Now, the 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 firm.
Sometimes I sold my signs at a loss. I did not make money on my product. When this happened, there were cut backs. 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 gun, 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 general public.
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.
1.blue chip 蓝筹股；优值股票；高值筹码；一贯赢利的企业
Blue chip issues were sharply higher, but the rest of the market actually declined slightly by the end of the day.
2.big gun 重要人物；有势力的人；大口径水炮
He became a big gun in scientific circles.
This bean counter looked very nice.
1.I never cut corners or tried to save on expenses.
cut corners 抄近路；以简便方法做事；用最简捷的方式做事；节约(人力、物力)
Take your time, don't cut corners and follow instructions to the letter.
We must cut corners on production costs.
2.But after several years, the company broke even.
break even 不赚不赔；并列起跑；打成平手
Taylor's business just managed to break even last month.
The airline hopes to break even next year and return to profit the following year.
有时我亏本卖广告牌，没有从销售中赚到钱。这时只能降低成本，用更少的原材料并削减员工人数 。但在几年后，公司收支平衡了 。不久后，很快我就慢慢起步了，我的广告牌卖得很快，非常抢手 。
我朋友认为最好趁热打铁，他想在时机最佳时行动，不想等待。他就给我的公司提了大概的报价，但我觉得他的估值太低了，我的公司价值比这个高 。他要求他的会计师核算并估价 。随后我的朋友提高了报价 。