According to Donald Trump, “trade wars are easy to win.” However, as usual, reality appears to contradict Trump’s claims. In the current dispute between the U.S. and China, it doesn’t look like a winner will emerge any time soon. As CNN notes:
The Trump administration made good on its threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese exports from 10% to 25%, marking a sharp rise in tensions between the world’s two largest economies. After months of talks aimed at ending a year-long dispute that has already hurt global growth and rattled stock markets around the world, the latest US salvo risks triggering a new wave of tit-for-tat responses.
Every company’s goal is to make a profit. But how they go about that is different. Different industries, different business models, different approaches – There’s no simple recipe for success. And there’s no simple, single way to measure whether a company is performing well.
Instead, we look at many different factors when we measure company performance. We’ve also got a lot of different expressions in English for discussing the topic. And many of these English expressions are what we call “collocations.”
What’s a collocation? Well, it’s just a natural combination of words. Ever heard the expressions “turn a profit” or “boost the bottom line?” We don’t say “grow a profit” or “up the bottom line.” Those simply aren’t natural collocations. And if you say something like that, you won’t sound natural.
So studying collocations is a great way to sound more natural with your vocabulary. You can learn combinations of words, rather than single words on their own. As you listen to the dialog today, try to pick out some of these collocations, and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.
In the dialog, we’ll rejoin a meeting at a private equity firm. Three colleagues, Maria, Claudia, and Taylor, are talking about some of the companies they’ve invested in. They’ll use lots of great collocations as they discuss the performance of these companies.
1. What does Claudia think about SmartMoney?
2. What does Taylor think they should do before selling off SmartMoney?
3. What has Claudia been focusing on with Byron Industries?
Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for talking about company performance.
The economy is in a state of constant change. Companies grow, and companies shrink. New companies are born, and old ones disappear. And you don’t have to be an investor to get excited about the boom and bust of markets and the story of how company’s respond. But if you are an investor, your whole retirement might depend on whether companies make the right moves at the right time.
This makes company performance a popular topic around the business table, or at the pub. And when we talk about company performance, we often use special expressions called collocations. An English collocation is a combination of words that are commonly used together, such as “company performance” or “state of change.”
Native speakers use these collocations automatically. In fact, our brains store these groups of words together, as if they were one word. You can learn to remember and use these collocations too. Studying collocations is a great way to learn vocabulary and sound more natural. So, as you listen to the dialog, try to pick out some of these collocations and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.
In the dialog, we’ll hear Maria, Claudia, and Taylor, who work at a private equity firm. Basically, it’s their job to invest in the right companies for maximum profit. The three are discussing the performance of several companies they’ve chosen to invest in.
1. Why does Claudia feel positive about Ranger Gold’s performance?
2. What is Taylor worried will happen if Ranger Gold builds a new mine?
3. What does Maria think Intuition Software needs to do to remain profitable?
Emerging markets have been through a lot over the past few years: The oil-price drop in 2014; China’s botched devaluation of its currency in 2015; and India’s bungled “demonetization” in late 2016. This year, however, seems to be putting all that in the past, particularly for India. The BRIC nation has made strides in all areas which has led to a boom in business
Companies may seek ongoing funding through debt financing, or loans, which require collateral. Or they may use factoring and lines of credit to access cash quickly. Other sources of funds include crowdfunding and public offerings, in which a company sells shares.