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Balance Sheet Terms

A balance sheet is part of your financial record; the terms define the items, income, accounts payable, etc.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

A CPA is a state-licensed accountant that you can hire to do your books and your taxes.

Accounts Receivable/Payable

Accounts Receivable is income you collect for a product or service. Accounts Payable is what you pay to a vendor or supplier.

Cash Flow

This is money that comes into and goes out of your business, like income or expenses.


Payments received from goods or services from your customers into your business.


Payments made to keep your business running, raw materials, electric bills, labor, etc.


Like personal income tax, your business will pay taxes as well.


The process of keeping track of all your business transactions; income and expenses, tax payments, etc.


Branding is the look and feel of your business, logos, color schemes, and more. Branding can also be an energetic feeling that your company represents.


Business Strategy

This is the overall plan for your business. What will you sell? How will you sell it? How will you compete?

Business Planning

Business Plan

A business plan is your rulebook on what your business is and how you're going to run your business. This is typically a formal document that you would present to a lender.

Business Plan (Short Version)

The short version of your business plan is typically a summary of your intended business goals that you might send to a possible investor.


Capital is all the financial assets your company has, including cash, equipment, vehicles, computers, and more.

Business Loan

A business loan is a financial loan to your business, separate from you as a person.

Executive Summary

The Executive Summary is a brief written to define your business, what it does, sells, or produces, presented in a brief format.

Company Description

This is a brief that summarizes your company. Often it's a paragraph or two found in sections like 'Who We Are' or 'About Us'.

Marketing Plan

The marketing plan defines how you are going to promote your business. Whether it's a TV spot, social media ad, or town crier, the marketing plan is designed to get your word out.

Operational Plan

The operational plan defines how your business will go about actually doing business. If you're a corn farmer, this will detail where you get the seeds, how you'll plant them, harvest the corn and send it to market.

Management Plan

Who's in charge of day-to-day operations? Who reports to whom? The management plan will detail your company's management structure.

Business Structure (LLC, Partnership, Corporation, etc.)

The business structure you choose influences everything from day-to-day operations, to taxes, to how much of your personal assets are at risk. A sole proprietor's personal assets are at risk, but if that sole proprietor converted to an LLC, the risks lessen.

Cash Flow Analysis

Cash Flow Projections

Cash Flow Projections are used to anticipate how much your company will need to do certain things.

Return on Investment

Return on Investment, or ROI, measures the gain or loss of an investment.

Initial Cash

Initial Cash is the amount of money you first put into your business. This could be from savings or a personal loan.

Cash from Operations

This is cash that a company brings in from day-to-day operations.

Cash from Loans

This is cash received from a lender for operating expenses.


Communications is a general term for businesses that can mean talking to customers, advertising, newsletters, emails, collateral, etc.

Business Communications

Business Communications are a means of conveying messages in a variety of ways, including company announcements, advertising, inter-departmental emails, and more.

Employee Communications

Employee Communications can be an open dialogue of planned activities, like in a meeting, emails, internal newsletters, and more.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is a mass email marketing tool.

Mail Chimp

Mail Chimp is a mass email marketing tool.

Mass Marketing

Mass marketing is a method to spread the word of your business in a large scale way, typically via TV ads, social media, radio, internet ads, mailings, and more.

Media Strategy

Media strategy is deciding which of the mass media marketing methods are best for your company. If you have a small coffee shop in a rural area, mass mailings might be best. If you are a concert hall, social media and TV spots might be best to reach to most possible customers.


Zoom is the brand name of an online tool used for connecting people with audio and video capabilities.

GoTo Meeting

GoTo Meeting is the brand name of an online tool used for connecting people with audio and video capabilities.


WebEx is the brand name of an online tool used for connecting people with audio and video capabilities.

Competitive Strategy

Competitive Strategy is your plan to help your business stand out from others.

Cost Leadership

Cost Leadership is the best price vs. the best value to your customer.

Differentiation (How is your business different from the competition)

Differentiation separates your company from other, similar companies.

Cost Focus

This strategy aims to be the lowest price in town.

Differentiation Focus

This strategy focuses on the one thing that helps your company stand apart. For example, your hotel caters only to adults.

Competitor Analysis

Competitor Analysis is a review of your competition's strengths and weaknesses, as compared to your business.


Competitors are other businesses in your same line of business.

Market Gaps

Gaps are areas where a customer base isn't being served.

Market Trends

Like in fashion, trends can be popular products, ways of doing business, or simply where the market is headed.

Sales Tactics

Sales Tactics are ways to get customers in the door to buy your product or service, like the new coffee shop in town offers a buy one coffee, get one free sale, or offering a free coffee for every 10th one purchased.

Cost Accounting

Cost accounting is the system that measures the cost to produce goods and services.

Job Costing

Job costing tracks the amount of time, labor, raw materials, and profitability of a particular job.

Fixed Costs

Fixed costs are those expenses your company has every month, like rent, utilities, labor, etc.

Variable Costs

Variable costs are those that aren't 'fixed'. Perhaps you had to hire a graphic designer for a logo design when you opened, but you don't need their services regularly.

Operating Costs

Operating costs are the funds you need for day-to-day operations of your business, like overhead, materials, labor, and more.

Direct Costs

Direct costs are specifically related to a particular item. You may need a drill press for one manufacturing item only.

COVID-19 Business Assistance

EIDL (Economic Disaster Recovery Loans)

The EIDL program is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

PPP (Payroll Protection Program)

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is an SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

COVID-19 Assistance

There are several options for government-sponsored economic assistance the state and federal levels.

COVID-19 Grants & Loans

These grants and loans are available from the SBA.

Crisis Management

Crisis Management is essential to small businesses surviving during a disaster.

Natural Disaster

Natural disasters include anything whether related, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, blizzards, torrential rains, and more.

Biological Disaster

Biological disasters can include things like COVID-19, another virus, or anything that causes mass disability or death to humans.

Technological Disaster

A technological disaster can mean a number of things like your local internet goes down, the server room explodes, or there's a breach of customer information.

Economic Disaster

An economic disaster is one like the Great Depression, the housing crisis in 2009, the oil embargo of 1973, or even COVID-19.

Public Relations Crisis

A public relations crisis can stem from any number of sources; perhaps a disgruntled employee is ravaging your company on social media, or your business was accidentally linked with nefarious activities.

CT Government

The CT Government provides man resources for small business.

Connecticut Innovations

Connecticut Innovations is a venture capital firm that funds innovative, growing companies.

Connecticut Center for Advanced technologies (CCAT)

CCAT leads and collaborates with state, regional, and national partners in manufacturing, academia, government, and non-profit organizations in order to define and strengthen the future of the supply chains.

CT Department of Economic and Community Development)

The Department of Economic and Community Development is the state's lead agency responsible for strengthening Connecticut’s competitive position in the rapidly changing, knowledge-based global economy.

Business Services Division

The Business Services Division maintains the business registry for the State of Connecticut. The purpose of the business registry is to provide an accurate public record of all business entities transacting business in the state.

Connecticut Department of Revenue Services

This office is basically the IRS for the State of Connecticut.

Data Analytics

You can Data Analytics to accurately track and monitor your business.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free service that monitors user traffic on your website so you can see the most popular places people go and to see if a targeted ad has worked.

Descriptive Analytics

Descriptive Analytics uses the actual history of your company's products to see how they performed in real life.

Diagnostic Analytics

Diagnostic Analytics is used to answer the question, good or bad, why did a certain thing happen?

Predictive Analytics

Based on current trends, Predictive Analytics makes a great educated guess on how certain actions will play out.


Deflation is the reduction in value of products and services.

Delivery, Shipping and Handling

This is the cost your company incurs to pack and ship your goods to the customer.

Quality Control

Quality Control most typically refers to manufacturing and is the process of insuring that all products that come off the line meet specs.

Supply Chains

Supply chains are systems that bring the product to market, from raw material suppliers, to the makers, to the shippers, to the seller, to the customer.


Shipping is the process of getting the finished product to the customer. Despite the name, shipping can include hand delivery, mail, vehicle carrier, or an actual ship.


Deliverables are a set of items promised to the customer.

Goods & Services

Goods are actual, tangible products, like a table, or an orange, delivered to a customer. Services are things like a tax preparer, a waitress, or a lawyer, they provide an intangible product.

Digital Services

Digital services include building and maintaining websites, mass email marketing, and social media influencing.

Website Development

Website development is the process of building a website to function properly with multiple features.


Ecommerce is the process of buying and selling goods or services online.

Digital Branding/Marketing

Digital branding and marketing is promoting your brand and marketing your goods or services digitally via websites or mass email.


The economy is a broad spectrum of producers and consumers of goods and services.

Supply & Demand

Supply & Demand is the available stock and the need for the product. As the demand for toilet paper grew, the supply fell, which drove up prices.

Up Economy

An Up Economy is one where most are flush with disposable cash where people can buy their 'wants' in addition to their 'needs'.

Down Economy

The Down Economy is one where disposable cash is slim or non-existent and less can afford to buy 'wants' and can only purchase 'needs'.

COVID Economy

COVID-Economy is a Down Economy, but also one that is uncertain.

Employee Management

Employee management is the process of managing employees in the day-to-day, but also managing hiring and firing.


Employee selection is an extremely important process of selecting the right employee for the right job.


Monitoring employees can help managers and business owners decide what is working and what is not during operations.


Payroll is the system businesses use to chart hours and pay their employees.


Benefits typically include health and dental insurance, but also include other facets like paid time off, holidays, and sick time.


Entrepreneurship is the process of starting one's own business or enterprise despite financial risk. Entrepreneurs see a need in the economy and fill it with the appropriate goods or services.


Interaction is communicating with your customers to gauge their wants and needs and deciding how you can satisfy those needs.


The Reward of entrepreneurship is knowing that you took a risk and it paid off, either financially, or in job satisfaction.


Entrepreneurship requires incredible discipline and perseverance to start and maintain a successful business.


Self-made is a term that means you started with nothing and made your own wealth without relying on others to make you successful.


Taking a Risk is a calculated chance for possible financial reward.

Expanding a Business

Expanding a business means you are making your business bigger, or more widespread.

Adding a new location

Adding a new location means you're keeping your original location, but also adding another one to reach other markets.

New Products & Services

Often, companies always need to add new products and services to survive. When a company's Widget 1 sales fall, they build Widget 2, while sometimes keeping Widget 1 to not alienate their original, longtime customers.

New Territory

New territory is another area that your business expands into to reach a broader customer base.

Hiring Employees

When businesses expand and grow, they need more employees to do those new jobs.

Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve is the central banking system of the United States.

Main Street Loan Program

Main Street Lending Program. The Federal Reserve established the Main Street Lending Program (Program) to support lending to small and medium-sized businesses and nonprofit organizations that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financing and Loans

Financing is how you fund your business and loans are borrowed funds to run your business.


Loans are borrowed funds to run your business. They can be from banks, family, or friends.


Gifts are a certain amount of money given to you to start your business, with no need to pay the giver back.


Grants, like gifts, are a certain amount of funds given to you to start or run your business. They can come from government programs, non-profits, or other source.


Cash is the 'liquid' money you have on hand to do business.

Equipment Mortgages and Rates

Like commercial buildings, businesses can also take out a mortgage loan on large pieces of equipment or machinery.

Food Service, Restaurants

Food service and restaurants encompass the sit-in, take-out, hot dog cart, and food truck industries.


All food service businesses need to be licensed by the state and local municipality to ensure health and quality.


Food service Equipment can include stoves and ovens, dishes, silverware, microwaves, storage carts and food trucks.

Board of Health

The Board of Health monitors and licenses all food and beverage operations in the state.


Freelancing is contract work commissioned by a business to provide a good or service.


Grants are blocks of funds given to the business by a supporting organizing. Grants don't have to be paid back, unless the grantee fails to follow the grant's policy.


Non-profits are organizations that are run be a CEO and governed by a board of directors. Their primary goal is to help the community in some way. Non-profits do make money, but that money is further invested into the organization.


For-profit businesses are in business to provide a good or service and make a profit doing so.

Federal (

Federal Grants are issued by the Federal Government. Grants have specific requirements, but there are a lot available. See for more information.

Foundation Grants

Foundation Grants are those given to start a small business or organization and don't have to be paid back.


State Grants are given to small businesses to start and/or maintain businesses and don't have to be paid back.

Government Contracting

Department of Defense

National Science Foundation


Cities and Towns

Housing Market

The Housing Market is determined by supply, demand and the economy.

Human Resources

Human Resources, or HR, is the department that organizes a company's human assets, and is in charge of hiring/firing, onboarding, benefits information, and more.

Job Advertising

HR typically advertises publicly when they are in need of one or more new employees. Many hire from within the company first, then go outside to fill an open position.


Employee selection is an extremely important process of selecting the right employee for the right job.


Monitoring employees can help managers and business owners decide what is working and what is not during operations.


Interaction is how management communicates with employees as well as how employees communicate with other employees.


Reward can come in many ways, for example, a pay raise, stock options, more vacation, or other reward.


Discipline is the act of correcting an employee when they veer away from company policy and accepted procedures.


Innovation takes many forms, from inventing a new product, or coming up with a newer, more efficient way of doing something.


While rare, Revolution in business does happen. For example, the original iPhone revolutionized the cell phone.


Transformation happens when the old ways of doing things fall by the wayside to make way for the new.


New is always happening. New products. New services. New ways of doing things.


Like taxes, every business pays for insurance to cover property, employees, fire, theft, and more.

Property, Fire and Casualty

Property, fire and casualty insurance covers building or equipment damage, damage from fire, or employee injury or death.

Workman's Compensation

Workman's Compensation is given to workers who are injured on the job to compensate for lost wages.


Liability insurance pays for slip-and-fall, company negligence, or other damage a customer experiences.

Product Liability

Product liability insurance covers damage caused by faulty products that hurt a customer.

Employee Health Insurance

Employee Health Insurance is typical paid for by the employer, with the employee contributing a share, to cover the health costs of the employee.

Equipment Insurance

Equipment insurance is similar to car insurance, where if a piece of equipment is broken, the insurance company pays most of the cost to replace parts.


A Rental can take the form of renting a machine to do a single job, or like renting a truck to deliver a piece of gear.


Auto insurance for businesses is the same as personal auto insurance, but it covers the owner or driver while at work.

Information Technology (IT)

IT covers all things having to do with the proper running and upkeep of company computers, systems, and servers.

Cyber Security

Cyber Security is always a vital piece in the IT world. Cyber Security prevents hacking, phishing, viruses and other damaging events.


An IT Breach is when a hacker is able to get in the company's system and extract secret information like names and addresses, credit card numbers, medical records, and more.


IT Services include the setup of new computers, servicing the servers, maintaining proper network connections, and more.

Interest Rate

Interest Rates are percentages of money a lending organizations charges to borrow the money.

Business Loan

A business loan is like a personal loan, but for our business only. Typically, business loans can cover startup costs, equipment purchases, staffing, and more.


The mortgage is the note issued to you detailing how much you borrowed, the interest rate, and your agreement to pay back the money borrowed.


Jobs are positions created to perform certain functions within the business.


New jobs arise when there is a need for more help within a business, perhaps as the business grows or expands locations.


Layoffs happen when there is not enough income in the business to support paying the employees. Sometimes layoffs are temporary.


Skilled labor jobs are for those who have an acute knowledge of the job at hand and often have extensive training in the subject.


Unskilled labor jobs are for those who have no experience in a particular area.

Laws & Regulations

Surrounding every business are laws and regulations that govern proper business protocols.


Environmental law governs businesses that might effect the environment, like a sewage plant using the proper techniques to prevent spills, or an automotive shop to ensure proper disposal of harsh chemicals, like used oil.

Business Regulation

Business Regulation is typically done via the state and governs the policies and procedures for business.


Immigration ensures that employees have the legal right to work in the United States, either permanently or temporarily.


Leadership can take many forms, not just from the President or CEO.


The Chief Executive Officer, or CEO, is the appointed leader of an organization by a board of directors or other stakeholders. The CEO guides the company and strives for the best possible outcome.


The Chief Financial Officer, or CFO, is in charge of the company's finances and maintains proper operating levels.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the body that senior leadership is beholden to. The BOD helps guide policy and relies on the CEO to carry out their wishes.


The President of the company, sometimes the owner, makes decisions for the company and decides the best policies to follow for success.


Provides legal services when necessary.

Business Attorney

A Business Attorney is employed specifically for business activities, rather than a criminal lawyer.

Legal Fees

Legal fees, often expenses, are fees lawyers charge for specific services.

Legal Protection

Legal protection is protection for your business if your business has legal action taken against it.


A liability is something your business owes someone else.


Professional liability means that you are responsible for your company and its products.


Product liability means that your company is responsible for the safety of your product.

Loan Program

Loan programs are available form many sources, including the Federal Government, the state, and local banks.

Business Loan

Business loans are loans specifically for the operation or enhancement of your business.

Family and Friends Loans

Loans from family and friends can be a lifesaver when starting a business - but they are not without risk in their own way.


Banks are often the biggest lenders for small business.


The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is an SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.


COVID loans are provided as a direct result of COVID-19 and its effect on your business.

SBA Loan

An SBA loan is a loan from the Small Business Administration, which is funded by the US Government.

Main Street

Main Street is often referring to the 'Main Street' in your town or city, where Wall Street refers to a national audience.

Micro Lender

A microlender is a non-profit organization that takes loans from the SBA in order to make even smaller loans to very small businesses.


Manufacturing is a process where goods are made.

Market Watch

MarketWatch is a website that provides financial information, business news, analysis, and stock market data.

Marketing & Sales

Marketing is promoting your goods and services, while sales is selling is actually selling your goods or services. Often, marketing leads directly to sales.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is done via websites, social media, or mass email.


Print marketing can be an ad in a newspaper, a direct mail piece, or a billboard, etc.


TV marketing are commercials or public service announcements (PSAs) that are run on local or cable TV.


Online marketing can be an ad on a website, or a social media post, or mass email.


B2B means Business-to-Business, as in one business markets and sells to another business.


B2C means Business-to-Consumer, where the business sells directly to the public.

Mortgage Rate

The Mortgage Rate is the percentage of money borrowed that the lender takes as payment.

Bridge Loans

Bridge loans are given to small businesses to take the next step into expansion, or to keep them from failing.

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial Real Estate is the buying/selling/renting of commercial space, whether an office building or a manufacturing facility.

Construction Loan

Construction loans are given to companies to build their facilities to suit their business.

Oil & Gas Industry

The Oil & Gas Industry pertains to any connection to gasoline products and natural gas or propane, including motor oils and other fluids.

Online Retail

Online retail is retail selling outlet that exists online only and does not have a 'brick and mortar' storefront.


Pandemic is a widespread disease that effects all populations and cultures.

Pandemic Impact

The Pandemic Impact, particularly with COVID-19, pertains the economic 'fallout' on local and national businesses, layoffs, closures, etc.


COVID-19 is a worldwide pandemic effecting all nations of the world.

COVID-19 Assistance

COVID-19 assistance most notably comes from the US Government in the form of loans, grants, hardship and other financial assistance.


The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is an SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.


Pricing is the process of setting the prices on your goods or services.

Problem Solving

Problem Solving is an excellent skill to have as a small business owner.


Brainstorm is the process of sitting with other like-minded individuals and trying to come up with new ideas.

Think Tank

A Think Tank is a group of individuals who research best practices on a variety of topics.

Remote Work

Remote work means working away from an actual office, often from home.

Home Office

A Home Office is either the main location of large corporate business, or a room in your house where you conduct your business. Home offices can often benefit you in saving tax dollars.


Zoom is a common virtual meeting website.


Reopening is the phased process of opening the country and small businesses after the wave of COVID-19 settles.

Social Distancing

Social distancing is a best practice for preventing disease spread. The common distance is to stand at least six feet apart, or wear a mask if you cannot.

Limited Hours

Limited hours occur during the reopening phases.


Retail is the wholesale price, plus the markup. If you buy a coffee cup at wholesale for $10 and sell it for $20, that $20 is your retail price.


Local retail is your downtown clothing store, coffee shop, or office supply store.


Online retail is online-only establishments, like or


Sales are when you sell your product or service and collect the money.


B2B means Business-to-Business, as in one business markets and sells to another business.


B2C means Business-to-Consumer, where the business sells directly to the public.


Bulk sales are large quantities of a single product, usually netting a lower price.


The Process of getting your products to your customer.


The United States Postal Service (USPS) is run by the US Government.


United Parcel Service (UPS) is a corporation.


Federal Express is a corporation, not run by the US Government.


Freight is used for large products, often delivered by truck or rail.

Small Business

A business employing generally 250 to 1,500 people depending on the industry. There are also revenue caps that define a small business.

Social Media

Social Media is an online platform for users to share information, thoughts, and ideas.


Instagram, or Insta, is a photo-based platform owned by Facebook.

Social Media Advertising

Advertising placed in the feeds of social media users.


LinkedIn is a SoMe platform geared toward professionals and job seekers.


Facebook is perhaps still the largest social media company.


TikTok is relatively new to social media, geared toward younger users.


Twitter is a social media platform that has limited message length in the form of 'tweets'.

Selling/Closing a Business

The process of you ceasing involvement in the business, but selling to another party, or closing it entirely.


Liquidation is the process of selling the entire contents of your business from large machines to paper clips.


If a business faces a bankruptcy, the lender can auction the business off in an attempt to regain some of its losses.

Bankruptcy Protection

Bankruptcy Protection via the courts stops all collections processes and gives the company a chance to restructure.

Starting a Business

The process of starting your own business means that you want to be the business owner instead of working for someone else.

CT Resources

InnovatorsLINK is a valuable small-business resource that links business owners to each other and the resources they need most.


InnovatorsLINK is a small-business resource site that connects local businesses with local resources.

Business Plan

A business plan is your rulebook on what your business is and how you're going to run your business. This is typically a formal document that you would present to a lender.

Market Analysis

A Market Analysis is an assessment of the local market, competition, and need.

Type of Business

What type of business are you starting? Are you a mechanic, an accountant, or a coffee shop?


Is there a need in your area for your small business?


Storytelling is a marketing technique that 'tells the story' of a new or existing business in a way that gets consumers to buy into the story and support it.

Guerilla Marketing

Guerrilla Marketing is a non-conventional technique that can take many non-traditional forms, like talking casually about your business at a birthday party or sharing air time with another business to split the costs.

Media Placement

Media Placement is 'taking out an ad' with TV, social media, or print. Do you want to advertise on the radio during 'drive time' or advertise on TV during dinner?

Local News

Local news can help your business if you have a unique guerilla tactic, like offering free ice cream to First Responders.


Technical businesses include manufacturing, computer, or other high-tech operation.

Innovative Tech

Innovative Technology is any 'new' technology like wearable health devices, like FitBit.


This can include automated or robotic machinery.


Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining is a machine that is pre-programmed to perform certain functions.


Computer Aided Design (CAD) is a process of designing machine parts or creating blueprints digitally.

Technology Firm

Any firm that deals directly with technology.





Travel in business is often necessary.

Business Travel

Business travel is travel carried out for business purposes only.

Travel Options


Unemployment occurs after a layoff, after a firing, or during an economic slowdown.

Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits, or payments, are given to unemployed workers who qualify for those payments.

Wall Street

Wall Street is considered the hub of all US business interactions and generally refers to business nationally and globally.

Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal is a national publication about business news in the US and around the world.

Main Street Journal

The Main Street Journal is a local news website, powered by InnovatorsLINK, featuring local news and features pertaining to Connecticut's small businesses and entrepreneurs.