Small Business Glossary: T
table setting: The arrangement of eating utensils and dishes on a table for both serving and eating.
tactics: A means by which a strategy is carried out; an action taken to achieve an objective.
tangible assets: Any asset of value that has a physical form. Tangible assets are one of the two forms of assets reflected on financial forms, the other being intangible assets, which include licenses, intellectual property, and goodwill.
target audience: The group of people matching the profile a marketer’s customer.
target customer: The type of person most likely to respond to the marketing message of an advertiser because the person needs or wants the product or service offered, has the means and ability to make the purchase, and can easily purchase the product in person or over distance.
target market: The portion of a market that is comprised of consumers with the need, want, interest, and ability to purchase a business’s products or services.
tax deferred: A term applying to invested income for which taxes are deferred until the investor withdraws and takes possession of the funds, at which time the invested amount and any accumulated earnings are taxed at applicable rates.
tax-exempt organization: An organization not required to pay taxes by virtue of an exemption issued by a taxing authority, most often referring to organizations determined by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as tax-exempt due to their charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes and the non-commercial benefits they provide to the society at large.
tax-qualified: A term applying to retirement plans that allow the participant’s contributions to be deducted dollar-for-dollar from taxable income in the year of contribution and that permit earnings to accumulate on a tax-deferred basis, meaning no taxes are due until the funds are withdrawn.
tax-qualified: A term describing investment plans that meet Internal Revenue Service eligibility requirements for favorable tax treatment, offering benefits such as employer deductions for employee contributions and employee tax-deferrals on contributions and earnings until the time that funds are withdrawn.
tax-qualified organization: An organization, generally with a charitable mission, determined by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as qualified to receive donations, a portion of which may be deducted from the contributor’s tax burden.
tear sheet: A page from a newspaper or magazine used to provide verification to an advertiser that a purchased ad actually ran as requested.
telemarketing: Communicating with prospective customers over the telephone, either during calls made by consumers to toll-free numbers presented through advertising and sales materials, or during calls made by a business to the homes or offices of customers and prospective customers.
temporary employee: An employee hired to work for a predetermined period of time to meet short-term, often seasonal business demands and usually released from employment at the conclusion of a specific time period, project, or task. The term is used to reference contractual, seasonal, interim, or freelance workers.
tender: 1. (noun) In economics and finance, legally valid currency that may be used to settle an outstanding debt or other performance obligation. 2. (noun) In competitive bidding situations, a sealed proposal submitted in response to a request for tender and providing detailed information and proposed terms associated with a prospective contract. 3. (verb) In personal and business exchanges, to formally offer; for example, to tender an explanation.
terms of employment: The conditions outlined in an employment contract specifying such details as job description, compensation, hours to be worked, vacation time, sick leave, and paid holidays.
test marketing: A device used as part of a product development program to expose a proposed product and its marketing plan to a small, controlled sample of the target consumer population for a defined test period in order to judge reaction to the product and its marketing approach before making the final decision to distribute the product broadly to the marketplace as a whole. This technique is used most often with packaged goods.
testimonial: A written or recorded recommendation from a satisfied customer confirming the performance and quality of a product and providing a first-hand report that serves as a powerful marketing statement.
third-party financing: Funds loaned by a party other than the two primary parties involved in a sales agreement; usually a bank or other outside lender.
third-party guarantee: A commitment by a third party other than the two primary parties involved in a contract to make good on terms of the contract in the event of a default. This guarantee occurs either by paying money or providing the performance of the service due from the defaulting party.
third-round financing: Funding provided by investors to businesses with established products, production processes, and sales to allow for market expansion, additional product development, and growth, including business and major equipment acquisitions.
tip: A small present of money given for some service; a source of income for workers such as waiters and concierges.
toast: A proposal to drink to a certain person, or a sentiment expressed just before drinking to that person.
top-level domain: The portion of a URL that forms the last portion of the domain name and indicates the site purpose or geographic origin. Common top-level domains include .com for commercial or company sites, .gov for U.S. government sites, .org for nonprofit organization sites, .net for network organization sites, .mil for U.S. military sites, .int for international organization, and .edu for educational institution sites. Examples of top-level domains indicating geographic origins include .ca for Canada, .us for United States, and .uk for United Kingdom.
trade journal; trade magazine; vertical publication: A publication targeting the interests of a specific industry, trade, or type of business. Serves the interests of a vertical market.
trade show: An industry-specific gathering that brings together businesses, suppliers, customers, and media representatives for what is usually a multiday event featuring product previews and demonstrations, sales presentations, socializing, and an opportunity to learn about industry changes, competitive moves, media interests, and customer tastes.
trademark: A word, name, symbol, sound, or color that distinguishes the goods and services of a business. If accompanied by the symbol , the mark is officially registered with the U.S. Patent and Trade Office and protected by law from infringement, so long as it’s used in commerce. If accompanied by the symbol (or SM for a service mark), the mark’s owner has established common-law trademark rights limited to the geographic areas in which it has been used, but lacks the protection of registered trademarks.
traveler's check: A check or draft, usually as part of a set, issued by a bank and sold to a traveler who signs it when it's issued and again in the presence of the person cashing it.
trial balance: A process undertaken in double-entry bookkeeping systems to ensure that debits equal credits before financial statements are prepared.
turnaround: The process of reversing poor performance and returning a business to profitability.
turnaround professional: An independent consultant or executive called upon by an existing management team to analyze, assess, and recommend steps to return a poorly performing business to profitability.
turnkey contract: An agreement stipulating that a product being purchased will be delivered to a buyer at an agreed-upon cost and in a completed state that is ready for immediate use. Different from lump-sum or other contracts that involve buyer interaction, oversight, and changes. Construction projects often involve turnkey contracts under which a builder or developer provides land, construction, and materials resulting in a fully completed home for purchasers.
turnover: When employees leave your business to work elsewhere.
two-way marketing communications: Marketing communications that invite those in the target audience to engage with the marketer by sharing ideas and product or service reactions online, that others can see and react to; a major shift in strategy resulting from the ascent of social media networks.