This is note just for people with non-business backgrounds.
I get a lot of emails from people saying I'm totally new to the world of business, how do I learn about the business world in 4 days.
Okay, so that's a tough challenge.
I usually say, start reading the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Fortune magazines and Google any terms or concepts you don't understand.
It occurred to me that this is somewhat time consuming process and somewhat difficult to do in just a few days.
So I have this random idea to assemble perhaps a dictionary or glossary of common business terms and what they mean.
My goal is not to create a massive business dictionary as that I'm sure has already been done by others.
My goal is to define maybe the 30 - 50 most important terms someone totally new to business really should be familiar with.
In addition, I'm also toying around with the idea of assembling a compilation of business concepts or business "patterns" that anyone who has been in business for years, would know... but someone new to business would not recognize.
So for example, "industry consolidation" is a term describing lots of small businesses merging with each other so that an industry with lots of little companies ends up being an industry with very few, but very big players.
Example: US Auto Industry many years ago had 300+ auto manufacturers, today there are 3 main, very large ones.
So that's my example of a definition.
What I was thinking in terms of "business concept" is toexplains HOW industry consolidation typically occurs, whatare the common challenges for the smallest companies in the industry and what are common opportunities for the largest.
So the idea is if one were to ever have an industry consolidation type of case in an interview, the goal would be to have you have at least an INTUITIVE and CONCEPTUAL idea of what typically happens in these situation -- ultimately allow you to form ahypothesis earlier in the case process.
So here is my challenge.
I've been in the business world since I was 8 years old.
At the dinner table when I was in the 3rd grade, my brother and parents all talked about operating margins, fixed cost structures and the like (my parents were business owners, so my mom taught me if overhead costs are too high, Victor there is no money left for groceries and food for you and your brother).
Okay. Got it. High Overhead = Bad (at least in many cases)
So business terminology is so intuitive to me that it is very hard for me at this point to distinguish between what is truly common knowledge to everyone in society versus what is actually business knowledge that needs to be specifically acquired.
So, I have a few questions to ask of you -- especially IF the business world is new to you.
1) What business terms or jargon are you or were you most confused by?
2) What general business concepts (not necessarily case interview concepts) do you / did you find confusing?
If you could be kind enough to post a comment related to this blog post (feel free to use your first name only or your initials), it would certainly help me help you better. Just fill out the comment box below with any feedback you might have on this. Thanks a bunch!