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.
sweetheart deal :
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.
blue chip company:
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.
banker's hours:Bankerbanker's hours
cut corners: cold calls: hard sells: ,
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.
at a loss: cut backs: ,broke even: gain ground:,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.
in the black: in the red ,
赢余； 亏损，出现赤字。 财务报表上通常用黑色字体表示赢余,红色表示亏损。
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.
big guntake it 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.
to strike while the iron is hotball park estimate ball park
趁热打铁； ：大致估计。 是棒球场，美国的棒球场规格不一，说到棒球场规格时通常是大致估计，从而产生了这个习惯说法。
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.
in black and whiteget a breakbang for the buck
黑纸白字； ：交好运，时来运转； ：物有所值。