VOA Special English program, Words and Their Stories.
There are many special terms in the world of business.
The following story is about a sweetheart deal which I made last week. I made
the deal with a friend, and we both made a profit.
I had started a small company several years ago. I worked hard to make it
successful. It was a sign-making business. It was a small company, not a blue
chip company. It was not known nationally for the quality of its signs. It did
not make millions of dollars in profits. And it was private. It was not a public
company with shares traded on the stock market.
Still, I worked hard building up my business. I did not
work only a few hours each day -- no banker's
hours for me. Instead I spent many hours each day, seven days a
week, trying to grow the company. I never cut
corners or tried to save on expenses. I made many cold calls
. I called on possible buyers from a list of
people I had never seen. Such calls were often hard sells. I had to be very
Sometimes I sold my signs at a loss. I did not make
money on my product. When this happened, there were cutbacks. I had to use fewer
supplies and reduce the number of workers. But after several years, the company
broke even. Profits were equal to expenses. And soon after, I began to gain
ground. My signs were selling very quickly. They were selling like hotcakes
I was happy. The company was moving forward and making
real progress. It was in the
black, not in the red
. The company was making money, not losing it.
My friend knew about my business. He is a leader in the
sign-making industry – a real big
, if you know what I mean. He offered to buy my company. My
friend wanted to take it public. He wanted to sell shares in the company to the
My friend believed it was best to strike while the iron is hot . He wanted to
take action at the best time possible and not wait. He offered me a ball park
estimate of the amount he would pay to buy my company. But I knew his uneducated
guess was low. My company was worth much more. He asked his bean-counter to
crunch the numbers. That is, he asked his accountant to take a close look at the
finances of my company and decide how much it was worth. Then my friend
increased his offer.
My friend's official offer was finally given to me
in black and white. It was written
on paper and more than I ever dreamed. I was finally able to get a break. I made
a huge profit on my company, and my friend also got a bang for the buck
. He got a successful business for the money he spent.
This VOA Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES, was written by
Jill Moss. I'm Faith Lapidus.
deal : 私下达成的交易
banker's hour :
cut corners : 抄近路
call : （向潜在的主顾打的）冷不防电话
to sell like
hotcakes : 畅销
in the black :
big gun :
strike while the iron is hot :
in black and white : 白纸黑字
for the buck :