A-Z of Business

Thinking of studying one of our Business courses? You're in the right place. There's no better way to prepare for your studies than taking a look at our handy business terminology A-Z guide.

A is for Annual Percentage Rates

An Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is a rate of interest that you agree to pay on money that you borrow. You will commonly see this term when applying for credit cards. The important thing to know is the higher the percentage, the more money you will have to pay back over the set period. Remember to always read the terms and conditions!

B is for Budget

It’s important to learn how to budget money, not least of all whilst you are at university. Learning to budget also sets you up for a wider understanding of how business finances work. We’ve put together our own handy university budgeting tips that will get you started.

C is for Colmore Row

Colmore Row is the most prestigious business district in Birmingham. The district is home to over 500 businesses employing over 35,000 people and continues to grow and thrive within the heart of the city.

D is for Digital

It’s now more important than ever for businesses to adapt to the digital age, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a business role that doesn’t require the use of computers. We discussed how staying on top of cutting-edge technology is beneficial to both businesses and employees.

E is for Economics

Economics is a major social science which informs major challenges faced by our societies today, including inequality, environmental sustainability and economic policy. Economics draws on and influences other social sciences and humanities and it is also a core business discipline which is integral to understanding organisational behaviour, strategy and corporate performance.

F is for Financial Year

The financial year runs from April to the following April in the UK. It is also known as the fiscal or tax year. It’s important to know because companies follow these dates for financial reporting and budgeting.

G is for Gymshark

Gymshark is a £1 billion fitness clothing company based in Solihull and founded by Midlands born Ben Francis. A stone’s throw from Birmingham city centre, Gymshark often has plenty of graduate opportunities and has even partnered with BCU students on an equality campaign.

H is for HSBC

Since 2018, Birmingham has been the home of the HSBC UK headquarters. It has around 2,500 employees and boasts being the city’s first LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) Gold accredited building.

I is for Inflation

Inflation is simply the increase of prices and impacts things such as the value of wages and food prices. You’ve probably heard the term used frequently in the news due to the cost of living and other topics. Inflation is impacting all of us, so find out more about how you can get financial support during your time at university.

J is for Joint Venture

A joint venture is when two or more parties enter into a business arrangement together. It usually involved shared ownership, shared assets and shared governance of the business.

K is for KPI

KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. KPI’s are used in all walks of business to measure the performance of set objectives. This could be for an individual employee, wider teams or the business itself.

L is for Loan

A loan is a borrowed sum of money that needs to be paid back over an agreed period of time and usually includes an interest rate. Business loans are loans given to commercial entities rather than individuals. The loan you might be most familiar with, however, is the student loan. Find out more about student loans in our frequently asked questions.

M is for Marketing

Marketing is a huge part of business as it helps companies to grow their audience and bring awareness to their brand and/or products. It’s an ever-changing and growing industry that is always looking for fresh minds and ideas.

N is for Networking

As with any industry, networking is a hugely important part of business. Making connections with other individuals and brands is beneficial to your future career endeavours and you never know when you could use advice or guidance. BCU has hosted networking events for Business students including a speed networking event that involved businesses such as PwC, Lloyd’s Bank and Lounge Underwear.

O is for ONS

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the UK government’s statistical unit that publishes data on a wide range of subjects including the population and general society. As well as this the ONS covers statistics on inflation and economic growth.

P is for PAYE

Pay As You Earn (PAYE) is a form of income tax that it taken out of your wages through your employer and paid to HMRC. It pays for services such as healthcare and education.

Q is for Quarterly

In business, quarters are often used as a unit of time measurement, referring to every quarter of the year (every three months). It can act as a benchmark for financial reports, KPI’s and decision making.

R is for Recession

A recession is defined by the NBER as "a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production and wholesale-retail sales”. The last UK recession was declared in 2008.

S is for Start-up

A start-up is essentially what it says on the tin: a company in its initial stages of creation. There are a lot of resources for start-up businesses at BCU such as the STEAMhouse pre-incubator and BSEEN

T is for Trading Room

Our City Trading Room emulates a real trading floor and is equipped with all the latest industry software. You will reap the benefits of the trading room if you study one of our Business Finance courses.

U is for USP

USP stands for Unique Selling Point. Every business needs a USP to make it stand out from its competitors and appeal to its target audience.

V is for VAT

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a tax added to most products. If you have your own business that sells products you may need to look into adding VAT to your prices.

W is for WMCA

West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is a Birmingham-based authority aimed at increasing economic growth within the West Midlands. They deal with all sectors, from culture and digital to transport and careers.

X is for Forex

I know we’ve cheated slightly here, but we challenge you to come up with a term beginning with x! Forex is short for foreign exchange and is the trading of international currencies.

Y is for Yield

Yield refers to how much income an investment has generated and is often expressed as a percentage.

Z is for Zero Interest Rates

Quite simply, zero interest rates are where no money or interest is charged by a financial lending organisation. This can refer to loans, credit cards and more.

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