Let's Do Business: I Made a Sweetheart Deal Last Week
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.
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 compay, 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.
几年前我开了一家小公司并且致力于公司的成功发展。这是一家广告牌制作公司。公司的业务是标牌制作。公司规模很小，并非什么蓝筹大企业（blue chip company）。公司制作的标牌质量并未响誉全国，也没有几百万美元的利润。公司是私有企业，即：一家没有上市、股票不能股票市场上交易的上市公司。
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.
不过，我努力壮大业务。我每天不只工作五六个小时（banker's hours是指上班时间短、工作轻松的职业），而是一周7天每天工作数小时来在努力壮大公司。我在经费方面从不刻意节省（cut corners）。每天都打很多推销电话（cold calls）。我从一列我从未谋面的人中选出潜在的客户，并给他们打推销电话，进行硬性推销。我必须非常坚定。
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.
有个阶段我亏本（at a loss）销售广告牌，我售卖产品并没有挣钱。这种情况，我只能降低成本（cut backs），我不得不减少原料和员工人数。但数年之后，公司收支平衡（broke even）了，并很快开始盈利（gain ground）了。我的产品开始大卖，它们成为了畅销产品（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.
我非常高兴，公司正稳步推进。账面出现盈余，而不是继续亏损了（in the black, not in the red）。公司赚钱了，不亏钱。
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.
我的朋友听说了我的公司。他是广告牌制作行业的领军人物（big gun）。他出价想收购我的公司，他想要公司上市（take it public），向公众出售公司股份。
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 estimateof 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 tocrunch 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.
我的朋友认为最好趁热打铁（strike while the iron is hot），他想在最佳时机行动，不能等待。他就我的公司提出了一个大致报价（ball park estimate）。但我知道他的估算太低了，我的公司价值比他说的高多了。他便要求他的会计师（bean-counter）核算并估价（crunch the numbers），换句话说，就是让会计员盯紧我公司的财务情况，再决定它值多少钱。随后我的朋友提高了报价。
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.
我朋友的最终报价终于黑纸白字（in black and white）的交到我手里，甚至比我想象的还多。我最终时来运转（get a break），我的公司赚了一大笔钱，我的朋友也得到了实惠（bang for the buck），他的投资促使他事业取得成功。
This VOA Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES, was written by Jill Moss. I'm Faith Lapidus.