fixed expenses of operating a business (that is, the costs not directly related to the manufacture of a product or delivery of a service) that range from rent to administrative costs to marketing costs

Shipping

Definition: The business of sending or transporting goods

Vehicle Fleet

Definition: Vehicles owned by a company and used for business purposes

Signage and Sign Permits

Definition: Any publicly displayed information that's presented in the form of words, symbols and/or pictures and is designed to advertise your business. Sign permits provide legal permission to post such information.

Supplier Relationships

Definition: Affiliations with the companies that supply your business with goods and services

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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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.